Follow these tips for successful scholarship searches
There is never a good reason to pay for a scholarship search. The information you will need is available for free. Just remember, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!"
The financial aid office will always recommend that you complete a FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov each year. Many scholarship programs also require that you complete a FAFSA to demonstrate need or to show that you are pursuing all avenues of financial assistance. Remember, the FAFSA website begins accepting applications in October of each year. For example, for students who will attend college in the 2020-21 academic year, they can complete their FAFSA as early as October 1, 2019. Early is better--don't wait.
Check your own contacts and affiliations. Many organizations offer scholarships based on a variety of factors. Check with your high school counselor, your employer, your parents' employer, clubs, fraternal organizations, your church, your academic department, and your financial aid office.
It is a good idea to look in multiple places for information in order to maximize your chances for scholarships. Try community organizations, local businesses, corporations, bookstores, and the Internet. Don't forget the library. While there are scholarship guidebooks in the library, the library can also provide access to research databases and reference books that can be extremely useful in your search for scholarship opportunities.
Classify scholarship programs as: priority completion, should complete later, maybe complete, and recycle the paper. Identify those scholarships in which you meet the criteria and concentrate your efforts on those programs.
Organizations usually do not extend deadlines (even if you have a good reason), so it is important to complete your application on time.