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Major Bag Alert: Tons of Scholarships For Current College Students Are Available Right Now

If there’s one thing that every undergrad knows, it’s that college is ridiculously expensive. And while some students were able to secure solid scholarships and financial aid plans before their first year of college, many of us weren’t so lucky. But it’s not too late. There are tons of scholarship opportunities for current college students, not just entering freshmen. Here’s how you can find them.

One of the easiest places to search for scholarships is the UCLA scholarship portal. This database of donor scholarships is managed by the Scholarship Resource Center (SRC) and is available to all current UCLA students. You’ll have to fill out a general application and then you’ll be able to apply to any opportunity that pertains to you. I’ve personally won two different scholarships worth thousands of dollars by doing this — and I’m not even that special, I promise — so it’s definitely a great resource. 

And don’t forget about external scholarships. There are thousands of programs that want to give you money to support your education — you just have to find them and apply. And there are dozens of websites that aggregate these opportunities for you, so you don’t have to worry about searching all over the Internet for them. Some of the scholarships are meant for students of particular majors, ethnic backgrounds, religions, or socioeconomic statuses, but others are open to anybody who wants to apply. The SRC has put together a list of databases where you can search for outside scholarships, making it even easier for you to get started.

One thing to note is that most — but not all — of these scholarships require you to write a personal statement or short essay of some kind. As a fellow college student, I know that doesn’t sound very appealing; we have enough work to deal with already. But think about it this way: if you spend 20 hours total writing all of your essays and putting together your application materials and then you win just one scholarship that’s worth $2000, you’ve just made $100 an hour. That’s not too shabby. So yes, you’re going to have to put in some effort, but the potential rewards are much greater than the drawbacks.

If you’re in a situation where a scholarship could alleviate some of your financial burdens, I highly recommend doing a little research to see what options are available to you. Many applications have deadlines throughout the spring and early summer, so take advantage of these great opportunities while you still can. Good luck!

Nicolette is a senior sociology major and professional writing minor at UCLA. In her free time, she loves reading fantasy novels and baking desserts for her friends and family.
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