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Scholarships that help reduce college costs

Is higher education out of reach for your child? Seppy Basili of Kaplan, Inc., shares some advice that could save a bundle.
/ Source: TODAY

As the cost of tuition increases annually, families are finding it difficult to afford their dreams of higher education.  Seppy Basili, senior vice president of learning and assessment for Kaplan, Inc., was invited on the “Today” show to share some advice that could save you a bundle.For students looking at scholarships from particular schools, an early application helps. Students who apply early can often attract scholarships that are based not on the financial need of the student but on a college's desire to meet their enrollment quota at an early date. Students should also look for scholarships from corporations, individuals and civic groups. 

Unusual Scholarships
Juanita College (Huntington, PA); Buckley ScholarshipOffers $1,000 to students in good academic standing who are left-handed.

Hood College; Heritage Scholarship
Allows incoming freshmen to pay the same first-year tuition as their parents or grandparents paid.

Tall Clubs International Scholarships
Offers $1,000 to women who are at least 5'10" and men who are at least 6 '2".

Dartmouth College; "Sons of Wheelock" Scholarship
Full tuition goes to any child from the town of Wheelock, Vt., who is admitted.

Loyola University; Zolp Scholarship
Full tuition goes to any Catholic student whose last name is Zolp. The scholarship was established by a Catholic priest, Father Zolp, who attended Loyola.

Ohio State University
Full tuition offered to one student in each of the state's 88 counties. Students must be academically qualified and come from homes with an income of less than $40,000 annually.

Millennium Scholarship
Offers $10,000 to students who have lived in Nevada for at least two years before they graduate from high school. State-funded by Nevada's portion of the lawsuit settlement against national tobacco companies; seniors must have a 3.1 GPA.

Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship
One $5,000 and three $1,000 scholarships to students who promote skateboarding.  Created by a Philadelphia mother after her 15-year-old son was killed while skateboarding last June. Applicants are judged by their community activism and an essay on "How skateboarding has been a positive influence in my life."

Western Golf Association's Evans Scholars Foundation
Full tuition and housing for high-school seniors who are in the top 25 percent of their class and have served as caddies for two years or more.

The largest and oldest online free search service on the Internet is FastWeb ( According to the Web site, parents and prospective college students can search 600,000 scholarships worth more than a billion dollars. By filling out a personal profile, you can match up with the colleges and universities that best suit you from a database of more than 4,000 institutions. In addition, this site offers tips for financial aid, careers and more.
At, students fill out a personal profile form. The profile is then matched against a regularly updated scholarship database. Scholarships can be sorted by deadline, dollar amount and relevancy. The site even provides a one-click personalized application letter for those who find scholarships for which they want to apply.
Free Scholarship Search at is another site with a database and search engine for matching students with scholarships. This site also offers advice and tips for finding the right kind of aid to meet your needs. In addition to scholarship information, there's plenty of information about student loans, work-study and various grants and loans. There's even a discussion forum and a chat room where you can compare notes with others.
College scholarships and information about financial aid is available at The site is for college-bound students, parents and high school counselors who want to keep abreast of the latest information about scholarships and financial aid. It offers free financial aid and college scholarship searches, SAT and ACT test preparation tips and a list of colleges and universities throughout the United States.
One of the more unusual scholarship Web sites is This site lists scholarships offered at some colleges and universities that are unlimited in number and require no interview, essay, portfolio or any other kind of competition — all students have to do is meet the criteria listed to get a scholarship. This site lists many of the colleges and universities that offer these guaranteed scholarships, along with the criteria that must be met to get the scholarships offered.