Saving for College

When Should Students Start Applying for Scholarships?

Question: “When should students start applying for scholarships?”

If you’re like most people, you hear the word ‘scholarships’ and think about high school seniors.  It’s true; your senior year is an important time to apply for scholarships, but you may be surprised to learn that students should apply for scholarships way before their senior year. Why?  Watch this short video to find out more. The answer may surprise you.

If you’re in high school, you have probably heard your guidance counselor talk about how important it is to apply for scholarships, especially if you are a senior.

But did you know that students should really start applying for scholarships before high school? 

That’s right, here at, we recommend that students start applying for scholarships when they are 13 years old.  You heard me – if you’re already a high school senior and haven’t even started applying for scholarships yet, you are definitely behind the ball!  Now, you may be wondering…why 13 years old?  Well, most scholarship applications are accepted online these days, and due to federal guidelines, most websites do not collect personally identifiable information from children under 13.  This does not mean that there are not scholarships for younger children, but most college-bound students should start searching and applying for scholarships after their 13th birthday.  Although every scholarship has different requirements for who can apply, you may notice that many programs allow students ages 13 and up to apply.

Think about this: if you’re a high school senior and you’re 18 years old, that’s 5 years of scholarship applications you missed!

It might sound like you avoided a lot of work, but what you really missed out on is 5 years of possibly receiving free money for college!  It’s also important to consider the following advice when wondering when should apply for scholarships: if you’re a current college student, don’t stop applying for scholarships!  You may have been accepted to college, but you have at least four years’ worth of tuition to pay for!  There are plenty of scholarship programs for current college students, so don’t stop applying until you walk across that stage and have that degree in your hand, whether it’s an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree.

So, if you ask me, it’s time for you to head over to and apply for some scholarships.  Good luck!

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Tamara is the Social Media Coordinator and a regular writer for, and She enjoys helping students prepare for college. As a mother of four, Tamara has first-hand experience with many areas of education, including special needs (autism), the International Baccalaureate program and post-secondary education. She enjoys speaking at schools and mentoring others online. In her free time, Tamara enjoys volunteering and supporting her favorite football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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