By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TVBy Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s a harsh reality check now arriving in the mail. Families are now learning just how much financial aid they are really getting for college next fall. But there is still time to try to find some scholarship money to help pay that big tuition bill.

While many high school seniors cash in on one-time awards at graduation there are still college scholarships available for upperclassmen too. “If you haven’t done so already now is the time to be looking for them for this fall,” says Scott James of Salem State University. His advice: “Network, network, network. Tap into clubs and organizations that you and your family and friends belong to.”

Staying local might be your best bet: after all the smaller the pool of candidates the better your odds. Your next stop should be your school’s website. Most financial aid offices have links to scholarship search services can also some of the legwork for you. After filling out a quick questionnaire we found links to a handful of scholarships. Some for academics other for activities including recycling, school spirit, and a cutest couple contest. The deadlines on these scholarships are all different so be sure to mark your calendar. Once you get a scholarship it doesn’t hurt to ask if it’s renewable the following year.

And most importantly you shouldn’t have to spend money to find money. So, make sure you’re not paying to search for scholarships. “Like anything in life the more you can get for free the better,” says James. And what could be better than graduating with as little debt as possible.


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