Scholarship Zone: When should I start applying for scholarships?

Scholarships are a big deal when it comes to paying for your college education. If you don’t end up getting enough money from FAFSA®, they can be a way to make up the difference so you don’t have to take out a ton of student loans.

As you start to plan for your college education put scholarships at the top of your to-do list. Here’s how you can get started on your scholarship search.

Start as Early as You Can

When you’re deciding when the best time is to start applying for scholarships, the answer is simple — start as early as you can!
Scholarship money doesn’t need to be paid back, which makes it one of the best ways to pay for college. So, when sitting down to apply there are two important factors to keep in mind: the time of year and your current grade level.

Timing is Everything

The US Department of Education awards over $46 billion in scholarships every year – so don’t miss out on your chance to get some of that money.
With most scholarship deadlines between September and May, it’s best to get a head start on applying. Obviously, the more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances are of winning.
With some scholarships, you have the opportunity to apply throughout the year. This makes it easier for you to apply on breaks and off time so it doesn’t interfere with homework and studying.

You Can Apply In ANY Grade

You might think that you can only apply for scholarships during your senior year, but that’s not true! While there are many scholarships specifically for high school seniors, there are also many scholarships available for freshmen, sophomores and juniors, too!
To find out what you’re eligible for, you can build a profile on or Once your profile is built, you’ll see a list of scholarships you can apply for along with their deadlines.

Things to Remember

For many scholarships, one of the requirements is filing your FASFA® (which is also a great way to secure aid for college).