Many high school students look forward to their college days, eager to experience the freedom associated with college life and anxious to take the first steps towards their adult life. However, the one thing that most students and their parents do not
look forward to is paying for college.
Luckily for us though, we have a great tool to help us ease the burden of paying for college: scholarships.
Scholarships are a great, albeit underused, way of relieving the stress caused by college tuition. However, many students do not know where to begin to look for scholarships or how to navigate the endless amounts of information found on the Internet, and thus, scholarships are not often utilized to their full extent.
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You don’t need to be a high school senior about to submit college applications to begin your scholarship search - anyone in high school can look and apply for scholarships; so begin your search today!
Know the Different Types of Scholarships
There are a wide variety of scholarships geared towards many different groups of people and their skillsets. Perhaps the most widely known type of scholarship are academic achievement scholarships. These scholarships are the kinds you hear most about that typically go to students with 4.0 GPAs, perfect scores on their standardized tests, etc.
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Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t fit into this category! There are a multitude of other scholarships you may be eligible for!
Some Types of Scholarships:
Average Academic Scholarships
- These scholarships are focused towards those students who don’t have the most perfect academic record, and consider other skills such as leadership, extracurricular activities, etc.
Athletic Achievement Scholarships
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- Athletes who have been involved in a sport for a number of years and are on their school team or play on a club team could be eligible for athletic scholarships.
Community Service Scholarships
- Students who volunteer often and are an active member of their community could qualify for a community service-based scholarship.
Arts Based Scholarships
- Students who are interested in the arts, such as dance or music, should look into art-based scholarships.
These are just a few examples of the many different scholarships you can apply for. Students can also win scholarships based on their extracurricular activities, special skills or hobbies, or ethnicity, among other things. Fastweb’s Scholarship Directory
is a great resource to find scholarships based on your criteria.
Know Where to Look
The very first step to beginning your scholarship search is to know where to look for scholarships. If you simply search “college scholarships” on Google, you will have the unfortunate task of navigating the millions of results that pop up. Instead, use websites that easily find scholarships for you to your advantage, such as Fastweb or The College Board.
Asking your school counselor about possible scholarships is also a great place to search for scholarships!
Create a Scholarship List
Once you know where to find scholarships, narrow down your list of potential scholarships to the ones you think you have a chance of winning. Discard the scholarships where you don’t fulfill the requirements and the ones that you may not be able to complete.
Once you have your list, start working on completing your scholarships. Pick one off the list and focus all your effort on that one scholarship. Once you submit that one, start on the next one, and so on.
Remember; don’t get discouraged if you don’t win the first few scholarships you apply for. Your scholarship search is an ongoing process and you should continue to add new scholarships periodically to improve your chances of winning!