If you're planning on starting college in the fall of 2014, you've got lots to do. You've got college fairs to attend, tests to take, essays to write, and applications to fill out.
As you narrow your college search, the hard reality of how much college can cost is probably sinking in. You can and should apply for federal student aid and state grant programs, but you can't file your FAFSA until January 1, 2014. However, you can rev up your search for free money – scholarships provided by local businesses, employers, community foundations, national philanthropic groups, and thousands of other organizations.
Even if you've already applied for a few scholarships, if you need cash for college, you should keep hunting for sources of need- or merit-based aid. With the help of free scholarship search engines, like the ones listed below, you should be able to find at least one scholarship opportunity worth the time and effort to apply.
These are just a few of the scholarship search tools available to you, so take a little time to find the resources that meet your needs. Check to see whether your state offers scholarship resources. For example, in Washington State, students should visit www.thewashboard.org, which is designed to alert students in Washington to worthwhile scholarship opportunities. Arizona's scholarship search engine can be found here.
Many college and university websites provide detailed lists of scholarship opportunities available to their students. Some schools offer their own online search services. For example, click here to see the search engine offered by the University of Massachusetts.