- Be careful. Never pay for scholarships or for scholarship searches. School counselors and school financial aid offices can recommend other reputable options.
- Be thorough. Don't overlook smaller scholarships. Even a few hundred dollars can help offset the cost of textbooks and supplies.
- Be proactive. Apply for scholarships every year. Approximately 50 percent of available scholarships are for students already enrolled in college.
- Be diligent. Pay attention to details. Follow instructions and proofread carefully.
- Be on time. Meet deadlines. If the application can't be submitted electronically, use certified mail.
College scholarships come in all shapes and sizes, and billions of dollars are awarded every year; the key is knowing where to find them. This National Scholarship Month, Sallie Mae — the nation's saving, planning, and paying for college company — is reminding students that finding free money for college is just a few clicks away, thanks to Scholarship Search by Sallie Mae, the free scholarship search home to 5 million scholarships valued at $24 billion. This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161103006282/en/ Available scholarships run the gamut and extend well beyond academics or athletics to a wide range of activities, interests, and affiliations. From scholarships for dart players and vegetarians to filmmakers and those fluent in Klingon, Scholarship Search by Sallie Mae offers awards that match all kinds of interests. Scholarship Search is easy to use: just register (for free), fill out a brief profile, and start searching. The tool responds with matches that identify relevant scholarships and their award amounts, application requirements, and deadlines, and it automatically sends updates when it identifies new matches. Have a passion for designing greeting cards? There's a scholarship for that! Interested in helping people understand the perils of texting when driving or have an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of " Atlas Shrugged?" There are scholarships for both! "Scholarship money doesn't have to be paid back, and it can significantly reduce out-of-pocket college costs for families," said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. "In fact, more than a third of college costs were covered by scholarships and grants in the 2015-2016 academic year. It's worth investing the time to investigate scholarships, and our Scholarship Search tool simplifies the process, so students can spend less time researching and more time refining their applications." Those who register for Sallie Mae's Scholarship Search are also automatically eligible to win the Plan for College Sweepstakes, which awards $1,000 each month to a winner selected at random. To commemorate National Scholarship Month, Sallie Mae is increasing the amount awarded in the November drawing to $5,000. Sallie Mae offers these scholarship tips: