Millions of dollars in scholarship money goes unclaimed every year. Even though many students struggle to pay for college and are forced to take out loans, there are many unclaimed scholarships that no students apply for. The main reason for this is that many scholarships are not known to students.
While websites like Fastweb are great for finding scholarships, not all scholarships are well advertised. Often businesses or organizations will offer scholarships to local high school students going away to college or to college students from the area. They may put ads in the paper, or they may send notices to local schools, but these do not guarantee that students will see them. Some schools simply post these ads as flyers in the college center.
One of the best ways to take advantage of these scholarships is to speak to a guidance counselor or college counselor at your school. They may have an entire stack of scholarship offers from local businesses that no one has applied for. Often these scholarships will receive only your application, and that means that you get the money. Don't be afraid to apply to scholarships for which you may not be a perfect fit. Even if your GPA is a little lower than required, you may still get it, if you are the only one to apply.
Financial aid offices at colleges are also great places to find this type of unclaimed scholarship. Financial aid offices receive hundreds of emails and letters about grants, scholarships, and fellowship programs. Contact your the office and set up a meeting. At the meeting, they will be able to go through scholarships that may be the right fit for you. Make sure to bring along a resume that includes your GPA and any relevant experience. This will make it easy to match you up with the right scholarships. Some financial aid offices even have websites that allow students to view and apply to scholarships.