College is both hugely important and incredibly expensive. Scholarships are one of the best ways to pay for education, because they don't need to be paid back like loans. The problem is that everyone wants to get in on the free money. How do you find the scholarships you need? Here are fifty excellent resources to use to find scholarships you qualify and can earn.
Scholarship Search Engines
1. College Board's Search: Founded over 100 years ago, the College Board offers plenty of unique scholarships for students of all ages, races and genders. They change out their scholarships frequently, taking down ones that are full for the year and adding new open ones for student use.
2. Fastweb.com's Scholarship Search: Fastweb is one of the largest scholarship searches available. They offer thousands of scholarships and have a robust search that narrows by a number of fields, including demographics and career fields. Its only downside is the sheer number of people using it.
3. CollegeNET: CollegeNET's search engine is more than just search. It's a community. In fact, to encourage intellectual discussion, they have a regular vote to identify the most stimulating discussions and award the participants with scholarship money.
4. Scholarships.com: Named for the scholarships they offer, Scholarships.com has an incredible amount of money available for students. They update their database daily, so the scholarships are always fresh. Fresher scholarships are easier to earn with less competition.
5. Scholarship Monkey: An unusual name for an unusual site. Scholarship Monkey makes no claims about their database or their effectiveness. Users are greeted with a simple field to fill out, and it provides scholarships based on the answers to these fields. It is simple, effective and perfect for students.
6. Scholarship Experts: With a database of over 2.4 million scholarships, Scholarship Experts is an amazing resource on the same level as Fastweb and Scholarships.com. They even offer scholarships of their own, if the ones in their database are not enough. The amount of free money available is astounding.
7. College Funds: This particular search engine is a no-frills database full to the brim with scholarships. Certainly many of them may be the same as others on this list, but every search works differently and can pull up many unique opportunities for students.
8. School Soup: This site offers a slightly smaller database of scholarships than the rest, but they boast a higher value per scholarship. Instead of applying a hundred times for a hundred dollars each, School Soup lets you apply for thousands at once.
9. Zinch: Zinch is a unique scholarship search engine that lets you sign in with Facebook, which is a big hit for today's social generation. It tailors search results specifically to you, so everything you see is something you might be able to earn.
10. Xap.com: Xap doesn't offer scholarships directly, but they have a ton of resources and active mentoring available when it comes to all things education. They also have an extensive list of products available to help you decide where your aptitude lies and where to focus your searching.
11. Education Planner: Sometimes parents can get in on the action for more than just loans. Sometimes the students have to do all the hard work. Education Planner has resources for both sides, including helping parents save for college and students earning scholarships.
12. Career One Stop: The Career One Stop scholarship search is incredibly robust and offers dozens of ways to narrow down your scholarship search. Filter by education level, state, award type or affiliation and bring in the money. After all, the easier a scholarship is to find, the more likely it is someone else already earned it. Career One Stop is even sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
13. Immediate Scholarships: Sometimes a student doesn't have time to wait for scholarship applications to go through, be judged, and rejection letters to come in. Immediate Scholarships is a site dedicated to matching students with the scholarships they are most likely to bring in, minimizing the wasted time that can be so costly in the end.
14. U.S. Scholarship Guide: The U.S. Scholarship Guide is a smart way to search for free money. You can search for popular scholarships; find grants in individual categories or for specific demographics, and even monitor the always-updating new scholarships section.
General Scholarships and Lists
15. Superscholar's 25 Great Scholarships: Superscholar is an excellent resource, and these 25 scholarship sources are some of the best for fresh graduates and returning students alike. Most of them come direct from corporations with plenty of money available.
16. Scholarship Points: More of a community and content site than a list of scholarships, Scholarship Points offers plenty of money itself. They frequently hold contests to award tuition money, including a regular drawing just for signing up.
17. Student Scholarship Search: That particular website offers a variety of scholarships to any student willing to put in the time to apply. They even sort them by location, which many sites avoid. Find scholarships for your schools and forget about the rest.
18. College Express's Careers and Colleges: This particular branch of the College Express network focuses on keeping the money flowing. Scholarships are just as valid senior year as they are freshman year, but many are only open to new students. Returning students need to find their free money too.
19. Scholarships.net: Not to be confused with Scholarships.com, this site offers plenty of scholarships in its search engine. It also lists other search engines and ranks them according to several metrics. While many of the search engines are on this list, there is still plenty to be discovered for any student searching for free money.
20. SuperCollege: SuperCollege offers more than just a scholarship search engine and database. They have formed a community around scholarships and they allow students to rate them, making it easier to weed out the full or useless entries from the valuable money.
21. College Confidential: This site has plenty of college information, from admissions to graduation and beyond. The paying for college section is particularly robust, and the community forums are always willing to lend a helping hand.
22. CollegeView: CollegeView pulls double duty as a scholarship search engine and college lifestyle site, with plenty of information for both. Search scholarships by category and learn about what life will be like at your school all in one place.
23. Find Tuition: Find Tuition offers over seven billion dollars worth of tuition money for those who qualify. Obviously, no one student can take all that money, so there's plenty to go around for students of all demographics. Simply apply to as many as possible and watch the grants come in.
24. Fresch Info: Fresch Info is an incredibly timely scholarship database that constantly refreshes their list. Some other sites offer scholarships long since filled up. Fresch eliminates that problem with an up to date list.
