The next priority for the student seeking “free money” is to begin researching and applying for scholarships. This will take more effort than the check-the-proper-boxes forms associated with grants, because scholarships generally award money not on the basis of circumstance but of achievement. This may be in the form of accomplishments already in the bag, such as SAT scores, GPAs, or athletic feats, or qualification for the scholarship itself might require some form of work such as an essay or competition.
Fortunately, scholarships abound. Unfortunately, no single student can research them all, qualify for many, or have time to apply for more than a relative few. To assist the student figuring it all out, there exists no shortage of helpful resources. A search for the term “scholarship” on Amazon.com yields 10,602 book results, running the gamut from reference lists to essay handbooks to “how I did it” guides. Some of the larger of these can run longer than 900 pages. Additionally, the Internet revolution has added tons of frivolous data as well as a handful of highly valuable websites.
Thus anyone waxing further on the subject risks adding drops of water to an already massive sea in which students must fish for prizes. With so much already written on the topic I cannot provide you much value in giving you information already available elsewhere. Instead, let me direct your efforts to their most efficient use and provide guidance on some of what I see get overlooked in other works. Hopefully you can then more effectively utilize the other (better) compositions listed in the resources section to explore your options further.
Keep scrolling down through the the Process section or click “scholarships” in the Categories section for some off-the-beaten-path pointers.
Keeping It All In Perspective
When you receive or are promised scholarship funds, you should treat them as you would grant money in terms of the adjustments to your filters (see the section titled “The Affordology Considerations” in the previous chapter). You may encounter one different element to this, however, as many scholarships are given by or based on your entrance to a specific institution. If you earn such scholarships, then you will need to generate Resource and Return filters particular to that institution and track its affordability separate from the rest.