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How to find hidden college scholarships

Posted: 9:07 AM, Jan 27, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-27 09:06:59-05

NEW YORK — Finding money for college is not easy.

College senior Allison Lenox works to pay her way at college. "I work pretty much full time to help pay for college," she said.

Sierra Longmeyer says her friends struggle to find tuition money. "It makes it harder for college students to go through their education because of that," the college senior said.

Charlotte Faulkner knows that, and doesn't want her daughter -- a high school senior -- to worry about money next year.

So she's on a scholarship hunt.

"We have applied for probably at least 20 scholarships since we started this back in September," Faulkner said. "She thinks I'm crazy, but you know, that's the way it goes."

Faulkner has found sites that list hundreds of hidden grants and scholarships.

"One was Cappex, that had a lot of scholarships on there. Scholarship Owl was another website I found and liked."

Consumer Reports Magazine, and other sources, list the following sites worth checking:

  • Cappex.com
  • Scholarship Owl.com
  • FastWeb.com
  • FinAid.org (affiliated with FastWeb)
  • Scholarships.com
  • The US Department of Labor's Career OneStop site

Faulkner is now waiting to hear back from several scholarships her daughter applied to.

And if you are old school, Faulker says you can still purchase books for less than $20. "I bought the book, The Ultimate Scholarship Book for 2020," she said.

Faulkner thought at first her daughter would be covered by simply filling out the FAFSA form, for federal student aid. But she quickly learned there are a lot of grants and programs that are not included in that form.

She also learned that if you search, you'll find grants or scholarships for every interest.

"There are scholarships out there for equestrian riders, aquatics, there's a scholarship out there if you want to do beetle bug research," she said.

Don't like bugs? Other sources of aid include:

  • Your church
  • Your school
  • Mom or Dad's employer
  • Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
  • Rotary Clubs and Chamber of Commerce branches

There are many more, but Faulker has one word of caution: beware of sites that want money.

"There were a couple of sites that tried to charge money. As soon as it said 'enter your credit card,' I said delete, we don't need you."

You should not have to pay to simply look up scholarships. There are thousands out there, just waiting for families like the Faulkners to find them.

As always, don't waste your money.