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Secrets to Finding Scholarships at State Universities

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Free money. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Free money for college. Sounds even better, huh? There are a number of free money opportunities at colleges and universities. It’s a matter of finding them. The free money referred to here is state university scholarship money.

Most colleges and universities typically offer state university scholarships. There are academic merit scholarships, in-state student scholarships, athletic scholarships, out-of-state scholarships, scholarships for transfer students, specific criteria scholarships, graduate scholarships, international scholarships, continuing scholarships, college and departmental scholarships, and state scholarships. Now that is a lot of free money! And, one or more of these scholarships can be yours . . . if you know where to find it.

Some of these scholarships seem so obvious. For instance, most athletic scholarships are based on merit and athletic talent. These are typically awarded way in advance of the college year starting. But others aren’t so obvious. In fact there are probably a few scholarships you didn’t even know existed.

This article is going to help you find those ‘hidden’ scholarships, so you, too, can apply for and (hopefully) collect some free money.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when seeking scholarships at state universities:

Apply for college early. It is important to fill out your application for admission as early as possible. Often times, colleges and universities use your admissions application to determine your financial aid package. And, if scholarships are available, you could be one of the first to receive some free money. Some universities and colleges have limited funding. Therefore, applying early is the way to go.

Look in the obvious places, and the not so obvious places. One of the most common questions students ask is “where do I find state university scholarships?” Look in all the obvious places like the financial aid office, the colleges, and the academic departments, and the not so obvious places, like the admissions office. Depending on the college you are attending, scholarship listings may be found in any of those departments, or your school may have a separate office for scholarships. Several state universities have what is called a Scholarship Office. This office and its staff members work with donors to offer scholarships to its students. So, instead of assuming you know where to look, be sure to dig a little deeper, and really look at all possible departments on campus.

Know your options. As mentioned earlier, there are many different types of state university scholarships. Some of these scholarships are merit-based, need-based, of a combination of both. Once you’ve located the scholarships offered at the school you are attending, it is important to educate yourself about each of them. Why, you may ask? The more you know and understand about the scholarship, the better you can determine if it suits you. Hence, the opportunity for free money.

Bookmark your school’s website. The school’s website can truly be a wonderful resource for you when seeking state university scholarships. Most schools provide detailed information about financial aid programs on their websites, to provide valuable information for prospective students as well as current students. Use this to your advantage. Bookmark the pages of the website that list the departmental scholarships as well as the university scholarships for which you qualify. But it doesn’t stop there. Very often new scholarships are developed, and you wouldn’t want to miss any ‘free money’ opportunities. Therefore, once you’ve bookmarked the appropriate pages, spend some time periodically checking back at the web pages in case a scholarship is offered.

Forms 101. In most cases, the admissions application seems to be enough to apply for scholarships offered by the college or university you are attending. However, don’t be fooled. Other forms and applications may be necessary to complete the application process. For instance, some schools have a specific scholarship application that is required. Be sure to find out if additional applications or forms are part of your school’s application process.

Know your school’s home state. So many students assume colleges and universities are the only places to find state scholarships. Think again. Each state offers state scholarships and grants as ‘free money’ to students who qualify. The best way to find out if your school’s state offers any scholarships and grant programs is by using the Internet. By searching the state’s commission office, you may find some ‘free money’ opportunities you didn’t know existed. For instance, Arizona’s the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. Simply search the name of the state government organization to find other scholarship money for which you may qualify.

No time like the present to get started. Take your next step and start your search for . . . FREE MONEY.

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