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February 20, 2011 / Brent Sears

Places to Starting Looking for Scholarships

Go back to the time when you were a kid in school and your teacher did the unit on how to win scholarships.

Okay, so we all know that no one ever taught you about how to approach a scholarship, so step back and take a deep breath. Everyone starts out here…thankfully your competition will too.

The first thing you need to do is designate a place where you can write down opportunities when you find them – a digital or a paper method is fine, so iPod Touch, Moleskine notebooks, .99 cent spiral notebook, MS Word document, MS Access database or whatever works for you. I am a fan of simple, but get something NOW and write SCHOLARSHIPS at the top.

Now that you have the method of capture for when you do find awards you need to start looking.  There are two types of connections that will help you in your search.  Personal connections will be people you meet along the way and you will need a small group to complete the process; but that can be a little scary at first, so we will save that for later. Digital connections are Internet sites where you can find awards, and since you do it anonymously we will start there…no awkward silences with strangers.

Today I am only going to cover the two biggest digital resources to get us started.

Fastweb.com is where I found my most important scholarship for study abroad.  It is free to sign up, and they won’t sell your name.  They make money on adds for the site, so you won’t get SPAMed to death.  Simply follow the instructions to get started.  It took about 45 minutes when I did it because it asks questions to match you up with scholarships that might apply to you.

Meritaid.com is the place to find scholarships that are available based on institutions.  From Havard to you local community college, this site will help you find out what is available at the school you attend or one you are looking at.  One of the biggest myths about scholarships is that they hand them out to incoming freshmen with 4.0 academic records, and everyone else is out in the cold.  Many of the awards listed on meritaid.com are for continuing students as well: SO, JR, SR, and Grad.

So you should now have the following:

1). Place to list scholarship opportunities labeled: SCHOLARSHIPS

2). Fasweb account

3). Meritaid account

If you have these three things you are ahead of 99% of the rest of college students…more tomorrow.

My Fastweb video.

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5 Comments

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  1. Jess / Feb 20 2011 21:11

    Hey thanks for the comment. I was trying to put a pay-pall button on my post, but it’s not working (I just set up the account so i’m not quite sure how to do everything yet)…..i’m just so desperate for money i figure maybe people would have the heart to give me some? although I really don’t know if that’s a good idea.
    This is a good post, and i have definitely applied to plenty of scholarships on fastweb and other sites, with no results. I’ve also thought about putting my photos on stock sites for money, but haven’t tried that yet because I didn’t think I was good enough.
    Just read your second comment, though and I appreciate it and would love to do that, although I’m not sure how, honestly! Are you saying to just make posts with my photos and then you’ll pay me through PayPal (once I figure it out), when you use my photos on your blog?
    I appreciate your time 🙂

    • brentsears / Feb 20 2011 23:18

      Jess,
      I understand all too well the pressures of being broke. And the beauty of it is that it forces you to expand and do things that you wouldn’t try under better financial circumstances. That is what I did by figuring out that I wanted to travel. It made me focus, cut out the crap in my life, and go all out…the tough times changed my life, and they will for you as well!
      Here’s the deal. Figure out how to put your photos up for sale so that I can use my paypal account to purchase them. Instead of giving you a dollar, I will buy photos for a dollar. I saw your pictures on earlier posts…the one about the people in the fountain was hilarious. Consider this a pre-order – I will buy 7 photos at $1 per photo, but I would like to choose from at least 30. More would be better.
      I will also link to wherever you have the photo so people who visit my blog can see it.
      One more thing – subscribe to my blog so you can see when I post and get an idea of the pics I might like. I need to start adding photos, so you will help me solve a problem I have too.

  2. Jess / Feb 21 2011 14:21

    Thanks, that site did help and I think I got it semi-figured out. I’m working on photos right now and should hopefully have some up in a day or two!

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