Simply Money: Smaller college scholarships can help fund your child's education

By: Nathan Bachrach, Simply Money

College can cost an arm and a leg these days, but scholarships can help.

With November deadlines for many college scholarships looming, anxious students and their parents are trying to line up as much money for school as they can.

But while many kids once pursued the "one, big scholarship" that would cover most costs, now a smart strategy is to try to assemble a range of smaller scholarships

The reason being, of course, if there is a ton of competition with those big, national scholarships. Smaller, local or regional scholarships could be a better bet.

So how do you find them? Well, the first step is to fill out a profile at, or a site  like or

Based on the information you provide, things like your background, test scores, grades and interests, you're matched to potential scholarships, make sure you ask the school guidance counselor for the list of local scholarships.

If you're a member of any civic or business groups, check to see if they offer scholarships to members' children. Many do. Don't forget to check into scholarships for students of certain ethnicities or backgrounds.

The only thing you should pay for when you apply for a scholarship is a stamp. If an organization asks for an application fee, that is a red flag.

Websites that will help you search for scholarships: