Centra Blog

Increasing your Financial IQ

Paying for College: Scholarships

Once you’ve decided to go to college, it’s important to understand how you’ll pay for your education. In general, college is paid for through money that’s been saved on your behalf by you or others, part-time or full-time employment you plan to have during college, scholarships, and through various sources of financial aid. Your goal should be to borrow as little money as possible to pay for college. This is important so that you have a manageable student loan payment after graduation.

Scholarship search resources

Scholarships are free money. You should take the time to pursue as many scholarships as possible to help you pay for college.

Talk to your school counselor. Work with the guidance counselor at your school to identify potential scholarships to apply for. There may be a variety of different scholarships offered by local organizations in your community. There are scholarship awards provided by thousands of organizations across the country too. Also, the colleges you are considering likely have scholarship opportunities.

You can find scholarship information online. Conduct a scholarship search online. Use scholarship sites or go to your college site and look for scholarships offered by the school of your choice. Once you have a few you can apply for, learn the deadlines and begin applying. Here are three websites available to help you with your scholarship search.

Remember the following tips when applying for scholarships:

  • Apply for EVERYTHING you are eligible for. You never know if you can get it unless you apply.
  • Talk to your counselor and teachers about opportunities.
  • Research opportunities at the school of your choice.
  • Start researching early to ensure that you don’t miss deadlines. Scholarship deadlines are often 6–8 months before the start of the academic year.
  • Have a parent or teacher look over personal statements and essays. Many scholarships require you to write these as part of their application.
  • Work on your grade-point average (GPA) and get involved with extracurricular activities and volunteer work. Scholarships are sometimes based on how well-rounded  of a student you are.

Centra Foundation Loretta M. Burd Scholarship Program

Apply for our Loretta M. Burd Scholarship Program!