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Semester breaks are a great time for students to search for scholarships since they don’t have homework.  The new year brings the start of scholarship season for the upcoming school year and while the FAFSA serves as the application for most of the scholarships that Gonzaga offers, there are still some departments and organizations that offer scholarships requiring a separate application.  These applications are available now and usually are due during the first part of the Spring Semester, so have your student do the legwork now and avoid the crunch around mid-terms.

It’s only natural for students to get angry and frustrated when searching for scholarships. We know that students are busy, so we would like to provide some suggestions on how students can reduce frustration and improve the search process. We like to see students work smarter not harder as the smarter they work, the happier and more successful they will be.

  • Create an email account that is used just for the scholarship searches and share the account information with family members. That way family members can help out with the search process and you don’t get junk mail clogging up personal email accounts.
  • Keep a file for future scholarship opportunities.  If you find a scholarship with a deadline that has passed, or you need to be a junior in college keep information about the opportunity.  It is easier to flip through your file than to remember which website you found it on.
  • Check out the morning mail. Current students receive a daily email that includes everything GU as well as provides notices about scholarship opportunities.
  • Meet with Academic Advisors and people within their profession to see if there are any scholarships available (either through their department, or by organizations within their field of study).  Some departments that offer scholarships are the School of Business, School of Engineering and the Alumni Association.
  • Be wary of any organization or scholarship search that requires an application fee, even if they guarantee results or your money back: I can assure you that you won’t get either.

There are an abundance of websites offering free scholarship searches; some sites you may find helpful include:

  1.  www.thewashboard.org,
  2. http://scholarshipamerica.org,
  3. www.osac.state.or.us,
  4. http://www.careerinfonet.org/scholarshipsearch/, and
  5. www.collegesuccessfoundation.org.

Wishing you much success in your scholarship searching!

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