Tuition and Fees for College are on the rise but so are the scholarship dollars for those who are college bound.

The National Average of tuition for Private Universities for the 2015-2016 school year was 32,405 dollars.  Many people need help covering these rising costs.  The good news is that there are more scholarships being offered through Corporations, Foundations and Private Sectors than at any other time in history.

Even if you don't qualify base on need, you have many other options to explore.

These proven strategies will help you be competitive when searching for scholarships this year.  

1. Start Early - Scholarships are available to students of all ages.  The earlier you start, the less competition.  

2. Google is your friend - Searching Often and then organizing your finds is the key in this process.  

3. Look Local - Statistically, your best chance at getting a scholarship will be in your own local community.  Often your community has many local scholarships being offered.  You need to find them and see what you need to do to be competitive for them. 

4. School Specific Scholarships - Your next greatest chance of getting a scholarship is at the school you will be attending.  Many schools offer excellent scholarships based on need, merit, major or community involvement.  

5. National Scholarships - These are plentiful but the competition is steep.  Make sure you apply to these early and be realistic with your chances.  Be sure to choose those that have requirements that you are most likely associated with.

6. Find your niche - If you have a particular interest, talent or field of study that is unique, it can work to your advantage with scholarships.

7. Private Schools - Most Private schools have large endowment funds.   Don't count out a private school when you first see their cost.  Often, they will give you money to equal the cost of a public school and sometime surpass it. 

8. Have an Organized approach - Find the organizational system that works best for you to keep track of the scholarships you find as well as deadlines, essays, materials needed from you etc.....