Searching for Scholarships?

Searching for Scholarships?

As the time comes around again for college applications, students are looking for ways to lower the costs of college education. This can be intimidating to many, and it can be difficult to know where to start. A great first step would be filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also referred to as the FAFSA. It opens October 1st of the student’s senior year, so it is currently open for the class of 2023. It is recommended that students accomplish this as soon as possible to know the aid available to them so they can create a plan to pay for college. There are many resources including step by step videos online that can help students and their parents or guardians fill out their parts of the FAFSA application.  

The three main types of financial aid are scholarships, grants, and loans. Scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid so long as you complete all the qualifications specified in the requirements, while both private and federal loans do need to be paid back as they are borrowed money. Remember: A trustworthy scholarship service will never ask you to pay money to apply for scholarships!  


Here are some free trusted sites to help you begin your search for scholarships: 


Sallie Mae 

Sallie Mae has a variety of different tools to help you in your college planning process including a college planning calculator, an accrued interest calculator, and a student loan payment amount estimator in addition to a scholarship search service. To access these features, you must create an account.  


Scholarship Buddy 

Scholarship Buddy allows you to see the names of scholarships and the amount of money available without an account, but you must create one if you want to apply. They also give college profiles with much of the important information including the cost of tuition, number of students, the average SAT and ACT scores, along with scholarships specific to schools.  



A free account is required to apply for scholarships. Through Fastweb you can sign up to receive daily emails of scholarship information specifically for ones you qualify to apply for. This is extraordinarily helpful if you don’t have much time to spend searching for scholarships on these sites.  


Going Merry 

You can see how much scholarship money you are eligible to get by taking a short seven question survey without having to sign up. It will give you an estimated number for government aid, the number of scholarships they have matched you to so far, and the amount of money you could get if you applied to all those matched scholarships. To actually apply for scholarships, you must create a free account. Once you create an account you will get a list of scholarships you are eligible for, which then you can filter further by your interests or other qualities about you.  



If you have any questions about financial aid, set up a meeting with your Guidance Counselor using the QR code on the guidance office door. For additional information, go to the Financial Aid and Scholarships tab under the Dakota Counseling website or click the following link:–scholarships/