Well, it depends on who you ask. Getting Scholarships is not easy, but using your time wisely and streamlining the process will increase your ability to get those easier scholarships. Luckily, we have some techniques and advice that can help you get around this.
Finding the scholarships is the first step. If you Google “scholarship sites”, you will find many sites readily available. To be exact, you will find 28.4 MILLION scholarships sites!
So, where do you begin? To make things easy, lets take a deeper dive into USA Today’s list of the top ten scholarship sites to look at for Scholarships:
- Zinch.com – Very good customer service, and they also have a weekly “Three Sentence Essay Scholarship” that gives out $1,000 along with a Facebookish “Like” system that is pretty cool.
- Fastweb.com – We found their user interface pretty easy to use, making the whole experience, well, fast
- ScholarshipPoints.com – At this site you can earn points by participating in different initiatives, etc… You can then enter the points in raffles for scholarships. This one is a little bit more tedious than the others, but they offer a $10,000 scholarship.
- Cappex.com – This is a site you join early in your high school career and even into your college career. Along with the scholarships, this site tries to match you to colleges, and you can receive messages from schools with your account on this site
- Scholarships.com – A very appropriate name that also has a lot of useful, free guides you can read
- College Board’s Scholarship Search – You can find scholarships on the same site that you can sign up for the SAT on, making the people behind standardized tests not seem so evil 😉
- Nextstudent.com was listed by USA Today, but seems to be down and/or offline. Check back for updates!
- Studentscholarships.org – Career Q & A’s and video and virtual tours included on this site
- ScholarshipExperts.com – This site is a great personalized search engine for scholarships and one thing unique to this site is the fact that you can “bundle” your favorite scholarships and have the information mailed to you. Scholarship experts also has a great blog!
- SuperCollege.com – This is a great scholarship searching site, and also a very good site to get additional information on scholarship tips, books, etc…
When looking at these sites for easy scholarships to get, start by looking for scholarships that do not require you to write an essay. As an example, one popular scholarship that requires no writing is the “No Essay” Scholarship from College Prowler. They offer a $2,000 scholarship and all you have to do to is enter at www.CollegeProwler.com. Applications like auto fill (by Google Chrome, Fire Fox etc.) can be very helpful in application processes. Most applications have several field requirements such as first and last name, birth date, religion, race, phone number, address, and more. Furthermore, most of these fields can be taken care of by auto fill, leaving you with more time to fill out more applications for scholarships. For even more information on ways to get the most out of your time, check out our article about the Top 5 Scholarship Tips.
Having a game plan for writing scholarship essays can also help speed up your scholarship application process. While regular applications online are faster, usually essay scholarships offer greater monetary rewards than their easier counterparts. First off, you have to understand the structure of an outline in order to write an essay quickly and efficiently. It’s very important that you practice forming outlines and that you also practice forming a solid theses. Writing quickly can be done by practicing and honing your skills to produce both of these important components quickly.
Another important skill in writing essays quickly is the ability to do research quickly. Often scholarship essays require you to write on subjects that are unique and this requires quick, yet extensive research. A few tips to researching well on Google include using quotation marks to search phrases in exact order, using the word “AND” in all caps to include words without including the actual word “and”, using the subtraction symbol to remove certain keywords from searches, and using the instruction “site:.edu” or “site:.gov” to find sites that are credible (either school or government sites).
If neither applications nor essays works for you, something like DoSomething.org might be good for you. At DoSomething.org you can enter scholarships by texting your friends about causes. Not only do get entered to win scholarships, but you also help raise awareness for important causes! This system is one of the easiest ways to apply for scholarships. Furthermore, if there are any new causes or scholarships DoSomething.org has to offer, the site will inform you via text. This works very well for those of us that do not check their email regularly. It is also a great reminder to get your re-motivated!
Hopefully these tools (and maybe a little research) can help you to succeed in finding and attaining as many scholarships as possible in the least amount of time. Good luck!