Scholarships and grants are hands down the best way to pay for college. That’s because they offer "free" money. Other options to pay for school like loans have costs, such as the interest on the loan. Students should always look for scholarships and grants before getting a student loan.
College scholarships and grants are similar in that they don’t have to be repaid. The main difference between the two is that grants are typically given based on need, while scholarships are often awarded based on the student’s performance.
Do you excel in academics, sports or the arts? You might qualify for a performance-based scholarship.
Competitions or contests
If you like the idea of writing an essay or entering a sweepstakes for a scholarship, there are plenty of scholarships in this category. For example, SunTrust has been offering the SunTrust Off to College Scholarship Sweepstakes for more than a decade (no purchase necessary, terms apply).
If you’re part of a particular ethnic, cultural or social group, many companies and non-profits sponsor scholarships to ensure individuals from a variety of backgrounds have access to a college education.
Business and community based
Local businesses and civic organizations may sponsor colleges to fund the educations of local students.
Grants are often based on need criteria, which vary depending on the source of the grant. However, many providers of student grants rely on information in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to evaluate a student’s need. Currently, the FAFSA is released on October 1 of every year. Make sure to complete it as quickly as possible and return it for early consideration for aid.
sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor
Don’t let the name of this U.S. Department of Labor site fool you. While the main purpose of this site is to facilitate job search, it also has a robust scholarship directory with more than 7,500 scholarships, fellowships and grants. The site’s helpful filtering feature makes it easy to find scholarships for your discipline, state and degree type.
This helpful site links you to several scholarship databases, and runs a free scholarship search for you
Peterson's provides one of the largest free undergraduate scholarship databases available! They also have scholarship offerings geared towards international students.
The College Board provides a free search for scholarships, other financial aid, and internships from more than 2,200 programs.
Formerly, scholarshipexperts.com, this is a fast, easy and free way to find scholarships on the Internet. It delivers accurate and timely search results that have been filtered and customized to match unique user profiles.
|Student Scholarship Search||
Student Scholarship Search provides students and parents with a FREE searchable database of college scholarships and grants. No registration required. Scholarships updated daily.
Open to high school seniors and college undergrads, two winners selected every two weeks from October 29, 2018 until May 13, 2019. No purchase necessary. Terms apply.
Did you know local or business scholarships may be less competitive than national scholarships?
Is there a church or cultural organization that you belong to that has a scholarship program?
Do your parents or you work at a company that offers scholarships to the families of its employees?
Is there a local alumni association for the school you are attending that has a scholarship for a local student?
High school counselors and financial aid officers are great sources for finding out about scholarships.
SunTrust explains how you can save money on college by making the most of financial aid.
Graduating with student loan debt? Here are some tips to help you manage the process.
It's crucial to discuss personal finance with college-bound kids.
This tool helps you to budget for living expenses for one year of college.
Determine the future cost of tuition based on the inflation rate you input.
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