How do I find college scholarships?

While most teens would rather not put much thought into how they are going to pay for college, if you need to rely on scholarships, and help from places other than your parents or your part time job, high school is the time to look. There are numerous scholarships available to high school students, some only available during certain years of high school. There are essay contests, pageants, and all sorts of other ways to get college scholarships in high school. The following is a guide to finding college scholarships while you are in high school:

  1. The first and most important thing to do when in high school if you want college scholarships is go into your counselor’s office, and meet with your counselor. Do this your freshman year of high school. Tell them that you are interested in applying for any and all college scholarships that come available, and enlist their help. That is what they are there for, but unless you make sure they know you and what you want, there is a good chance you won’t get it. They should get some information about you so that they know which scholarships will apply to you when they do come available. For example, some are specifically for low income families, families of certain races, etc.  From this point, your counselor should make you aware when they hear of or find any scholarships you can apply for, and should get you all the necessary forms, and make sure you hit the deadlines. Of course, counselors are busy and have a lot of kids they are over, so check back in with them every couple of months, and stay on them to look for scholarship opportunities for you.
  2. The second thing you must do is not just leave your fate in the hands of your high school counselor, but take the time to do your own research. If you type “college scholarships” into a search engine online you will find hundreds of opportunities. Spend an hour a week or so browsing these opportunities and determining which ones you could, and should apply for. Some will require you to write essays, etc. Do it. Do not let the prospect of a little work keep you from trying for a scholarship. Think of it this way, an essay may take you a few hours to write, but if it gets you a $2500 college scholarship, even if it took you 25 hours to write, you are making $100/hour, which is way more than you would make working in a job to earn money for college. So, the time and effort is worth it, even if you do not get every scholarship you apply for.
  3. If you know what college you want to attend, and have the grades, test scores, etc. to get in, contact the school directly to find out what scholarship opportunities they offer, and what you would need to do to be considered. For example, they may offer academic scholarships, so you can work hard to get your scores and grades up enough to qualify for one.

High school and why to do it right

student sleeping on booksEverybody knows high school can be a drag.  The whole schedule is set, and students have very little freedom to take the classes they really want to take.  It can be difficult to stay focused on boring school work with all of the other things to do like sporting events, dances, dating, and hanging out with friends.  Even though it can be a drag, doing well in high school is more important than one may think.  Here are a few reasons why doing high school right is important.

College

The main reason doing high school right is to get into the right college.  Most colleges are very selective about which students they will accept.  The students with low grade point averages and “lounging by the pool” as their only extra-curricular activity will have a hard time getting in where they want to go.  Generally, colleges like to see at least a B+ average with quality extra-curricular activities like student government, athletics, community service, or other leadership activities.

No lie, some colleges accept everyone.  Some of these colleges and universities provide a high quality education.  However, even though students who blow off high school can get accepted to these open enrollment schools, they might not be able to do everything that will be required of them once they are accepted.  By working pretty hard in high school, students prepare themselves for the rigorous workload given in college.

Scholarships

Nobody really wants to pay for college.  The best way to go for free is to get a scholarship.  Committees of people decide who gets what scholarship.  Those committees are generally looking for several important things.  They want to see a high grade point average, leadership experience, and extra-curricular activities.  Don’t worry; most of them do not want to see a high quantity of extra-curricular activities.  There can still be plenty of time to hang out, as long as students stay involved in a quality extra-curricular activity in which they are really involved.

Graduation

Everybody looks forward to getting out of high school.  Sticking with the boring classes and getting through is important if for nothing else than to get a diploma and graduate with friends.  Dropping out may seem like an easier option, but in reality, getting a diploma will look better on resumes, open up the opportunity to go to college there is interest, and give students the satisfaction of completing a school work marathon.  Most people are in school for 13 years.  To drop out the last year would kind of be a waste of the previous 12 years.

Self-Confidence

Let’s face it; no one wants to be the dumb one in the room.  Finishing high school is one way to show that a person has the ability to see things through.  High school graduates will also have that diploma to support them as they continue to seek knowledge.  People who finish high school are generally healthier, more confident, and live a more fulfilled life because they have the ability to continue to move forward in their careers.

Getting through high school may seem like a pointless endeavor, especially when grades are low and classes are boring.  It is important to remember that getting through high school has lots of benefits.  It really is worth it.  Just remember that high school leads to college, good grades leads to free money, getting through leads to graduation, and finishing 13 years of school is quite the accomplishment.