How College Scholarship Search for the Frustrated Student

Embarking on the journey of higher education often comes with the daunting reality of tuition fees and other associated costs. For many students, the prospect of securing scholarships is a beacon of hope amidst financial uncertainties. However, the process of searching for the right scholarships can be overwhelming and frustrating. In this blog post, we will unravel the complexities of the college scholarship search, offering guidance and tips to alleviate the frustration that often accompanies this quest for financial aid.

Understanding the Landscape:

The first step in navigating the scholarship search is understanding the diverse landscape of available opportunities. Scholarships can come from various sources, including government agencies, private organizations, foundations, and individual educational institutions. They may be merit-based, need-based, or tied to specific criteria such as academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, or career goals.

Overcoming Frustration:

Start Early:

Procrastination is the enemy of scholarship seekers. Start the search process early to allow ample time for research, application preparation, and submission. Many scholarships have strict deadlines, so early action is key.

Utilize Online Resources:

Numerous online platforms aggregate scholarship opportunities, making it easier for students to explore a wide array of options. Websites like Fastweb, Chegg, and College Board’s Scholarship Search can be invaluable tools in streamlining the search process.

Tap into Local Resources:

Don’t overlook local scholarships offered by community organizations, businesses, or foundations. These scholarships may have less competition and a higher chance of being awarded.

Create a Systematic Approach:

Organize your scholarship search by creating a spreadsheet or document to track deadlines, requirements, and application progress. This systematic approach can help you stay on top of multiple applications without feeling overwhelmed.

Customize Your Applications:

Tailor your scholarship applications to align with the specific criteria outlined by each provider. Highlight your achievements, experiences, and goals that directly relate to the scholarship’s focus.

Seek Guidance:

Leverage the expertise of teachers, counselors, and mentors who can provide valuable insights and feedback on your scholarship applications. Their guidance can enhance the quality of your submissions.

Stay Persistent:

Rejection is a natural part of the scholarship search process. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks; instead, view them as opportunities to learn and improve. Keep refining your applications and exploring new opportunities.

It may seem like the fall of a student’s junior year it too soon to search for scholarships but it is not. In fact, I often tell parents to start searching for scholarship the moment that your student enters high school. It is an unusual time to talk about money for college. Most parents and students are thinking that there are four years until graduation. While life is going on college acceptances are just over the horizon. It is true that the early bird gets the scholarship. The key to having a scholarship strategy that works is staring early.

There are some parents who have a formula for success. They have a binder where they are already collecting scholarship information. They attend every scholarship and grant training session that they can. Each parent and student should consider finding scholarships a team effort. Start by meeting with someone at your local library. There are a lot of college scholarship resources in the library and there is always someone who is willing to help.

Read More: Can You Apply for Scholarships After Graduation?

Did you know that there are billions of dollars in scholarships that go unused every year? Some students say it is too hard to apply for scholarships. That is why I tell all students to get started on their scholarship search early. Starting early is the best way to prevent each student and parent from getting overwhelmed. You should have different types of scholarships in each section of your scholarship binder.

You can also have your own library of scholarship books and articles that you are picking and reviewing. There are thousands of scholarships on Google. You can search by college major and interests. Ask your student to talk to their high school counselor about scholarships that are available. The school counselor should have information that they are receiving throughout the year. Let them know that you are interested in receiving information and that you will apply

There are a lot of scholarships that are based on a student’s performance in high school. Each student should work to obtain the highest grades possible. Get a tutor right away or make arrangements for the teacher to meet with your student. The critical issue for each parent is deciding how to use each year as leverage against the rising cost of college. Look for small and large opportunities to find scholarships in newspapers and in magazines. Call local college’s financial aid office to find out more about their scholarships and deadlines. Call your bank or credit union to see how you can start saving and if they have scholarships.

If you are the parent of a 11th grade student it’s time to get ready for senior year by asking your student to obtain scholarship recommendation letters from their teachers. Create a calendar with scholarship deadlines and ensure that your applications are submitted on time. Don’t allow yourself to get behind. It’s easy to miss out on a scholarship because your application was not submitted on time. Use the summer to get ahead of the game.

Ask your son/daughter to write answers to several scholarship questions. Some of the questions to expect: How will you use our scholarship to complete your undergraduate degree? Why do you deserve this scholarship? How will you make a difference in the world after receiving your degree? Remember grammar and spelling count, if a student wants to have their scholarship application considered.

Investing in your son/daughter’s education is one of the best decisions a parent and student can make. Start your scholarship search early so that your student has the flexibility to pay for the college of their choice. Position yourself to reap the financial rewards of saving pursuing scholarships. You will not regret your investment of time and you can have money to pay for tuition, room and board and other expenses.

Dr. Stephen Jones is an education advocate, workshop presenter and speaker. Dr. Jones has over a 100 scholarship websites listed in his book the Ultimate Scholarship Guide. His other books are the Seven Secrets of How to Study and the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide.


The college scholarship search may seem like an arduous journey, but with the right mindset and strategies, it can become a manageable and rewarding process. By starting early, utilizing online and local resources, maintaining a systematic approach, customizing applications, seeking guidance, and staying persistent, frustrated students can increase their chances of securing the financial aid they need to pursue their educational dreams. Remember, the effort invested in the scholarship search is an investment in your future, and the skills developed along the way are invaluable assets for a lifetime. Article Source:

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