College Planning

How to Find and Apply to Scholarships While at Home

Searching and applying for scholarships is an important college planning task that you can do while you’re at home. Before starting your search, you may want to make a list of the types of scholarships you might be interested in. They could be scholarships related to a certain career interest or field you want to study; they may be state- or area-specific scholarships, or gender- or ethnicity-based scholarships. From here, you can begin to search which programs would be the best fit for you, and which you may qualify for.

The good news is that there is a scholarship for almost anything! Check out these tools to kick-start your scholarship search and start applying:


Scholarship Search

Get started with the BigFuture™ Scholarship Search tool, which connects you to over 2,000 scholarships, other financial aid, and internships totaling nearly $6 billion. You can search for scholarships based on your gender, background, where you live, the type of award and types of affiliations they have, so you can find the best-fit programs for you. You can also do a broader search if you want to look at all scholarships at a glance.

College Board Opportunity Scholarships Program

Currently open for class of 2021 students, the College Board Opportunity Scholarships Program gives you access to drawings totaling $5 million in scholarships, in which you are eligible to win a $40,000 Complete Your Journey scholarship by completing all six steps you’re already taking in applying to college. From building a college list to completing the FAFSA® to applying to colleges, this program awards money in drawings for every step you take. It does not require an application, or minimum GPA, or SAT scores. If you are a junior, you can sign up for the program and start completing the steps.  For more information on the program and its deadlines, visit the FAQ page.

Scholarship America

Scholarship America has distributed billions of dollars in scholarships to millions of students since it was founded. Like BigFuture, you can use their Browse Scholarship search tool to find programs by state, as well as scholarships that are still accepting applicants. You can also access general information and guidance about scholarships to help you prepare a strong application.


Federal Student Aid

From the agency that hosts the FAFSA, the office of the Department of Education has a great website and different resources to get started. And don’t forget to fill out the Free Application for Student Aid (the FAFSA), which gives you consideration for federal student aid, as well as state and college specific scholarships. For more information on the form and for specific deadlines, visit the FAFSA website.   

How to Apply for a Scholarship

Applying to scholarships can be a lot like applying to colleges. As you narrow down the list of scholarships, you’re interested in applying for, make sure you read the eligibility requirements carefully and stay on top of any specific deadlines. When you’re ready to apply, make sure you pull together all of the required materials and follow the instructions. Have a caring adult or friend read over your application to make sure you haven’t missed anything!

Unsure of where to start and looking for more information? Learn more about the basics of grants and scholarships and the first steps to take in this process. You can also get in contact with specific colleges and see if they have any scholarships they are offering during this time.

Check out these additional resources to help you on your scholarship hunt: