Why get a j-o-b when you can score free money with a scholarship? If you're on a free money hunt, let your fingers do the clicking on some Web pages. There are dozens of scholarship sites that list every kind of offer imaginable – from your usual straight-A nerd kind of award to money for third-generation Californians with brown eyes whose ancestors mined for gold (okay, we're making that one up).

And your search shouldn't end once you're enrolled as a freshman. Check with your college's financial aid office to apply for upperclassmen awards. "It's easier once you're there to find out about all the weird little things – $500 here, $500 there," says New York U. sophomore Sarah Zeitler.

But buyer beware. If a scholarship seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scholarship fraud is becoming a more frequent problem across the country. FinAid, a student scholarship service, offers advice on how to avoid scholarship fraud on their Web site. Be wary of any scholarship that requires an application fee, a search service that "guarantees" a scholarship, or an "advance-free loan" that might never materialize.


By Katie Potthoff, Ohio Wesleyan U.

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