Searching for Scholarships | Teen Ink

Searching for Scholarships

February 3, 2014
By Zoe Davis GOLD, Chicago, Illinois
Zoe Davis GOLD, Chicago, Illinois
11 articles 13 photos 4 comments

College is expensive. This is a fact that most high schoolers are hit with when deciding where to apply and attend. With college costs skyrocketing every year and the average yearly cost of an Ivy League education slightly more than the median American household income, how can students pay for school?

Scholarships are an opportunity for students to find help with paying for tuition. Sometimes, they are one-time check, and other times they are renewable and provide money each semester or school year. The money earned from scholarships does not need to be paid back. While some are paid directly to the college, others are written as a check to the applicant.

The easiest way to find scholarships is through the internet. Scholarship search services can help you find many different scholarships that a student may qualify for. Websites such as and will email you when opportuinties arive and will notify you when deadlines approach.

Another way to find scholarships is through the college to which you apply. Once accepted to a college, some schools automatically consider students for scholarships based on high school academic performance or within the major to which you apply. For example, many fine arts programs will give students money if they complete a portfolio or audition. High school counselors are also a good resource for finding scholarships. On Edline, the counseling department lists resources monthly.

Despite the fact that the college application process is done during senior year, scholarships are not only for seniors! There are many scholarship opportunities that offer money to all grade levels. This is a good way to get a head start on the college process even when not a senior.

While many scholarships require writing an essay, submitting a transcript, or acquiring a recommendation, many do not. There are many scholarships that can be won simply by sending a text or a tweet. The organization Do Something holds scholarship contests where students can enter by simply for sending a text to six friends about social issues such as bullying, secondhand smoke, homelessness and childhood hunger. These contests can award up to $4,000.

The internet age has given students today access to information about scholarships that didn’t exist when our parents were in school. While searching for scholarships, it is important to be mindful of internet scams. Scholarships that elicit money for “guaranteed” money are not legitimate. If a scholarship sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

Paying for college is not impossible. Thanks to scholarships, many students are able to attend colleges with exorbitant tuitions. The key to finding these opportunities is to start looking early, stay organized, and most important, apply.

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