top of page
  • Writer's pictureMichele Coleman

Scholarships 2024!

One of the questions that I’m asked the most is “How do I get scholarships?”


Before discussing how to search for scholarships, it’s important to know the way that college funding works.  Money for college can come from several sources: The colleges themselves, the government, family, private organizations, and private funding companies such as banks.


Money for college can be free (does not need to be paid back), such as scholarships and grants, or loans, (money that requires repayment with interest).  Loans are never scholarships or free.


Grants are most often awarded by the Federal Government and are income-based.


Scholarships awarded by a college or a private organization, are either Need-Based, the amount is determined by income and the completion of the FAFSA and/or the CSS Profile, or Merit-Based. Merit-based scholarships are not income-driven and are based on a student’s talents, GPA, curriculum, leadership, etc.


Most scholarship monies are awarded by colleges and are based on a student’s credentials that are found on their college application.  Sometimes colleges will also offer scholarships on their financial aid pages and those scholarships typically require an additional application.


A student can also apply to private organizations and foundations to obtain money.  These are the “scholarships” that most families are referring to when they ask me "How do we find scholarships?"


Private scholarships, always require an application and may require an essay, letters of recommendation, documentation of income, and often transcripts.  A family should never have to pay to apply for a private scholarship. 


Finding these additional or private scholarships is not hard, but it is tedious.  There are many search sites for private scholarships.  Here are a few scholarship sites (there are many and I don’t endorse and am not compensated for sharing these links):




College - non-profit’s free search, no login, no ads, spam-free search, also by state  




To obtain the best list of scholarships, sites require a student or parent to complete a detailed profile, which then produces a list of scholarships.  At that point, you must click on each scholarship to see if it is active, if the deadline is still open, and if a student is actually eligible. 


Searching for private scholarships is tedious and time-consuming, but if you are persistent, it can pay off!


Happy Searching!


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page