Whether you are looking to earn your degree online, on-campus, or through a competency-based education program, one of the best ways to lower your cost of college is by getting a scholarship.
When adult learners first start considering a college degree, one of their most pressing concerns is how to afford it. A quality scholarship can make all the difference.
Scholarship Help Is Available to Students Like You – Really
Around $46 billion in scholarships and grant money is given out each year through individual colleges and universities as well as the U.S. Department of Education. $3.3 billion in funding is also provided annually by private sector organizations like corporations, associations, and foundations. That’s a serious amount of money.
But the only way to benefit from scholarship money is to know where to look, determine if you are qualified, and then apply.
If You Are Not Looking for Scholarships Online, You Should Be
As the role of technology in education has advanced, so has its role in helping students find and apply to scholarship programs. Technology has simplified what was once considered a cumbersome process – finding scholarships for which you are uniquely qualified and keeping on top of deadlines.
1. College Board's Scholarship Search
The College Board’s Scholarship Search helps you find scholarships, and other sources of financial assistance, by searching its database of over 2,200 programs, representing almost $6 billion available for higher ed. Through its filters, you’ll be able to find scholarships that match your background, including your employer, any organizational affiliations, and status as a returning adult learner.
Fastweb allows you to explore a database of scholarships totaling over $3.4 billion of free money available to prospective and current college students. Like other college scholarship websites, its backend technology supports your ability to refine your search so you can easily find the scholarships for which you may best qualify.It also allows you to keep track of those you are interested in, not interested in, or already applied – including deadlines for each.
Scholarships.com can help you find free money for college through its comprehensive scholarship database. Additionally, based on your college preferences you provide in your profile, it will help match you with schools and helps them recruit you. Its scholarship database searches over 3.7 million local, state, and national scholarships at a value of over $19 billion –and provides you with notifications on new scholarships that match your criteria.
4. StraighterLine Partner College Scholarships
StraighterLine Partner College Scholarships can help you save up to 60% on your college degree from some the best online colleges for adults. To get started, just submit your information to StraighterLine through the online form. The only qualification you need is to complete four StraighterLine online college courses – no matter your major or your background. Your scholarship credit or discount will be applied to your partner college tuition once you transfer four or more courses. It’s that easy.
Chegg's online search algorithm allows you to filter through free scholarships worth more than $1 billion. The site asks you to fill out some information about your student status and set up other settings to help you find scholarship opportunities reflective of your goals and background.
6. Scholarship Search by Sallie Mae
Scholarship Search by Sallie Mae lets you search over 5 million scholarships worth up to $24 billion dollars. The more you customize your profile, the more refined your search results will be. A nice feature allows you to receive email alerts when new scholarship matches are posted to the site.
Scholly is an app that helps you connect with scholarships for which you may qualify. Its adaptive search capabilities are able to target scholarship opportunities that fit you – and for which you most likely qualify.
8. GoFundMe and Crowdrise
Granted, neither of these sites are technically scholarship sites, but crowd funding is starting to become a viable way for friends, family, and acquaintances to financially support educational goals. GoFundMe and Crowdrise both let you pursue personal fund-raising; you just need to create a profile and tell others what you’ll be using the money for. It’s then up to you to promote your educational funding needs through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
Getting a scholarship to help fund your education may require some effort, but with the help of technology, you may be surprised how many opportunities are available to students just like you.