Want a $50,000 Scholarship and Trip to the Galapagos Islands?

Deadline is April 4.

There are a lot of cool scholarships to help ease the pain of paying for college. Take the Google Science Fair, for example. This online opportunity is certain to rock any young scientist’s world.

While Google is promising top winners up to $50,000 in educational scholarships and a National Geographic trip to the Galapagos Islands, it is not the only organization shelling out big bucks in the name of education.

Many deadlines for the big money scholarships already have passed, but students who are still looking should be able to find some good options;  we found more than 1.5 million scholarship opportunities worth more than $3.4 billion. Meanwhile, it is a good time for the class of 2012 and those just beginning the college process to learn what is out there.

Consider this: A math whiz from California just won $100,000 from the Intel Foundation annual science talent search scholarship competition. This fall, the Coca-Cola Scholars program will split $3 million among several lucky students. The top winners will get $20,000 a piece.  What’s more, Buick Achievers will give away up to $25,000 to 100 freshmen to study science, math or business; that amount is renewable for up to four years.

Don’t forget to search for off-the-wall, zany and fun scholarships. You might want to wear duct tape to prom and try to win a $5,000 scholarship. If your last name is Zola, and you are Catholic, you might qualify for a full-ride scholarship to Loyola University in Chicago through the  Zola Foundation.  And if you are really tall, Tall  Clubs International offers a $1,000 scholarship opportunity for women who are at least 5’10” and men who are at least 6’2″.

To begin this process, check out Fastweb, reputed to be the single best scholarship database; it helps students match needs and qualifications to scholarship opportunities.  You might find some healthy lifestyle scholarships with April and May deadlines for high school seniors and college freshmen. Click lifestyle to apply for these scholarships.

Looking elsewhere?  Most of the college admissions experts we’ve interviewed advise parents and students to be careful of scams. You shouldn’t have to pay money to get money.

Keep in mind, most scholarships ask students to write essays as part of the application process. Wow Writing Workshop can help you. Contact us if you need a hand.