In the past few years, I’ve learned quite a bit about finding those “gold nugget” scholarships that can range anywhere from $500 to $2,000. I've been able to use those scholarships to stay out of debt in college. Most students struggle to win scholarships even though there is billions of dollars in funding.

The problem lies in the fact that students are not sure where to look and how to find those golden nuggets. I realized early in my search that it was more likely for me to accumulate and win smaller scholarships rather than applying for the national ones. This may be the course of action you realistically need to take and that’s okay because either way, you will be able to stay out of as much debt as possible. 

With this being said, I want to explain a few tips that should help you get a head start in your search.

Don’t dismiss the obvious places like your school’s administrative offices or your counselor’s office. Typically counselors have a vast knowledge about scholarships that may be offered directly to the school, or somewhere in the town in which you live. Before you head to the office be prepared to ask the questions regarding any scholarships that you could potentially win. You may want to ask for specific scholarships in accordance to your ethnicity, skills, and even GPA. It’s smart to be prepared because your counselor may not know you or even have knowledge on you specifically.

Next, you can ask leaders that you know within the community about any scholarship opportunities they know about. In my case, I had a host of people that were actively helping me search for scholarships because I put the word out to those I knew. You will be surprised to find out that your scholarship search will be more effective once you have a “team” of people assisting you. You can also speak to your principal for scholarships that only he or she is aware of.

I was recommended by my principal for a scholarship of which she could only pick one student. I won that scholarship and had statewide recognition because of the effort I put to connect with her. I didn’t realize that at the time, but I later reflected on this important tip and hopefully you can benefit from it.

Take into account what I’ve talked about and start to implement these tips. The scholarship journey won’t end until you get out of college and the sooner you learn these principals the better off you will be financially. Don’t take for granted this opportunity to win as many scholarships for high school seniors as possible. Go win those scholarships! And maybe you whould watch my video to help you even more with your scholarship search.

Luis Trujillo from My Money For College writes on topics of financial aid and college life. He has also been awarded by Governor Rick Perry and Texas Association of Secondary School Principals for his service to teenagers in Texas.

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