How to get a college scholarship

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How to get a college scholarship

I have lots of advice about scholarships. There’s a lot of money out there, it just takes some work to find and get. I like to put scholarships into 2 different categories – Local and national. So local scholarships are ones that are either offered by your high school or by the Kiwanis club, or somebody in your community has funded a scholarship. The way that students find out about that is first they go to their high school counselor and ask if there is an application through the high school for local scholarships. The other way is you can call your Chamber of Commerce and ask them what organizations, locally, might offer college scholarships. Then we get into national scholarships, and national scholarships are broken down into 2 different types as well. One is merit scholarships that are offered by colleges and universities. So if you’re an athlete, or if you are a student with a very high GPA that a school wants to try to recruit essentially, these schools will often offer merit scholarships without you having to do anything. When you get accepted, they will say, “And you've won X amount of dollars because we want to try to recruit you to going here.” If it’s not from a school, you can still go look for outside scholarships by going to a bookstore and getting one of the big scholarship books – My favorite is The Scholarship Book. And parents, what I recommend, is that you go through it and you look and prioritize which scholarships match up to your child’s qualifications. The other way to do it is to go to a website called On that website, you will fill up a profile, it’s free, you should never pay for scholarship searches; they will start sending you emails that match up to the profile that you've created; and again, it’s a matter of priorities. So you’re looking for ones for the most money and the least amount of work. But if you literally spent months, looking at scholarships, the money is out there, and you don’t have to wait until you’re senior, by the way, you can start this as early as freshmen year. Not all scholarships will qualify for freshmen or sophomores, but they are out there. So start early, get organized and do it regularly throughout high school.
TEEN, Education, Applying to College

View Danny Ruderman's video on How to get a college scholarship...


Expert Bio

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Danny Ruderman

Independent College Counselor

Danny Ruderman is a nationally recognized college counselor whose mission is to help as many families as possible navigate the admissions process.  

The Fontana High School and Stanford grad is the author of The Ultimate College Acceptance System and creator of college counseling programs used by school districts across the U.S. and Fortune 500 companies. He is known for his huge forehead and helping students get into schools that really match their interests. His newest book, Top 100 Answers to Your College Admissions Questions will be released in March 2013.

Danny graduated with Honors from Stanford University and holds a BA in Human Biology with an emphasis in Education. He was named a Merit Teacher for his work at Campbell Hall School in Los Angeles and worked as an educational therapist for K&M Associates in Los Angeles. He is also a member of the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors (WACAC). He has been featured on NPR’s Marketplace, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times, Between the Lines on PBS, College Bound Magazine, The Bill Handel Show, and Powernomics. Danny is also a regular contributor to Money 101 on KFWB in Los Angeles.

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