When it comes to finding the best undergraduate scholarships for 2011, there are no tricks. The only way to make it happen is to do research. While there may not be a secret way to find the scholarships, there are better ways than others and countless tools to help you in your search. While the following list isn't exhaustive, the suggestions that will be provided are certainly a good place to start. The key is to start early and be persistent. You won't get every scholarship you apply for, but that doesn't mean you aren't qualified or you aren't good enough. It simply means you weren't the best for that particular scholarship. The key is to find the ones you are qualified for. Remember that, like everything else, this takes time and practice.
To begin your search, talk to your guidance counselors or the counselors at the university you hope to attend. They can provide you with excellent opportunities. These individuals are trained for this and have vital information when it comes to obtaining loans, grants, and scholarships. Universities are particularly helpful if you are already enrolled. They can help you to obtain scholarships funded by alumni that are only given to students attending that particular school.
You can also use online sources, such as Fastweb.com, Scholarships.com, and Collegeboard.com. These websites allow you to create a profile, where you enter any and all information about yourself, so they can select scholarships you are qualified for. This is useful, not only because it narrows it down to your particular interest, but because it also finds the scholarships that are geared towards your particular age group or major. Tools such as these are invaluable in the scholarship search.
You should also look at major companies, such as Coca Cola or Dr. Pepper. Large corporations are always giving back. Coca Cola, in particular, has a huge scholarship opportunity they offer every year, geared toward students who demonstrate exceptional interest and dedication to their community. While it is a very selective scholarship, it is one of the most well-known and recognized and is sure to get you brownie points on your college application. However, these two companies aren't the only ones who provide scholarship opportunities. You must look at individual websites in order to find out what opportunities they are providing for each year.
If you have a family member who was previously in or is currently in the military, you can also find amazing scholarships at the VFW or the American Legion. Most of the local posts have scholarship funds that they give directly to students living in the area. You can also apply on their websites.
There is no one way to find scholarship opportunities and no opportunity is better than others. Apply for scholarships large and small to increase your chances of winning. Less people tend to apply for the smaller scholarships simply because they are trying to reduce the amount of work they have to do by applying to one or two large ones. Take advantage of their laziness and apply for as many as you can find!