Apply for scholarships and financial aid as early as possible
Check for scholarships sponsored by local organizations, especially those in which you or your parents participate, such as your church; parent's place of employment; and civic and community clubs such as the American Legion, YMCA, 4-H Club, Elks, Rotary, Lions, Masons, Kiwanis, Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, and the Girl or Boy Scouts.
Research scholarship and grant opportunities at your local library as well as online. See the Scholarships section on the Resources page. In performing an internet search, use keywords that apply to your situation, including:
Professional organizations in the field you want to study. For example, a search for "nursing " results in several links from groups in the profession. Also, try keywords like "surgical technologist," "medical assistant," "occupational therapy assistant," or "imaging technologist."
Your gender (some private scholarships are awarded based on gender).
Your age, especially if you are a "non-traditional" student. Students are considered non-traditional if you are returning to college after spending some time away from education or are attending college for the first time and are 25 years or older.
Your ethnicity/minority status.
Any disability you or your parents may have.
Veteran status you or your parents may have.
Student organizations in which you are involved (FFA, FHA, DECA, VICA, or Key Club).
Your parents' or your employer, especially if it is a large corporation.
Try searching both "scholarship" and "scholarships," as you will get different results. Also try multiple forms of other words, for example, nurse/nursing and disabled/disability/disabilities.
Be sure to note the eligibility requirements, instructions, and deadlines for scholarships, and follow them carefully.
Commit a day a week to find and apply for scholarships and stick to the schedule. For example, pick a day of the week, like every Sunday, and make a commitment that by sundown, you will have found three new scholarships to apply for and have filed applications for them.
Do not take rejection personally or give up after the first couple of rejection letters. The more you apply, the more opportunities will be available to you.