Want to find scholarships and grants to help pay for college?
Florida Tech Librarian Linda Khan shares her insights on how to find scholarships and grants using reliable resources.
On Nov. 12, Khan presented to a crammed room of 50 students eager to find out ways to make college more affordable. Khan, who was surprised by the number of students in attendance, remarked, “The only reason why I did the presentation is because in the library we get a lot of questions about scholarship information, so I just thought it was something I should do because there was an interest.”
Khan recaps the presentation for those who were unable to attend:
“I covered tips on apply for scholarships and grants,” Khan recalled.
Helpful tips included:
- Never pay for scholarship information or applying for a scholarship.
- Approach the challenge of finding scholarships as if you are looking for a job.
- You can never apply for too many scholarships.
- Complete all the optional questions in the scholarship search profile for more scholarship matches.
- Start early! Meet deadlines. And check often for college scholarships.
- Set up profiles on multiple sites to catch as many opportunities as possible.
- Check eligibility requirements to make sure you qualify before filling out application form.
- Check with your Financial Aid Office and your department/school to see what’s available there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
“The best way to search for scholarships is to use scholarship search engines, because the information is free, data is updated often, and they keep your information private,” Khan shared.
According to Khan, “The top ones are: CollegeBoard.com; CollegeNet.com; FastWeb! Scholarships.com; Chegg (formerly Zinch); and Peterson’s College Scholarship Search.
Khan created a research guide, Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships, which brings together information about scholarship search engines, federal grants, on-campus resources, library resources, and how to avoid scholarship scams.
The research guide, which can be found on the Library website: http://libguides.lib.fit.edu/scholarships, provides links to hundreds of scholarships for undergraduate, graduate and (though limited) international students under the tab, Scholarship, Grants, and Fellowships.
“There are basically hundreds of scholarships,” Khan commented as she pointed to an article titled 11 Sexy Scholarships. “There are scholarships for everything you can think of,” Khan concluded.
The research guide includes a list of prestigious scholarships. There is also a tab for Scholarship Scams.
“The takeaway,” Khan summarized regarding scams. “Don’t pay for help to find money for college and don’t pay for the FAFSA.”
Khan also talked about financial aid, especially for students who are American citizens.
“The earlier students do their financial aid, the more aid they can get. The earlier they apply the better, because in Florida the deadline is March 15th. In Florida aid is awarded on a first come first serve basis,” Khan explained.
Information and links to Florida Tech scholarships, grants, and fellowships, and other scholarship websites can be found on the Florida Tech Financial Aid website under the category, Financial Aid Options.
“The only thing students need to remember is that they need to talk to Financial Aid, because if they get scholarships it could affect their financial aid,” Khan reminded.“Even if it does, think about it, you can say you got a $5000 scholarship which is nice when you are applying for a job.”
“Most scholarships are based on merit and need, and so it is a competition. You have to think of it seriously. Applying for scholarships is something you have to set aside time to do,” Khan explained.
Next year, Khan hopes to work with financial aid to do this presentation again. “Because I had so much interest, I will do a bigger event,” Khan shared.
“There is so much out there, you know. You just have to spend some time and effort. It is like a job. Think of it like a job,” Khan repeated.
“What it does too, even if students don’t get a scholarship, they get to put their life together. For the scholarship they need to have all this information and put everything together in one place,” Khan pointed out. “Even if you don’t get a scholarship, it helps you organize.”
Visit http://libguides.lib.fit.edu/scholarships to see Khan’s research guide.