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How to Search for Scholarships online on Google

The first step towards a successful scholarship application is searching for your eligible scholarships in the right place. The Internet/online is indeed the right place to start. Google.com is the largest library on the internet with millions of websites in it’s database. For your scholarship research, I’d bet, google.com is the right place to start. But to serve you best, you need to understand how this powerful search tool works.

It could be a little tricky sometimes when trying to find the right scholarship for you.
For instance, if You are a student from Nigeria, with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a second class upper division and, intend to further your education through a master’s degree in Information Technology Management, using the keyphrase, ‘Information Technology Postgraduate Scholarship for Nigerian Student’ in google search, may be a smart way to search, but it may not provide you with the best results due to the following reasons;
– Some scholarship awards are generally for international students including Nigeria, and do not mention specific countries
– Some scholarship awards will accept students for all fields of study offered at a particular university or college without having to mention the courses in the scholarship announcement page.
– Including ‘Nigeria’ and ‘Information Technology Management’ in your search term will only provide you with webpages where ‘Nigeria’, ‘Information’, ‘Technology’ and ‘Management’ are mentioned and not eligible scholarships for Nigerian students in Information Technology Management.

Since it’s a matter of getting the best available results, here is a better approach you can apply when searching for scholarship;

Start with a general search including year.
Using the above postgraduate student for example, rather than go with the above keyphrase, you can start with something like, ‘2011 Scholarship for international Students‘. With this google provide you with results of all the webpages in it’s database that contains the keywords, ‘2011’, ‘Scholarship’, ‘International’ and ‘Students’, though not necessarily in the exact order of phrase arrangement. Check if the first 20 results contain scholarship applications you can apply for.
Note: Adding the year at the start of the search phrase will prompt the search engine to give higher priority to webpages with scholarship publications and deadlines within the specified year (2011).
If you can’t find what you want within the first 20 to 50 results (2 to 5 pages on google), take the next step.

Search within your results
This is one feature most google search users tend to underuse. You may often feel compelled to try different combination of keywords to see which one provides a better result. Although the technique can work for you sometimes but there is an easier way around it. ‘Search Within Results’. You can find the link below every Google search result page. This feature enables you to further search within the already provided results, using a more related keyword(s), and eliminates less relevant results.
Still Using our case study for example, you can search within pages for ‘Africa’ or ‘UK’ or ‘Deadline August’ or ‘Information Technology Management’ or ‘Nigeria’, as the case may be.
Note: You can use this feature over and over again until you have narrowed your results into a more relevant one.
You can then do whatever you wish with the remaining related webpages.

Why not give it a try now and let’s hear how it went. If you know of other techniques of using google search effectively, please share with us on comment below.

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