Rusty Tweed is interested in helping students find scholarship opportunities. Scholarships can be a crucial aspect of access to higher education, and students should look at all possible avenues to receive these funds. Students should apply for as many scholarships as possible, using this funding to defray college costs and to reduce the number of student loans they will need to incur.
Social media can be a valuable place to search for scholarship information. Most students use social media daily, so it is not difficult to divert some of this time to a scholarship search.
Methods for Finding a Scholarship
The simplest way to find a scholarship is to enter your field of study and “scholarship” into the social media search bar. You may be able to find scholarship listings, news stories, and press releases this way. It is smart to go beyond your field of study and to enter any pertinent categories you may fall into. For example, choosing women’s scholarships or baseball scholarships may get results.
Searching on Facebook
Facebook can be a gold mine for scholarship opportunities. There are many user groups with the purpose of collecting scholarship opportunities and posting them publicly or for their members.
It is also wise to search for the institution you want to attend and see whether they have any scholarships targeted for you. You can also look up the admissions and financial aid offices on Facebook and ask whether they know of any useful scholarship information.
You should also consider asking your friends or your parents’ friends whether they know of any scholarships that are available in your local area. Friends’ parents can be an important untapped source of information since they frequently have established professional careers.
Students should not overlook LinkedIn when looking for scholarships. It is a good idea for students to make themselves a LinkedIn profile, assembling an academic and professional resume early in their careers. Your contact network may be able to tell you about scholarship opportunities.
Some companies offer their own scholarships, and LinkedIn is a good place to look for these corporate opportunities. They may be intended for future employees, or they may be targeted toward certain interests.
Searching on Twitter
Twitter specializes in sharing and resharing information. It is also an interesting, informal way to get to know people online. Directly tagging a scholarship provider or college financial aid office on Twitter may get you quick responses to your inquiry. Building your Twitter network is a good use of your time, especially as you go toward applications for college and graduate school.
You should also follow accounts that collect and list scholarship opportunities. As always, watch these opportunities for red flags to make sure you are not giving away too much personal information in an insecure fashion.
Scholarships are Competitive
You may not always be able to expect your peers to pass along scholarship opportunities, since these can be rather competitive. Especially if your friends are in similar courses of study, they may be looking at the same scholarships you want. Consider talking to people in different areas of study and different classes to see which scholarships they have applied for in the past.
Optimizing the Search Process
When you are creative with your text searches, you will have an easier time finding scholarships. Look for opportunities that are targeted to your educational level, a field of study, hobbies, home state, and hometown. When you take all of your options into account, you will be likely to find an appropriate scholarship. Remember to apply for as many as possible, understanding that each scholarship usually has only one recipient.
Making Sure Your Scholarship Opportunity is Legitimate
While the overwhelming majority of scholarship providers are legitimate, here are some red flags you should look out for. The first caveat is to watch out for scholarships with application fees. Legitimate scholarships are almost always free for application.
Another problem you should look out for is if the scholarship asks for too much personal information. If you have to give your Social Security number, birth date, and/or credit card information before applying, this is likely to be a financial scam.
Legitimate scholarships may need your personal information if you are the lucky recipient so that tax records can be fully filled-out.
No matter how you search for a scholarship, make sure to visit your high school or college counselor’s office to see whether they have any recommendations for you. Most counseling offices and career centers keep information regarding scholarships that can be useful for your studies.
Rusty Tweed and other professionals offer their own endowed scholarships, and it is wise to take advantage of these openings. Rusty Tweed’s scholarship is one of many that you should have on your radar.