25. NextStudent.com's Student Advice: NextStudent offers the same sort of scholarship the other sites do, but it offers something more. In addition to scholarships, it has a section for student discounts and offers available to students who need them.
26. Scholarships 360: This site offers some of the most out of the way scholarships you can find. They range everywhere from haiku to NASA and everything in between. Moreover, you can sign up to receive a new scholarship in the mail every day.
27. Cappex: Cappex.com is an excellent site for your college search, offering a wealth of information on nearly any university in the world. Likewise, once you've chosen your school, it has plenty of information on how to easily afford tuition. Scholarships, grants, savings plans and more are all included.
28. Student Scholarships: This particular scholarship list isn't a search engine, so it doesn't have a massive database and millions of dollars behind it. What it has is a concise, to the point list of scholarships nearly anyone can apply for.
Career and Field-Specific Scholarships
29. 25 Scholarships for Computer Science Majors: Computer Science majors have a profitable career ahead of them, if they can afford to graduate with the degree. These 25 scholarships are great for aspiring CS majors to help them through the program.
30. FinAid.org: FinAid is an all-purpose financial aid site with information on pretty much any way you can win or earn money for college. They have scholarships, they have grants, they have loans and awards. They even know the best savings plans to use to plan for college in the future.
31. Legacy Scholarships at MyCollegeGuide: Legacy scholarships apply to students who are attending the same school as their parents. A surprisingly low number of students do this, and so the scholarships are easier to earn. There are 53 on this list to choose from, if you go to the right school.
32. 25 Scholarships for Engineering Students: Engineering can be high paying and very interesting for graduates, and can make a lifelong career easily out of university. It also tends to be longer than a four-year degree. Paying for those extra years is the domain of these excellent engineering scholarships.
33. CollegeScholarships.org: College Scholarships offers scholarships of their own, as well as a selection of scholarships easily sortable by category, such as those available to particular minorities and all forms of grants. The wealth of information is almost daunting.
34. The Best MBA Scholarships: Business always needs administration, now more than ever. A well-trained graduate with an MBA stands a good chance of a great starting salary. It’s even better if they don't have to spend the first decade paying off loans. These scholarships will help.
35. FedMoney: Fed Money is all about getting grants from the government. Unlike government loans, these grants don't have to be paid back over the years after graduation. The amount of available grants is low, but they have plenty of money to give. Hopefully, government funded education will become more available in coming years.
36. Top 25 Psychology Scholarships: It takes a special kind of person to generate an interest and a passion for psychology. The field may not even guarantee the best jobs around, which is why it's so important to receive these scholarships and graduate with a minimum of debt.
37. Merit Aid: Too many scholarships are available simply because of hair color, skin color, heritage or parental association. Sometimes a student wants to earn their money. Merit Aid offers a wealth of merit-based scholarship information. Because they're so hard to earn, they're much easier to get for those who apply themselves.
38. The Discus Awards: This site doesn't have a ton of scholarships available. Compared to many search engines, the selection is poor. However, every scholarship on the list is available for someone.
39. Student Loans for College: While this site focused on the standard student loan, it has a section on recently posted scholarships as well. These scholarships are fresh and ready for application, and many of them are esoteric enough to be available more often than not.
40. Student Awards: Student Awards isn't focused so much on tuition money as it is on all the things you need to live once you're enrolled. Earn or win money for food, prize packages and other awards for signing up and participating in contests. Everything a new college student needs.
41. Scholarship Hunter: This website is another search engine, but it allows you to search specifically scholarships within specific majors or specific states. Find the category that suits you best and win the money to learn.
42. Scholarships from the Military: One of the best providers of education and scholarships is the military. Every branch of the military has a department for funding the education of new recruits, veterans and dependents alike. Not everyone qualifies, but those who do are treated well.
43. College for all Texans: As the name implies, this site is geared specifically around funding the college education of residents of Texas. As long as you're a Texas resident and meet their other qualifications, you can earn quite of bit of money toward your education.
44. Kaplan Scholarships 2013: This book is full of all the scholarships you can think of, and more. Kaplan spends a whole year to put out a new edition of this book regularly, and it's indispensable for those without access to the Internet searches.
45. Discounts and Deals at the Nation's 360 Best Colleges: Not every school is included in this book, but for those that are, the scholarship opportunities can't be found anywhere else. It even includes a ton of excellent financial information virtually unseen elsewhere.
46. How to go to College Almost for Free: Written by Ben Kaplan, this book is full of excellent advice. It doesn't list scholarships to apply and earn. Rather, it offers tips for applying and winning the money so freely available yet so hard to get.
47. The Ultimate Scholarship Book: Just like the Kaplan book above, this book is compiled every year and contains billions of dollars worth of scholarships just waiting to be won by an enterprising student.
48. Scholarships, Grants and Prizes: This book offers both scholarship and grant information, putting it in a unique place among books that generally focus just on scholarships. With this book, almost any student can win a free ride.
49. Confessions of a Scholarship Judge: While it doesn't present many scholarships itself, this book offers a ton of great information from an insider's perspective on how to win scholarships of any kind.
50. How to write a Winning Scholarship Essay: Most scholarships require an essay of some kind. Essays are hard to write persuasively, and the judges have so many to view one really needs to stand out to have a chance. This book tells how to impress even the sternest judges.