Making Ends Meet: Where to find scholarship opportunities for college

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard
Published: Updated:

In just a couple of months, prospective college students will find out what schools they got into.

And paying for college doesn’t have to mean taking on student debt.

Scholarships with simple applications are everywhere.

$49 billion is awarded in scholarships every year, according to the National Scholarship Association.

Yet, about $100 million in scholarships still goes unawarded each year, mostly because people don’t apply.

UCF’s Financial Director Alicia Keaton said you can find free money for school almost everywhere.

“There are tons of scholarships throughout your local community. If you are involved in a church, a mosque, a synagogue, your local fire department. Even the post office offers scholarship opportunities for students,” Keaton said.

Most cities have a local rotary that awards scholarships each year.

Check your college’s financial aid website and start searching online.

The website,, lists more obscure scholarships and the dates the applications are due.

You can find one on there for just about everyone.

“Apply for the big money, that’s great, but you also need to look at smaller scholarships. If you receive many small scholarships, they add up to big money,” Keaton said.

There’s a pet lover’s scholarship worth $1,000 dollars.

All you have to do is send in a photo and caption of your pet.

The Pelipost Overcoming Adversity Scholarship is worth $2,000. It’s open to children who have incarcerated parents.

But most importantly, get into a routine of hunting for scholarships.

“You need to incorporate searching and applying for scholarships and make it a routine habit, and the reason being it is competitive,” Keaton said.

But get those applications in quickly. Most organizations start choosing their winners in January.

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