Where to Begin the Search for Scholarships and Grants

Updated on July 25, 2014
K.S. asks from Littleton, CO
10 answers

Hi everyone,

I have a cousin that I have just reconnected with, she is 19 and we got back in touch because she plays softball and my husband is a softball coach (for our 14 year old). My cousin grew up in a dysfunctional family and was the first in her family to go to college, she got into a junior college and has just finished her first year there. She wants to go to a 4 year college, and is hoping for some help from scholarships or grants. I feel badly, because my husband did connect her with some college coaches that he has contacts with and a few colleges have offered her spots at their schools and on the team, but with less than $1,000 in softball scholarships. It's still a great gift, and just getting her in the door is great.

But she is now calling my husband a lot asking for help with other scholarships and financial aid info. He just doesn't know anything about this- our daughter is only 14 so we haven't even thought about that yet. He needs to just tell her he can't help with this, because he isn't qualified. We hate to just say "sorry, can't help". So I thought I would ask you mamas with older kids if you had at least a starting place that I could point her toward. Just so we can say that we aren't the ones to help her, but if she starts at X, she may find some help. Any ideas? Advice? Thanks in advance!!

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answers from New York on

She should go to the financial office for info. Then go to a book,store. There is a HUGE book,of scholarships available that no one ever applies for. It takes time, but it is probably worth it.To me, every penny helps. The money is out there, she just has to go after it. Go to Barnes and Noble if there is one close by.

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answers from San Francisco on

She just needs to go to the counseling center/financial aid office at her community college, all the information is there! She should make an appointment with an advisor if she feels overwhelmed sorting through it all on her own.

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answers from Albany on

If she is a student at a junior college, she has an adviser for every question. She needs to sit down with her academic adviser first, then her financial aid adviser. That's what they're there for. There is NO question they cannot answer.

If I knew the name of the college, I'd post links. It's that easy.

Tell her to go to her student account, on line or on paper, there will be a list of advisers.

We don't know enough about her personal situation, but THEY do.


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answers from San Francisco on

When I went to college, there was a whole office that dealt exclusively with financial aid. I would have her start there. They can work with her to fill out the forms necessary to apply for all kinds of loans, grants, scholarships, etc. Once you have filled out the basic financial disclosure forms, the college will meet the student's financial need (albeit most of this will be in the form of student loans that will have to be repaid). She will probably need to have (several) jobs as well.

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answers from Chicago on

She should visit the financial office, they can give her current advice. I am not sure it is still out there but fastweb.com was one of the sites several years ago (maybe the first?) that helped find scholarships to apply for based on her interests, associations, family ties etc. I know there are more just cannot think of the names.

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answers from Chicago on

Have her full out the fafsa. Then after checking into the schools she is interested in she can go to their financial aid pages. There will be scholarships and grants she can apply for. Also start checking local newspapers for community scholarships although those are usually done starting in January. Highschools also have information on their websites about scholarship opportunities. Something we did for my daughter and sons also was to put key words in the computer search bar such as "music scholarship" "adhd scholarship" etc. Whatever she is into will give "her" a jumping off point. It's good she is seeking help but your right to point her in a direction and not take it on as your job.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

She needs to fill out the FAFSA form and go to the financial aid office or contact the financial aid office of the College or University she wants to attend. The FAFSA helps to search for all types of Grants and scholarships she qualifies for. It is a huge help.

While looking for colleges our daughter did look at The endowments of the colleges. The larger the endowments the more they grant Scholarships.

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answers from Boston on

Few schools give athletic scholarships per se. It depends if what division they are in. Most scholarships and loans are need-based. She needs to go to the federal site and fill out the FAFSA, and go to the school's financial aid office. Together, they can put together a package of scholarships, grants, and low interest student loans. There is plenty of money out there but she can't (and doesn't need) to go crazy researching and applying for individual scholarships.

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answers from Dallas on

Thanks for taking an interest in this cousin. You have an opportunity to make such a difference in her life. If she is still enrolled in the junior college, point her towards the financial aid office and they can help her find out what is available locally. She will need to fill out a government FASFA form, the earlier in the year the better, so early January is great. You have to have filed your income tax information, so sometimes that delays filling the FASFA for some students & parents. Even if she is 19 and independent of her family, they will still evaluate her based on her parents financial information (even if they provide no support) unless she files some type of emancipation form. The financial aid office can direct her. That is something she can do now, so she is set to go in January. Getting two years of your education at a junior college is a very cost effective way of earning your degree. Good luck!



answers from Oklahoma City on

Nothing she finds on the internet will be of any use to her. It's a waste of time. She needs to go to the financial aid office at the college and fill out the paper work. You should go with her. You understand the intricate nature of a question correct? If they ask for parent information you understand they need that because she's still under the age where her parents income could be counted and they would have to do the application. I know for a while if you were over 18 they counted you as an adult but they finally realized that many "adults" that age were still living with mom and dad and being supported.

So now they have certain qualifications for independence. She needs someone to go with her that understands the questions and how she needs to answer them so she can get the financial aid she needs.

ONLY the college adviser will be able to help her. Nothing else.

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