Student Financial Wellness Peer Educator Discusses the Ins and Outs of Finding College Scholarships
March 7, 2023
By Lexie Lajoie ’23, Student Financial Wellness Peer Educator
College is likely one of the biggest investments you will make in your young adult life. Although college is expensive, one way you can reduce the amount of debt is by applying for scholarships.
What are scholarships?
A scholarship is an award that you do not have to pay back. It can be won or assigned. Scholarships are offered by many different organizations, such as your college, clubs, community organizations, businesses, and many more. Scholarships may require certain GPAs or majors, but this is not always the case. Some scholarships require an essay or other deliverable, and you may need a letter of recommendation as well. Scholarships can vary widely in amount. Even the smallest scholarship can help with expenses.
How to find scholarships
There are many resources to help you find scholarships. A simple web search is one way you can find scholarships, as well as scholarship search tools that can help you find scholarships that apply to you. iGrad, a financial literacy platform, has a search tool that allows you to filter for a vast number of characteristics such as residency, amount, race-specific awards, and much more. The best part is iGrad is free to University of New Haven students and alumni!
If you still need help finding scholarships, the University of New Haven Financial Wellness Program is here to help. You can come to our Scholarship Workshops or schedule a specific scholarship-search meeting with a peer educator on Navigate. The Financial Wellness Peer Educators offer meetings to help you personalize your search and to give you tips and tricks! We also have a scholarship packet with more than 100 vetted scholarships that you can find on myCharger under Financial Wellness.
How to avoid scholarship scams
One big concern when looking for scholarships is scams. No one wants to waste time doing work that won’t help them, or, even worse, for their information to be stolen. The good news is there are many ways to protect yourself from scams. Some of the ways to stop scammers are:
Fully vet the scholarship. Check the source, look at the “about” page, and try to find previous winners
Do not divulge extremely personal information such as social security numbers
Find scholarships on reputable searches and websites
When in doubt, move on
Help save yourself from the stress of student debt, and follow us on Instagram at @unewhavenfinwell to stay informed on the latest information and updates. You can also find us on myCharger in Student Resources and under Financial Wellness.
Lexie Lajoie ’23 is a criminal justice major at the University and a Student Financial Wellness Peer Educator.