Finding College Scholarships

September 30th, 2016 by

Finding scholarships can seem like a daunting task, but there are plenty of opportunities available to you. In fact, a 2015 study conducted by NerdWallet found that over $2.9 billion in scholarships and aid went unclaimed during the 2013-2014 school year. The money is out there, you just need to know where to look.

Your first step is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which tells you how much in federal aid you qualify for based on income, among other factors. For the 2017-2018 school year, the FAFSA opens on October 1st with the priority deadline being December 1st. These dates are earlier than previous years, as the FAFSA is undergoing several changes to make it easier for students to receive aid.

Next, check out scholarship matching websites. Sites such as or ask you to fill out personal information and then find you scholarships that fit your needs and qualifications. These sites often provide a direct link to the scholarship website or application. Also when you’re searching, try to think of what makes you unique. There are scholarships based on gender, cultural background, religion, even height!

While you can qualify for some scholarships based solely on an application, many scholarships require a little work on your part. You may need to provide examples of experience, write a short essay or take part in an event. Take note of all application deadlines and read scholarship rules carefully to make sure you are meeting all the requirements before you submit the application.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to apply for scholarships or grants because you think you won’t qualify. Additionally, don’t discount local scholarships just because they aren’t as lucrative as the $10,000 sweeps contests. You have a much better chance when there is a smaller pool of applicants, and every dollar counts when it comes to finding money for your education.

Most of the $2.9 billion in unclaimed aid went unclaimed simply because students didn’t apply. Take advantage of every opportunity that is out there.

Looking for more help funding your education? Check out our Paying for College course to learn more!


In the News: Changes to FAFSA to Help Students Receive Aid

September 28th, 2016 by

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is making several changes to impact students in the upcoming academic school year. This year, the form for the 2017/2018 school year will open on October 1st with the priority deadline changing to December 1st. This is four months earlier than past years.

top-5-fafsa-faqs-for-2016The FAFSA is also allowing students to use prior-prior-years tax information. Previously, students had to use prior-year tax information. This was problematic for many students whose parents hadn’t filed their taxes yet and were instead asked to estimate. Now students can submit accurate tax information from two years prior to the school year and no longer have to log in a second time to update information once taxes have been submitted. For example, for the 2017-2018 school year, families will submit tax information from 2015 instead of estimating information from 2016.

Changes to the FAFSA will allow students to know how much aid is available to them earlier, giving them more time to accurately assess their financial situation before committing to a school. Before these changes, financial aid information often arrived less than a month before students had to decide on a school. Now students and their families have several months to explore financing options and figure out whether they can afford tuition.

There is some concern that changes to the FAFSA application dates will influence schools to change their decision dates as well. Federal officials have requested that schools refrain from making changes to their own deadlines as this would make the FAFSA changes irrelevant.


Katz & Phillips Single-Parent Scholarship

February 3rd, 2015 by

If you are a single parent looking to go back to school, every little bit of help matters. Consider applying for the Katz & Phillips Single-Parent Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to one high-achieving, bright student intending to pursue a career in law who is also a single parent.

Amount: $1,000 scholarship for single parents pursuing a law degree.

Requirements: To qualify you do not need to be enrolled in a law school; however, if you are not you must either be declared as a pre-law major or actively plan to attend law school. Applicant must be either a current law student at an accredited law school or at an accredited undergraduate university planning to attend and accepted into law school for the following academic year. Must have a minimum 2.8 GPA. Applicants must submit an official copy of their transcript.

Description: Applicants will be judged on their academic merits as well as the content of the application essay they provide.

Essay Topics: Please choose one of the three questions provided for your essay. Essays must be between 500 and 1000 words.
• How has being a single parent affected your education?
• How have you overcome a particularly difficult obstacle in pursuing your legal education?
• How will this scholarship help you and your family while you pursue your legal education?

Deadline: July 31, 2015

For more information: Visit the Katz & Phillips Single-Parent Scholarship website.

> Not sure if law and public safety is the right career path for you? Take a career skills course first at



Mark A. Gabis Stepping Stone Scholarship

January 12th, 2015 by

iStock_000016167666Sometimes you need a little emergency fund to help us stay on track with higher education.

The Mark A. Gabis Stepping Stone Scholarship is available for students for needs that come up and prevent them from attending classes. Its purpose is to keep students from having to drop out for reasons like car repairs, gas money, medicine, etc. It is not intended to be used for on-going living expenses like rent, house payment, car payment, electric bill, etc.

This scholarship can also be used to pay for certification exams, board exams, or other exams to further the student’s qualifications that would help them obtain the job they want upon graduation.

This scholarship application can be submitted anytime. However, the applications are only reviewed on the 1st and 3rd week of each month. The range of the scholarship amount is $50-$300 dollars per student, and is paid directly to the student. A student can only access Stepping Stone Scholarship funds one time.

To be eligible for this scholarship, take note of the following requirements:
• Submit application
• Submit administrator form
• Must be at least in the second quarter/semester to apply
• Must follow the essay guidelines provided

> To apply online visit



Paddy Miller GED Testing Fee Scholarship

January 5th, 2015 by

Group of students doing an examWhen it comes to continuing your education, every little bit helps. Here is a scholarship to help you with the cost of taking your GED test.

This scholarship is used to pay for the GED exam. The scholarship pays up to $100 per student. Applications can be submitted at anytime. Applications are reviewed weekly. The funds are paid by credit card to the testing center online.

Take note of the following requirements to apply for this scholarship:
• Pass the practice exam
• Submit application
• Pay the remaining $20.00 fee (if applicable)
• Must follow the essay guidelines provided

Either the student and/or the instructor must call to set up the payment process.

> To apply visit

Not sure if you are ready to take the GED? Take these two courses to make sure you’re prepared.


Agnes A. Gabis Over 40 Scholarship

December 29th, 2014 by

education costsFinding scholarships for a nontraditional education can sometimes be difficult. Here is a scholarship we found that you may be interested in!

This scholarship is for females over 40 years old that have gone back to school. The application can be submitted at anytime, however, applications are only reviewed two times per year, in August and January. This scholarship is paid directly to the college/university financial aid department and credited to the student’s account.

The range of the scholarship amount is $1,000-$2,500 per student award. Students can re-apply for this scholarship.

 To be eligible you must complete the following requirements:
• Submit the application
• Submit administrator form
• Submit a transcript
• Must be in your second quarter/semester to apply
• Must follow the essay guidelines provided

> To apply visit


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