Several resources are available to help students find scholarship opportunities, including online search tools such as Scholarship Search by Sallie Mae, the reference section of the local library, high school counselors and college financial aid offices. Community organizations, local businesses, sports associations and religious establishments may also sponsor scholarship programs.
There are several online scholarship search tools, but not all of them are valid. The U.S. Department of Labor sponsors a simple search feature that allows students to view valid opportunities by location, study level or affiliations. The database includes grants, fellowships and scholarships. Users do not need an account to access the information.
A student or his parent must register to gain access to Scholarship Search by Sallie Mae, but there are no fees to use the service. A user must complete a short profile, providing information on the student's background, plans for college, test scores, interests and extracurricular activities to browse relevant scholarship opportunities. A member can also receive alerts when the site posts new scholarship opportunities that match his profile.
High school counselors and college financial aid offices can usually recommend worthwhile scholarship opportunities, and can often provide a student with specific programs that suit his background and plans for the future.