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Consumer Reports: Scholarship money

Consumer Reports: Scholarship money. (WPEC)

If you are looking to save money on tuition, time is running out.

Almost half of the families use scholarships for college, with scholarships and grants covering 35% of college costs.

Though less than 1% of students get scholarships that cover the entire cost of tuition and room and board, every penny counts. Consumer Reports says you should use these smart strategies to maximize your chances of getting scholarship money.

First, look to your future school, Colleges are one of the largest providers of grants and scholarships.

“You can increase your chances of getting merit aid by applying to schools where your test scores and grades are in the top 10% of the class, helping you stand-out,” Donna Rosato, Consumer Reports Money Editor.

Next, be strategic about what you apply for, Spend your time searching for scholarships that match your experience and interests. Free websites like Cappex, The College Board, Fastweb or Scholarships.com let you fill out a profile to identify what's unique about you, and then match you with potential scholarships.

Go big AND small, apply to both national and local scholarships.

“National scholarships offer more money, but your odds of snagging a local one may be better because you're likely to be competing against fewer students,” says Rosato.

The easiest thing to do but possibly the most important is to track the deadlines for different scholarships that you might quilify to get.

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