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Tips for getting "free" money for college

Money overflowing a bag with words COLLEGE on it.

Scholarships are sometimes called "free money" for college.

A scholarship is known as free money because, unlike a student loan, it doesn't have to be paid back.

For many students, especially for those who don't qualify for grants, scholarships are a way to get help paying for college. However, scholarships are often competitive and may require a lot of preparation by the student.

Following are some tips to increase your chances of receiving a scholarship:

  1. Begin your search early, and conduct as much research as you can. Apply for every scholarship for which you are eligible.

  2. Meet all deadlines and follow directions. Provide everything that is requested, but no more than is required.

  3. List all activities and honors, highlighting those that are relevant to the scholarship.

  4. Neatness counts. Unless handwritten is required, your application should be neatly typed.

  5. Choose references that know you well and give them plenty of time to write a recommendation. Provide a stamped envelope to your references addressed to the address that is specified in the scholarship application.

Beware of scholarship scams. Be wary of companies that "guarantee" you'll receive a scholarship, especially if their offer was unsolicited and/or they are requiring that you pay money for their services.

For more tips, download our scholarship resources flyer.

 Events for Families

FAFSA Updates-South Dakota Department of Labor

Monday, July 24 at 2:00 PM CST
Online Meeting
Host: Cathy Mueller

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Sneak Peek for School Counselors on FAFSA Changes

Wednesday, August 30 at 3:00 PM CST
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Host: Cathy Mueller

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T.F. Riggs High School Financial Aid Night

Thursday, September 7 at 7:00 PM CST
Online Meeting
Host: Cathy Mueller

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