Scholarships and Grants: Kick Off Your Financial Aid Search Right

The fall semester is just around the corner, and the lingering concern of how to pay for college is constant for students and parents alike. Applying for scholarships and grants is a great place to start your financial aid search. Each year, roughly $150 billion is available to individuals looking to further their education, and approximately 71 percent of students receive some form of financial assistance. Applying for scholarships and grants is simply a numbers game: The more awards you apply for, the better your chances for winning them.

What Types of Aid are Available?

There are hundreds of scholarships available in the form of private, public, and federal awards; however, it can sometimes be difficult to know what types to choose. A financial aid advisor can assist in choosing the best financial options for you from a scholarship database. For example, if you have made a difference by volunteering in your community, you could win several awards that include a volunteer work component.

Some grants award funds to cover your housing and books—and some even cover the full cost of college tuition.

Stay Organized and On Track

While applying for scholarships, it is important to be precise and to pay close attention to details. Form errors have the potential to keep you from the financial assistance you need. Be sure to follow all instructions on the applications. Additionally, it is wise to have someone review your applications and essays prior to submission, as two sets of eyes are always better than one. Due to the constant change in deadlines and amounts from one award to the next, it is important to continually research new scholarships and financial aid options.

By receiving aid and financing your pursuits of a degree you will be able to successfully fulfill your goals. Deadlines for financial aid from your state, school, and private sources are usually earlier than those for federal aid. Make sure that you keep a log of each scholarship or grant that you apply for and highlight the deadline on your calendar. If you put in the time and effort in the application and essay process, success can most certainly be yours.


This article was written by Klarissa Kitchen

Klarissa Kitchen is the Financial Aid Advisor at American College Counseling, Inc. (ACCI), a nationally recognized college counseling company that guides students and families through all aspects of the college admissions process. Go to for additional information, or call 1-866-ASK-ACCI for a free consultation.


  1. Pedro Pertusier Duque

    Dear Klarissa,

    I’m a Brazilian student and I am very interested in the Financial Aids oportunities. Are these programs exclusive for american citizens? Am I able to apply for those vacancies?

    Thank you.

    Best Regards.


  2. Desmon Dawn

    Could someone please lead me in the right direction to recieving free grants.I’m in school @ Brown Mackie college. I’m homeless and in need of housing and transportation please. I’m married and a fathet of a 9yr old son and 14 yr daughter. I’m trying to do r

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