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Many students want to attend one of the best colleges, but their parents have been unable to save enough money to ensure they can attend the college of their choice. However, that doesn’t mean it’s an impossible dream to attend the college of your dreams. It does take more effort to find scholarships that can make up any shortfall in funds for school but it’s worth it in the end.

The first and best place to begin on your list of places to look is at your chosen college. If you have already been accepted at a school and do not have adequate funds for tuition, books, and living expenses, then it’s time to meet with the financial aid officer at the college. Often, colleges can help students with funds that fill the gaps left by other types of aid.

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Scholarships Can Help Reduce the Cost of Your College Education

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General Scholarships

  • California Middle Class Scholarship
    Amount: Varies by Need
    Deadline: March 2

    This grant is provided by the California Student Aid Commission for undergraduates and students who are pursuing a teaching credential who intend upon attending a University of California or California State University campus. It is awarded to students whose families make less than $171,000 a year. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress and can receive the grant for up to four years.

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  • Burger King Scholars
    Amount: $1,000 to $50,000
    Deadline: December 15

    This scholarship is for graduating seniors who have a 2.5 or greater GPA that are U.S. or Canadian residents. The applicant must work on average 15 hours per week and also do community service work. The scholarship funds can be used at an accredited two- or four-year college or at a vocational school. It is not required that the applicant be a Burger King employee.

  • Carson Scholarship Fund
    Amount: $1,000
    Deadline: January 9

    The students who are awarded Carson Scholarships maintain a 3.75 GPA or greater and engage in community service. They are nominated for the scholarship by their school, and each school may only nominate one student per year. Nominees can be as young as in the 4th grade but must be committed to attending a college or university upon graduation from high school. Students who are awarded a scholarship are invited to compete for a scholarship in subsequent years, as long as they maintain their community service and GPA requirements. The goal of the program is to groom young leaders.

  • Coolidge Scholarship
    Amount: Full Tuition, Room & Board, and Fees
    Deadline: Varies

    The Coolidge Scholarship is in memory of former president Calvin Coolidge. Students must apply in their junior year of high school. Students chosen are humble leaders that demonstrate academic excellence and are interested in public policy. This scholarship is unique in that it is a full scholarship for tuition, fees, books, and living expenses for a full four years of college. The application process includes submission of an essay, high school transcripts, a resume, and two letters of recommendation.

  • Dell Scholars Program
    Amount: Varies
    Deadline: December 1

    This scholarship is bestowed upon students who have demonstrated financial need, have overcome challenges and hardships, and are highly motivated with strong goals for their future. Scholarship recipients must be attending a college readiness program. They must have a minimum GPA of 2.4.

  • Scholarship
    Amount: $2,500 (Winner); $500 (2nd & 3rd Place)
    Deadline: December 15

    This scholarship is for any student aged 13 or older that is currently attending post-secondary education. The application process involves writing an essay from 800 to 2000 words that provides creative and realistic solutions to solving the housing crisis in the U.S. Each year, the exact topic of the essay changes.

  • G.E./Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program
    Amount: $10,000 (Can be renewed up to $40,000)
    Deadline: January 4 (OR when the foundation has received 25,000 applications)

    Every year, the Ronald Reagan Foundation and General Electric team up to award 18 scholarships of $10,000 each to students who demonstrate financial need, leadership, integrity, and a drive to succeed. The applicants need to have a 3.0 or greater GPA and can renew their scholarship over a six-year period four times.

  • Horatio Alger Association Scholarships
    Amount: Up to $25,000
    Deadline: October 25

    The Horatio Alger Society is one of the country's largest providers of scholarships that are need-based. Students who are awarded these scholarships have demonstrated leadership and academic excellence and have financial need. Their preference is that families who apply for these scholarships make less than $55,000 per year. Applicants must be involved in community and extra-curricular activities.

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Other Sources of Scholarship Information

  • Discover Bank has an impressive list of general scholarships with handy drop-down access to look at some of the particulars.

  • is another web site that contains information about scholarships, but it also has information on internships, part time jobs, and student loans. Like, they provide tailored information based upon your individual metrics.

  • Cyber Security

    Don't rule out looking at your parent's employers for sources of scholarships.

    Also, consider any trade organization in your proposed career path. Such organizations are also likely sources of scholarship money and information on degree-specific scholarships. There are several ways for you to pay for college, scholarships and grants are solutions that you typically will not have to pay back. With student loans, private loans or federal loans, you will need to typically pay these back over time.