NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Thanksgiving is around the corner, bringing to mind thoughts of family, food, football … and scholarships? November is National Scholarship Month and Sallie Mae, the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company, is reminding families that millions of scholarships, worth billions of dollars, are awarded each year to students with a wide range of aptitudes, achievements, and aspirations.
Today there are scholarships for almost every interest, talent, and situation imaginable. Thanksgiving might prompt applications to the National Wild Turkey Federation, which awards scholarships to students interested in wildlife and rangeland management. And for the ultimate Thanksgiving purist, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants has scholarships for, well, documented descendants of the original Pilgrims.
There are scholarships for students who want to study subjects as diverse as candy making, potato growing, and welding technology. In addition, scholarships are available for community college students transferring to four-year institutions and students who are first in their family to attend college.
In fact, with so many different kinds of scholarships, and so many organizations offering them, it can be hard to know where to start looking. That’s where Scholarship Search by Sallie Mae® can help. Sallie Mae has just added 2 million scholarships to this free online tool, which now offers access to more than 5 million scholarships worth nearly $24 billion. It’s easy to use: just register (for free), fill out a brief profile, and start searching. The tool sends automatic alerts when it identifies new matches. Each match includes information about the scholarship, including award amount, requirements, and application deadlines.
In addition, those who register for Sallie Mae’s Scholarship Search are 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.
“Scholarships can make a significant dent in what families spend out-of-pocket on college, but finding and applying for them requires an up-front investment of time and effort,” said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. “Our Scholarship Search tool simplifies the process and makes it more productive, so students don’t have to spend hours scouring the web.”
Sallie Mae offers these additional scholarship tips:
- Applying is worth the time and effort. Many scholarships offer meaningful sums, but even if the award is small, every little bit helps. It’s money that doesn’t have to be paid back, and it can be used for textbooks, supplies, or other college-related expenses.
- Deadlines and details matter. In the highly competitive scholarship arena, missing a deadline or overlooking application requirements will likely disqualify an applicant.
- Students can – and should – apply each year they’re in school. Approximately 50 percent of available scholarships are for students already enrolled in college.
- Impress the judges. Something seemingly as small as sending a thank-you note can have a disproportionately large effect on how an application is regarded.
- Never pay for scholarships – or for scholarship searches. There are many free scholarship search sites like Sallie Mae’s Scholarship Search. Guidance counselors and school financial aid offices can recommend other reputable options.
For more tips on how to get started finding free money for college, check out Sallie Mae’s scholarship infographic.
Scholarship Search is just one of the free planning-for-college tools available online in Sallie Mae’s College Planning Toolbox, which includes the College Planning CalculatorSM and the College AheadSM Mobile App.
Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal finance, including private education loans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, college financial planning tools, and online retail banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.