I know that the tour this summer was a "great" experience for my son. His grades are better and I know it is because he can now "see" himself in college and doing well there. I believe that he can envision himself at the college of his choice as a direct result of the tour.
- Daveena Harris, parent of Michael Harris
Below are our recommendations on how to get free money to go to college. Remember that before you take out any loans and find yourself owing thousands of dollars, you should apply for grants and scholarships first. It is a sad but true statement that many of these grants and scholarships go unused because students fail to apply for them or to send in the application by the deadline.
Don’t let that happen to you! Get organized and make sure that you read the criteria for the scholarship and send in all of the material requested on time. This often times becomes the difference between those students who receive these scholarships and those who don’t also you should never pay a company to do a scholarship search when you can do it yourself for free.
Start here because this is grant money that the federal government will give you to go to college if you meet certain income qualifications. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The beauty of this grant (also known as the Pell grant program) is that you do not have to pay it back. Also, once you qualify for the program it can continue for the four years that you are in college, unless your family income changes. However, you won’t know if you qualify for this grant if you don’t apply. Do it today!
This free scholarship search, geared for African-American students, contains more than 300 scholarships searchable by GPA requirement, academic and career interest, and application deadline. It is by far our favorite place to have students search for scholarships.
Fast web is currently the largest scholarship search engine on the internet. Fast web’s scholarship database contains 1.3 million scholarships worth over $3 billion. So the odds are in your favor that you will find free money to go to college. As you search for scholarships, just be careful not to get sucked into any of the advertisements posted on these sites.
Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this program is more than just a scholarship. The GMS program offers Gates Millennium Scholars with Academic Empowerment (ACE) services to encourage academic excellence; mentoring services for academic and personal development; and an online resource center that provides internship, fellowship and additional scholarship information.
Don’t miss this one! They provide thousands of dollars in scholarships. You must be Pell grant eligible and apply by the deadline which is usually in January. Applications for this scholarship usually open during the summer.
This site allows you to conduct a free scholarship search for hundreds of different colleges. Again, just make sure that you skip all of the advertisements that will detract you from your search.
The College Board is the organization that is responsible for the Scholastic Achievement Test better known as the SAT. The College Board created an online scholarship web search to help you locate scholarships, internships, grants, and loans that match your education level, talents, and background
The United Negro College Fund offers scholarships for students attending any of its member colleges. There are 39 HBCU’s that are a part of UNCF. Check this website to find out if the college that you plan to attend is one of them and then begin applying. Click on the “students” link and then the drop down menu to get the most current list of scholarships.
BlackExcel.org is a website that has recently named by Ebony and Black Enterprise magazines as a major resource in helping students find money to go to college. While you might find some redundancy in the scholarships listed on this website and the other websites that we’ve listed above, there will definitely be some unique scholarships on this website that you should know about.
Sallie Mae is the nation’s leading provider of student loans. However, this website created by Sallie Mae provides access to a scholarship database containing more than 3 million scholarships worth over 16 billion dollars, and is expanded and updated daily.