A good list of college scholarships or an authorative listing of scholarships from the college library so you can begin applying too is a great place to start.
Peruse through several of the lists and check out what seems appealing. Note any scholarships that interest you, and then go through them one by one. If you are a junior or senior, you may already have criteria you are seeking. If you would like to be more specific, put a qualifying word in your search, such as “list of engineering scholarships” or “scholarship lists for the arts”. You may even search the name of the college you are interested in. The different lists are endless indeed. Examples of specific searches are: college scholarship list, list of scholarships for Hispanics, scholarship match for health care professionals, even unusual scholarships, or weird and whacky scholarship lists. Often the scholarship list sites have a scholarship match feature. You input your information and from the database you will be matched with many scholarships. You do not have to apply to all of them, but at least you will know what is available. Be sure to update the data each semester. It could help you qualify.
The second phase of your search included the preparation necessary to make best use of the compiled lists of scholarships. Organize the scholarships and financial aid information in a way that makes the best sense to you. Perhaps you will print the information to place in a binder, or maybe you will make a folder for the desktop of your computer. Be sure the information is accessible in a way you can understand. Make note of the qualifications and information required for each scholarship on your list. Specific scholarships will have specific requirements. For instance, merit scholarships may require participation in the National Honor Society or the Key Club. Some scholarships require a certain course track to qualify, and you will have to take those classes in high school to apply. More and more, scholarships require community service hours. Most scholarships require a minimum score on ACT or SAT tests such as guaranteed scholarships. You should plan to take each test more than once so that you can improve your score if necessary. As you can see, this is why it is important to begin your scholarship list search early in your high school career. Make note of each qualification and try to meet it during your high school years.
Keep track of your transcript and GPA each semester. Note any achievements, awards or certificates and compile them into a portfolio or resume that can be used as you search the lists. Save your best essays from classes. These pieces may be modified to become a qualifying essay for one of the scholarships on the list. By the time you reach your senior year, you will have an impressive resume.
It is never too early to begin your search for financial aid for college. Pre-planning and organization will be the key. A list of scholarships are the best place to begin. These lists will serve as a guideline for compiling a portfolio that will put you ahead of the competition.