300px-Weird_scholarshipAs I work with more and more people to assist them in finding scholarships, I have gained quite of bit of knowledge and experience in the search and preparation for scholarships and providing the best ways to win those scholarships. Below are some pretty basic steps that anyone can follow.

Remember, you do not have to be smart, or athletically talented to money to help pay for college. While that helps, there are scholarships for everyone. They key to this success is to be prepared and do your work when searching for and applying for scholarships. Below are some organic tips in how you can make the best in your scholarship search.

The #1 thing you have to that will make all this work is that you dedicate some time to work at this…and stay at it.

It’s not a lot of work, but it takes preparation:


I know that you get so much spam, but there are emails with eligible scholarships waiting for you. Be diligent in this and plan to check your emails at least four times a day.

Personal Development & Growth

What do you enjoy?          What are your skills and talents?

Find a career that pays YOU for being YOU…this will help you find the scholarships that tailor to your college degree

Estimate your financial contributions

SACRIFICE…parents and students              Discuss together where you stand financially…be honest and open

Understand how much money you need from scholarships

What are the financial obligations from the student and from the parents?

Work a part-time job, take out student loans, etc.

TIP:  You CANNOT nor SHOULD YOU go bankrupt for an education but you should honestly know what you can or cannot afford!

Resources to find out about scholarships

Websites                  Internet             Books                                                                                                                                    TV/Radio         Guidance offices     Colleges

Proper Preparation makes a Productive Person

Start the search yourself…Do NOT rely on others to do it for you

Don’t burn your bridges with those that you may need in the future

Know your allies, references always help

Prepare an essay and practice application. Typically you can use the same theme of an essay for most scholarship applications

Can YOU read your own handwriting? If you have to write, be sure they can read it. Write slow if you need to.

Go ahead…SWEAT the Small Stuff

Brag about yourself!

Even if it was running the sound board for church choir or keeper of the left-handed shovel

Don’t forget any type of extracurricular involvement. You may think it’s no biggie, but it might be just what you need

The beginning of YOUR independence

Taking ownership in your future

Highlight positive aspects about your life & employment

Local scholarships are sometimes the best! They’re all over too…you just have to look int he local newspaper, the local town website, local businesses, unions, etc.

Watch for the “OOPSIES”

Spellcheck, then proofread, then spellcheck again

Give it to someone else to proof

Put it down for couple days, then go back to it


Social Networking sites- what can they see?

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines: keep track of these!

Turn in the right stuff at the right time and go for all of them that you are eligible for!

 Some money-saving tips


Apply for Scholarships and Colleges EARLY!

Apply to at least  3 or 4 affordable schools!

Apply to at least a couple of generous schools!

The odd and unusual…

Duct Brand Tape at Prom Contest Scholarship: $2,500

Left-Handed Scholarships

Tall Clubs International Scholarship

The Chick/Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling:$1,500

The Scholar-Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year

Students for Organ Donation Scholarship: $500-$1,000

There is truly a scholarship for just about everyone. Don’t worry, but it takes you to do some work. Prepare yourself. Imagine you are your own business and you are looking to make a profit. College is our overhead and you need to pay for it. The more time you put into searching for scholarships, I guarantee you will win and get the free kind of money you need to help pay for college.

Your Success is My Success,

Keith Lipke

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Keith Lipke is a careers and college recruiter, coach, mentor and blogger at The Career Closet. His passion is to educate, inspire, and give hope to young people who need it upon their search for the right career and college.