Best strategies to find and win college scholarships

NORFOLK, Va - November is National Scholarship Month, and News 3 This Morning is taking action to help parents and students find money for college.

Zach Rinkins, and author of I Am College Materialexplained the best strategies to find and win scholarship money on News 3 This Morning.

How to find scholarships

"Generally, the internet is the greatest and most effective resource for scholarships," said Rinkins.  "Parents and students can create Google Alerts to the keywords 'college scholarship' and 'college grant.' Google will e-mail them a daily report with all its hits on your designated keywords.  Fastweb.com and the state and federal education departments are also great resources."

How to make your application stand out

"Never communicate from your perspective or needs," explained Rinkins.  "Conduct research on the scholarship granting entity, find out what they value and check out its past winners. Then, communicate from the entity's perspective and share how investing in your education helps advance its mission. Also, leadership and service are highly valued. Talk about how you have made a difference or impacted a problem."

When to apply

"Do not procrastinate," said Rinkins.  "You want to apply as soon as the process starts. There are typically fewer applications during that time."

Untapped resources

"There are so many local and institution-based scholarships available for current and prospective college students," said Rinkins.  "Go to your high school college counselor or college scholarship coordinator and ask for scholarship information. Also, create a Google Alert with your local city and scholarships."