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How to Find Scholarships for College

Every year, billions of dollars in scholarships are available to help college students pay for tuition.¹ Here’s how to find scholarships you may be eligible to receive.

Unlike student loans, scholarships for college don’t have to be paid back. They’re gifts awarded to individuals based on financial need or personal achievements in different areas of life, such as:

  • Exceptional athletic ability
  • Outstanding academic performance
  • Dedication to a cause or public service work

Your current employer may even offer a scholarship for your education. Although you may qualify financially for federal and state grants, you can also apply for scholarships as long as the total amount of your scholarships and grants does not exceed the cost of your education. To find scholarships for college that you may be eligible for, follow these helpful best practices.

How to Find Scholarships for College

  1. Start your search one year before the date you plan to begin your degree program.
    Finding scholarships for college isn’t difficult, but it does take time. You’ll have a better chance of receiving a scholarship if you apply for scholarships from multiple sources. Scholarship programs have strict application deadlines, so be sure to submit yours on time.
  2. Never pay for information about scholarships.
    Don’t be fooled if you see an ad offering an “exclusive” list of scholarships in exchange for a fee. All scholarship information is readily available for free, so there’s no reason to pay for it.
  3. Contact admissions advisors at the universities or colleges you are considering.
    You’ll discover that enrollment specialists and admissions advisors have in-depth information on a variety of scholarships for online students (whether graduate students or undergraduates) as well as international students.
  4. Continue exploring your options through other sources.
    • A career counselor—look to one from your high school, community college, or other recent educational setting
    • Your federal TRIO counselor from the U.S. Department of Education
    • The U.S. Department of Labor’s scholarship search tool
    • Government agency scholarships
    • A local library’s reference section
    • Foundations, religious or community organizations, local businesses, and civic groups
    • Organizations (including professional associations) related to your field of interest
    • Culturally based organizations such as those focused on race, religion, or nationality
    • Your employer

  5. Scholarships for International Students

    Many universities and colleges offer scholarships for college tuition specifically for international students. Eligibility requirements may vary among programs; for example, some U.S.-based schools require a certain TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score or grade-point average, while others provide scholarships for students from specific countries. Just as for domestic students, it’s important for international students to begin their research early, complete applications carefully, and submit them on time.

    Find Scholarships for Online Education at Walden University

    The total amount of scholarship funds available to college students every year is a whopping $24 billion.1 To help put your degree within reach, Walden University offers scholarships, grants, and tuition-savings options that can help you pursue your higher education at an accredited university and potentially save money along the way. And with online learning, there’s no need to rearrange your schedule or commute to campus—you can take classes at whatever time of day works best for you as you return to school and get your degree.

    Explore the financial aid options available at Walden University, including scholarships, grants, and federal student loans. Get the help you need to continue your education and advance your career goals. Earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


    Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,