How to Get Scholarships for College

If you’re a high school student, the word “scholarships” is probably getting really old. Everyone’s talking about what grant they won, what scholarship offer they just received, or what college is offering them some ridiculous amount of money to study there. Yes, the whole college thing becomes something of an annoyance, especially by senior year.

How to Get Scholarships for College

How to Get Scholarships for College

These days, students as young as elementary school are winning scholarships. Some students are actually APPLYING for scholarships as young as middle school. And if you haven’t won scholarship money by the time you’re a junior, you may feel like an outcast.

The good news is, you can get scholarships for college at any point in your educational career. In fact, applying for money for college will continue to be a part of life while you’re still in college. If you plan on pursuing a graduate degree, you’ll be applying for even more aid, even after you get your bachelor’s degree. Put it this way: getting scholarship funds for college is a never-ending process, at least until you’re finished with higher education.

If you’re wondering how to get scholarships for college, you’re probably a junior high or high school student hoping to earn some free cash to help pay for your four-year degree, or a grad student that lucked out as an undergrad and never really needed help with funding for your bachelor’s degree. Have no fear–we here at are at your service.

What Are Scholarships?

This may seem like a dumb question; it’s not. Many forms of college aid exist, of which scholarships are just one variety. College grants are free money packages handed out to students, with no expectation of repayment. Student loans are money amounts from banks and other financial institutions used to pay for school that incur interest (for the most part) and must be repaid upon graduation, or after you stop attending classes. Scholarships are more like grants, except they come with caveats that mean that in some rare cases you may actually be asked to pay back the award. But don’t worry about that; the vast majority of scholarships will never need to be repaid. Only students who withdraw in the middle of a semester need worry about paying back this kind of funding.

How Do I Get a Scholarship?

Because there are so many different forms of tuition assistance funding, there is no easy answer to this question. Some students earn money this way by virtue of having good grades. Still others will win college cash by excelling in athletics or in a particular subject matter. Some scholarships are handed out for winning contests, like the famous Scripps National Spelling Bee. Just to make things even more confusing, some scholarships are given based on totally subjective auditions, like those awards given to people in music, dance, theater, art, creative writing, and vocal performance studies.

If you’re hoping to get funding for college, it’s a good idea to keep your grades up, maintain a well-rounded set of extra-curricular activities, part-time jobs, volunteer work, and other accolades. Making friends with teachers who can write stellar letters of recommendation won’t hurt either.

How do you get a scholarship? Talk to your high school guidance counselor, see what areas of your application need improvement, and let the counselor help you find the cash you need to continue your education at the college  level.

2 Examples of College Scholarships

Here are just two examples of the kind of money you can get for college through scholarship offers. This is a representative sample of the types of awards students win every year to help bring the rising cost of a four-year degree down. Dig around, find awards that you think you qualify for, and apply to as many as your writing hand can stand.

1. Hope College Distinguished Artist Awards

Handed out to as many as sixty students in art, music, writing, dance, and theater, the Hope College Distinguised Artist Awards are annual scholarships worth $2,500 apiece designed to reward students with a strong academic record and who demonstrate above average creative abilities. Renewable for four years, these awards can be worth as much as $10,000 towards a students tuition at Hope College. To win this award, students must audition or present a portfolio as well as interview with select faculty and staff. This scholarship award is an example of a college-specific and major-specific award that requires an audition as well as a review of your past academic performance.

2.  The George Snow Scholarship Fund

The George Snow Scholarship Fund was established to reward students who demonstrate financial need with grants they need to attend college. To qualify for an award from this fund, students must be a graduate of a Palm Beach County or North Broward County High School, demonstrate financial need, be active in their school and community, write an essay that shows their educational and career goals, and be graduating seniors heading into their first year of college. The George Snow Fund also hands out scholarships for students who meet the above criteria that are planning to major in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, engineering, visual/ performing arts, photojournalism or culinary arts, are at least 1/8 Italian, a graduate of Limestone Creek Elementary, have plans  to attend a vocational or technical school, or are an orphan. Strange mix of requirements, indeed, but you can see why this award is popular–there are many in-roads to George Snow scholarship money. Awards range from a few hundred dollars to full-tuition payments, renewable each year that students maintain academic excellence.

You can see how specific some scholarship offers are. This is actually good news; no matter who you are, what you’re interested in, or what sort of college you want to go to, there is probably a multitude of grants and other aid awards you are eligible for. The trick is to apply for as many awards as you can and work closely with your guidance counselor to rack up enough money to get you through your higher education.

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