Room and Board and Tuition, Oh My!

So, you committed to a college and feel on top of the world … until you look at the estimated cost for tuition, room and board, books, “personal expenses” …

The good news is that there are so many scholarships out there just waiting to be applied for. I’m here to help you discover those scholarships, and hopefully relieve some fear of the financial burden.

University Scholarships

Within majors, the University of Illinois has scholarships. While I can only speak for the College of Education, I can truthfully and honestly say that these scholarships are incredibly helpful. The application is online so it is easy access. It took me about an hour to fill out the entire thing, and then another hour to review and edit my writing. Also, the College of Education gives a scholarship to any student that decides to study abroad, too.

Community Organizations/Employers

Ask around in your community for scholarships, as well. Organizations such as the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, 4-H Club or Elks National Foundation often offer scholarships to college students. The applications will vary, as well as the value, but any bit counts! Another great resource for scholarships is your employer. Many companies offer scholarships for college students. For example, The McDonald’s Educates Scholarship Program offers a $1,000 award each year to a high-achieving student employee.

Free Online Scholarship Searches

As a last resort, there are plenty of online search engines to find scholarships. The downfall of this method is reliability. These search engines are great, though, because they are simple, holistic, and easy to apply for. Examples of search bases include,, and Peterson’s College Scholarship Search.

We all know that the last thing anyone wants to do after filling out tons of college applications is fill out more applications, but the payoff is definitely worth it. Push through the essays. You can do it!



Class of 2020
I am studying Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Social Sciences and Literacy in the College of Education. Although I now reside in Champaign, I am originally from Vernon Hills, a Northwest suburb of Chicago.

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