College Scholarships and Grants – A Primer

College Scholarships and Grants

College Scholarships and Grants

For students who cannot afford to pay for further studies, scholarships and grants are effective options as they provide them the facility of studying without worrying about any money paybacks and interest rates that they have to deal with in the case of student loans.

Search at the Right Time

An important thing to remember while applying for scholarships is that you should begin searching for them early. If you are interested in getting a scholarship but are not searching for it because there is still plenty of time left, you may miss out on some very good opportunities. This can happen because all scholarship programs have a last date of accepting applications. Therefore, you should start gathering information about scholarships well in advance.

The internet is a great source of finding the scholarships which you can win. A good scholarship resource is The College Board website. This site will help you find relevant scholarship opportunities. Another resource you should consider is your State’s Student Financial Aid Office website, for example, if you are a California resident, you can search California Student Aid Commission.

Plan your scholarship application process and work in an organized manner. If you’re looking to enter a college next fall then star working on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in January. FAFSA makes the decision on eligibility of students for scholarships and grants.


Normally March 1 is the last date of submitting FAFSA, but you should submit till the 15th of February just to be safe. According to the Financial Aid Off at Wayne State, “Some scholarship programs run out of money and if your FAFSA isn’t in, you won’t be considered.”

Filling a form to get free money for college may get you excited, but make sure that everything is entered in the form correctly. Read the entire form before filling it out.  If you’re filling a paper form, your writing should be legible.

Writing a good essay is also important. Provide specific information but also use your creativity. Don’t use the same essay for every application; take the time to write a separate one for every application.

Once you are accepted by a university, contact the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible to find out the options that are available to you.

Scholarships and grants provide students who can’t afford to pay for their studies the opportunity to follow their dream of getting a degree.