By Noël Rozny
Web Editor & Content Manager
College students: If you’re like me, you spent senior year of high school applying for every scholarship under the sun, moon and stars. I happily collected some decent-sized checks, applied them to my freshmen tuition, and then assumed that my opportunity to grab any additional cash or funds had expired.
I was wrong. Which meant I basically threw away free money.
The truth is that there are plenty of scholarships available to current college students, whether they are freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors. The more you can make your search an ongoing process throughout your college years, the more money you’ll have to put towards tuition, books and living expenses. Here’s how to get started.
College Students: How to Get Scholarships Once You’re Enrolled in School
Re-Apply for Scholarships You Already Have
This is an easy one. Make a list of the scholarships you already have, and find out which ones you can re-apply for. It’s true that some scholarships are only granted for a one-year term, but others can be re-issued. They key is that the recipients have to re-apply every year, and this is where many college students leave money on the table. Make sure you know which of your current scholarships you can re-apply for, and keep a list of due dates so you are sure to get your materials turned in on time.
Seek Out Scholarships By Grade
You may not realize it, but there’s a boatload of scholarships out there that are only available to current college students. That means you didn’t even have a chance of landing one while you were still in high school. A good example of this is the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which is only open to college juniors. Don’t limit your search only to the year you’re currently in; freshmen should seek out scholarships for sophomores, juniors and seniors so they have a list of scholarships and deadlines to consider throughout their college career.
Talk to Professional Organizations
In order to nurture talent and promote the growth of their industries, professional organizations often offer scholarships for students studying to enter their particular field. For example, you would need to be enrolled in a nursing program in order to qualify for this nursing scholarship from Methodist Health System. To get started, check this list to find the professional organizations in your future field, and contact them to see if they have a scholarship program.
You can jump-start your search by browsing hundreds of scholarships and categories in our Scholarship Update section.