(NAPS) — While paying for college can be a challenge, for many students, thousands of dollars in scholarships are available each year. In fact, according to a national study by Ipsos, more families use grants and scholarships to fund college than any other source of funding.

Why?to?find scholarships

After all, scholarships are “free money” that doesn’t need to be repaid, which means fewer out-of-pocket costs and the potential to graduate with less student debt.

Where?to?find scholarships

A common misconception about scholarships is that they are meant only for class valedictorians or star athletes. In reality, there are thousands of different scholarships available for students with all types of skills and hobbies. Organizations that offer scholarships can include:

• Employers


• Companies

• High schools and colleges

• Religious groups

• Professional associations

• Foundations and nonprofit organizations.

There are even such fun and unique scholarships as the “Stuck at Prom” Scholarship Contest by Duck brand, awarding students with the most creative duct tape prom outfit.


Here’s another useful fact: Students need not wait till their senior year in high school; younger students should research scholarships and educate themselves on the requirements. Students will be most successful searching for scholarships if they start early, stay focused and do their research.

Also, it’s important to remember to apply for a scholarship for every year you plan to attend college.

How to find scholarships

Families can research scholarships online and through their school. Another great resource is the free scholarship search tool at www.salliemae.com/ScholarshipSearch. That database represents over 3 million scholarships totaling $16 billion.

Scholarships can be awarded for athletic and academic achievements, financial need, community affiliations and more.

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