How To Search For A College Scholarship

With thousands of scholarships available, the task of finding all of the scholarships that apply to you can be quite troublesome. Luckily, there are several ways you can go about efficiently finding all of the scholarships that apply to you.

In the United States athletic scholarships are largely regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which sets minimum standards for both the individuals awarded the scholarships (in terms of GPA's and standardized test scores for recipients), and for the institutions granting them (in terms of the proportion of scholarship recipients who must ultimately earn degrees).

In 1973, the NCAA split its membership into three divisions: Division I, Division II and Division III. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III. Division I football is further divided into I-A and I-AA.

Ironically, institutions that engage in misconduct may be stripped of the ability to award a certain number of athletic scholarships. Although this damages the ability of that institution to compete in sporting events, the greater impact is on the ability of student athletes, who may lose their only avenue to higher education.

1. Financial Aid Office

The most obvious first place to start looking is the financial aid office of the school you are interested in. This office usually contains useful texts as well as consellors that can help to start you on your quest for scholarships and financial aid.

2. Internet Scholarship Search Sites

There are numerous web sites out there that will let you, for a small price, apply to all of the scholarships that you qualify for. After filling out a few forms and answering some common questions a list will appear and you can check off that ones you would like to apply to electronically.

For example, CollegeNets Mach 25 Search is a free version of the WintergreenOrchard House Scholarship Finder database. Although they don't allow you to electronically file for applications it is still a great listing of over half a million unique scholarships and over $1 billion dollars is given to students annually.

3. Other Places You Can Try

- Bulletin board of the financial aid office
- Admission office booklets and pamphlets
- The athletic department and school team coaches
- The library
- High School Guidance Counselors

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