It is a known fact college is expensive and the cost is rising. Do not let that deter you from applying for college. There are many opportunities to help you cover the cost of college. Scholarships are gifts of "free money" that do not need to be paid back, unlike student loans. Most scholarships can be awarded based on merit, which means that students earn them for having good grades, athletic talent, volunteering, or even for a certain demographic. Every year, hundreds of billions of dollars are awarded in scholarship money. There are many sources of scholarship, such as colleges and universities, military, individuals, communities, nonprofits, ethnic/historical organizations, businesses, religious groups, and more. Some scholarships are highly selective but many are not. The best practice is to apply for as many scholarships as possible and start early.