Continue funding your education by applying for scholarships

The key to reducing the cost of your education is to continue applying for scholarships, even if you are a year or two into your program.

Finding funding for your college education can be an overwhelming task. Even a small amount of extra funding can offer some relief to your financial burden. Many college-bound students don’t always take advantage of the opportunities that are available. If you have a flair for writing, there are numerous opportunities for competitive scholarship essay writing. Michigan State University Extension recommends taking some time to research various scholarship opportunities, even if you are a returning student.

An internet search of “essay scholarships” brings up a variety of essay topics, funding sources and varied amounts of funding. An article written by Rebecca Safier at Student Loan Hero offers links to the nine scholarship search tools to help you find free money. Many of these search engines also offer advice on the college application process and college reviews. Most of their services are free or at a minimal cost.

Some search engines, like Scholarships.com and ScholarshipOwl.com, offer a coverall application and actually search for scholarships based on the information you provide. They also provide a directory with search topics. A search in the scholarship.com directory by state of Michigan yielded over 250 possible applications with varies criteria.

The categories of available scholarships are numerous and varied. Not all of them are based on academic achievement or community service involvement. Others may be based on financial need, geographic location, ethnicity or any number of situations. There are even scholarships for tall people, vegetarians and left-handed people. The key is to find the scholarship that fits you.

Most universities offer scholarship opportunities through their admissions or financial aid office. Michigan State University offers links through their Office of Financial Aid  to numerous scholarship applications through their outside scholarship list.

If you tend be lucky in raffles, you may want to consider signing up for a campaign at DoSomething.org. In addition to helping make your world a better place, you are entered into a lottery that makes you eligible for up to $22,000 in scholarship. The campaigns change frequently, so check the site often.

Scholarships are free money. The key to continuing to reduce the cost of your education is to continue applying for scholarships, even if you are a year or two into your program. 

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Careers and Employment.”

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