College Scholarships—How to Find the Money!
by Meggan Mattson & Mike Deutsch
College Fit Counseling, LLC

Your college applications have been submitted.  Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and wait for the large envelope announcing you were accepted to your top-choice school.  Well, not exactly.  With the college applications completed, now it is time to turn your attention to scholarships. 

Most scholarship application deadlines are between January and May/June of the student’s senior year. 

If you have a stellar GPA and ACT/SAT test score, there are many scholarships for which you may be eligible.  If you have a unique talent, a parent who served in the Armed Forces, athletic ability, or if you are just plain lucky…there are scholarships you may be eligible for as well.

Scholarship searches can become a full-time job and require many hours of research and writing essays or completing applications.  Be willing to put in the time, as it could pay off immensely for you.  Even “smaller” scholarships of $200-$500 a piece can add up! 

Here are a few websites and tips we think will be helpful and save you a little bit of time as you get started:

•    There are several national databases for scholarships, such as fastweb and  These are a great starting point for many students because there are thousands of scholarships!
•    Do you have a special talent or attribute?  There are scholarships with Tall Club International for men over 6’2” and women over 5’10”.  If you can prove you are a direct descendant of the Mayflower, you could qualify for money from the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.  If you are artistic and want to create a prom dress/suit out of duct tape, you could also win a scholarship.
•    Where do your parents work?  See if the company offers any scholarships.
•    Look for local scholarships…the pool of applicants is often much smaller for these.  Sometimes nearby high schools list local scholarships on their websites.  Do a little research to find out.
•    Are you involved in any local organizations?  Ask if there are scholarship opportunities there.
•    More and more scholarships are popping up that have NO requirements for eligibility.  They have random drawings for winners (some require website registration first).  Check out sites such as zinch, scholarshipzone, and US Bank if you are feeling lucky!
•    Make sure you check out your college’s website…see if they have a separate scholarship application, or if they are awarded automatically.  Either way, they may also list some outside scholarships on their site that could be worth looking into.

Try not to get discouraged with this process.  There is money out there for college students, but it can take time to sort through. 

Best of luck as you continue on this journey!
Meggan Mattson and Mike Deutsch, both former high school counselors, created College Fit Counseling, LLC to help students and families navigate the college search and selection process.  They assist with all pieces of the process: from creating a college list of “good fit” schools, through college applications and essays, and into applying for financial aid and scholarships.  Visit our website at for more information on services offered.  Or, contact us at or 773-807-4079 with further questions and to see how we can help you.