— -- Everyone knows college is expensive, but there are a few tricks to bring down the cost. As a reporter who covers money-saving topics, one question I'm often asked is how to find college scholarship money.
Here are three tips I recently shared with "Good Morning America."
There is a college for everyone and it isn't Yale or Harvard
It’s time for your teen to stop focusing on the "reach" school if college scholarships are the goal. Narrow your teen's search to schools that could be the best fit, not necessarily the most competitive. A school that sees your child as a student who will thrive on its campus is much more likely to offer money.
Scholarship money doesn’t have to come from the school
Think local: Your local community organizations and local businesses may have college scholarships to offer. Keep in mind that those that require the most work will likely have the fewest applicants, improving your child's chances of winning.
Consider schools that are in another state/b>
Colleges want diversity, and that includes geographic diversity. Students have an easier time applying to schools and possibly getting scholarships if everyone else at their high school isn’t applying to the same places.
Clean up your online profile
Finally, no college is going to offer a scholarship to someone who has a questionable online presence. Scholarship winners are a direct reflection of the school they go to, and no school wants its potential students to look foolish online. Tell your teen to clean up that profile before he or she fills out applications.