How to Increase the Private Scholarship Money Your Child Receives for College

“How can my child get Private Money Scholarships for college?”
That is one of the most frequent questions I am asked.  But, it shouldn’t be.  And here’s why.  Last year there was over $165 billion dollars given away in aid from all sources to students heading off to college. Less than 4% of that aid was from private scholarships.  4%…that’s it.  In the grand scheme of free money for college, that isn’t a whole lot.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to ignore that 4% of available dollars, but you shouldn’t  spend to much of your time going after this money. But if you do, here’s a few tips on the best ways to increase your chances for private college scholarships for your child.

Because of the nature of Private Money Scholarships and the national competition, the sheer number of kids applying is staggering.  My advice is that you apply to 5 or 6 for the chances to win one.

If the scholarship money is big, the reality of it is extremely minimal.  Focus more on the smaller and less likely to be applied for scholarships.

Have more than a half dozen applications can become tiresome and tedious. Some students have said that applying for Private Money Scholarships is like having a part time job. But like a job well done, the rewards can be worth it.

The best way to search for scholarships and fellowships is to use a personalized search, like provides, that compares your background with a database of awards. Only those awards that fit your profile are identified as matches.

There are several free scholarship databases available online. With more than 1.5 million scholarships worth more than $3.4 billion, the database is the largest, most accurate and most frequently updated scholarship database. If you supply an email address, they will notify you when new awards that match your profile are added to the database. You can even submit an electronic application to some of the scholarships listed in the FastWeb scholarship database, saving you time and money.

***Scam Alert**** Be aware that there have been several scam companies over the years hocking scholarship searches for families for a fee. Don’t waste your money on any of these fee-based scholarship matching services. You won’t get any better information than you can get from the free services available on the Web.

Until next time,

Scott Weingold

Related Articles:

How to Take Control of the College Funding Process

5 Disastrous Mistakes Parents Make When Applying for College Funding

How to Make College Cheaper: Part 1 – Scholarships

When, How, and Where to Apply for Scholarships

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News,, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.