“How can my child
get Private Money Scholarships for college?”
That is one of the
most frequent questions I am asked. But, it shouldn’t be. And here’s why. Last year there was
over $165 billion dollars given away in aid from all sources to students heading off to college. Less than 4% of that aid
was from private scholarships. 4%…that’s it. In the grand scheme of free money for college, that
isn’t a whole lot.
I don’t think it’s a good idea
to ignore that 4% of available dollars, but you shouldn’t spend to much of your time going after this money. But
if you do, here’s a few tips on the best ways to increase your chances for private college scholarships for your child.
Because of the nature of Private Money Scholarships and the national competition,
the sheer number of kids applying is staggering. My advice is that you apply to 5 or 6 for the chances to win one.
If the scholarship money is big, the reality of it is extremely minimal.
Focus more on the smaller and less likely to be applied for scholarships.
Have more than a half dozen applications can become tiresome and tedious. Some students have said that applying for Private
Money Scholarships is like having a part time job. But like a job well done, the rewards can be worth it.
The best way to search for scholarships and fellowships is to use a personalized search,
like Fastweb.com provides, that compares your background with a database of awards. Only those awards that fit your profile
are identified as matches.
There are several free scholarship databases available online. With more than 1.5 million
scholarships worth more than $3.4 billion, the Fastweb.com database is the largest, most accurate and most frequently updated
scholarship database. If you supply an email address, they will notify you when new awards that match your profile are added
to the database. You can even submit an electronic application to some of the scholarships listed in the FastWeb scholarship
database, saving you time and money.
***Scam Alert**** Be aware that
there have been several scam companies over the years hocking scholarship searches for families for a fee. Don’t waste
your money on any of these fee-based scholarship matching services. You won’t get any better information than you can
get from the free services available on the Web.