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Scholarships You Should Apply To

By Leigh Goessl, DegreeMatch.com
Staff Writer

There are hundreds of scholarships available to prospective students. You may qualify for one you didn't know existed.




Scholarships are great opportunities for students to pay for college. Numerous scholarship possibilities are available, including some that are largely unknown and/or tricky to find. New awards are created all the time, often by private companies and various foundations.


To earn a scholarship, you don't necessarily need a perfect grade point average or amazing athletic skills. A good many awards are offered to students who meet certain criteria, while other monetary gifts have no criteria aside from the fact that a student is going to college.


The Web is probably your best resource for finding available scholarships. Social media has become steadily integrated into daily living and now scholarship opportunities are finding their way into this communication channel. One of the newest trends is mentioning scholarship opportunities via Twitter, according to USA Today.



The University of Iowa recently offered students an opportunity to earn a $37,000, full-tuition scholarship by writing a good tweet. Students were asked to send in a tweet (140 characters or fewer) as an alternative to submitting a secondary essay. This scholarship competition was derived as a way to get students to "get to the point quickly" and improve social media proficiency.



Fast-food franchise KFC also looked to Twitter as a means of scholarship competition. The company asked students to explain in a tweet why they felt they deserved a $20,000 scholarship. The prize was spread out over a four-year course of study.



Several other organizations, such as Scholarship.com and CollegeScholarships.org, also have been turning to Twitter when offering students a chance to earn money for college. If you spend time on social media websites, Twitter and Facebook may just help you fund your education if you look in the right places.



CollegeNet offers a scholarship search engine, a helpful tool for looking for the literally millions of dollars being given away. However, in addition to providing students with a nifty search engine that helps narrow down personalized scholarships based on profile, the company itself gives away money weekly.



Since early 2007, CollegeNET has been awarding college scholarships to students in a unique fashion: based on peer voting. Voters pick favored candidates based on forum postings made on the company's scholarship website. As of summer 2011, CollegeNet has given away more than $800,000 to students. Best of all, anyone can apply; this is an open competition. Students are allowed to win once during a calendar year.



Beverage company Coca-Cola provides financial aid to more than 1,400 students per year, awarding more than $3 million dollars annually. The company has two programs in place for students to apply for scholarships: One Coca-Cola award is geared specifically to community college students; the other Coca-Cola award is geared toward high school students looking to attend a four-year university.



As technology continues to thrive, many scholarships can be found on the Web. Additionally, not all scholarships are designated for recent high school graduates. Opportunities exist for non-traditional students, too, such as those listed on School-Grants.org's website. Students may even discover that their own employers provide funding through scholarships. Finding awards can be time-consuming, but knowing where to look and using the power of college scholarship search engines makes the task much easier.



Last edited: February 22, 2012, 12:46 pm EST
   
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