The Real Deal: Tips on searching and applying for college scholarships

There’s over $7 billion of scholarship money out there with the average recipient getting anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $5,000.
If college plans are in your future, it’s never too early to search for scholarships. Juilly Taveras from Investing Latina says applying doesn’t have to be difficult.
"It can be very easy. I mean, there are some scholarships that are $500. And all you have to do is fill out a form essentially," Taveras says.
There are literally thousands of scholarships available depending on where you live, your ethnic background, your course of study, merit and financial need. Scouring the system doesn't have to be overwhelming. There are several free sites to help.
You can also try the reference center at your library, ask your high school advisor and the Department of Labor's free scholarship search tool.
Some scholarships require essays and more information than others. You can even apply once you are enrolled in college.
"Unfortunately, people do not take advantage. There is definitely a lot of nonprofit organizations that focus on getting out there and communicating that they are offering scholarships, especially for things that are important for our society, that will help our society if there's research that can be done. For example, there is a huge scholarship for those that are interested in studying suicide prevention, and it's not even limited to the type of career that you're doing," Taveras says.
Don't waste time - start your search now. There's over $100 million of unclaimed money out there.
Consider setting up a separate email account to keep track of dates and applications, and make sure to only apply to legitimate sites.
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