Getting into college is the most important step in one’s life, and scholarships can help make it happen. We have to start thinking about how we are going to finance a college education for our children when they are born today. Kids start their path to college in elementary school. Every aspect of their education growing up is geared toward helping them meet the requirements to acceptance into a college or university. Everything is planned through a guidance councilor. Even extra curriculum activities are planned, as well as things like student activities and clubs. Every aspect geared towards helping students stand out and meet college entrance requirements.

The cost of college is staggering and growing higher every day. There are some ways to help students defray these costs. Some are:

  • Grants: The federal government offers free education grants each year to qualifying students. This is free money and is in the billions. There are also many privately funded free grant programs for students who qualify. Most free grants are geared toward low income and minority students. There are grants that are privately funded that can be obtained by anyone though. You can apply for the government grants online, or through your school guidance councilor. If interested, you will have to get a FAFSA application and send it in. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application must be submitted to see if you qualify for free government grants.
  • Scholarships: There are many different scholarships. There are some for athletics, scholastic merit scholarships etc. There are many other scholarships offered privately every year by large corporations, local companies, and even individuals. You should perform a search to find possible scholarships that you might qualify for.

The advantage of both scholarships and grants are that it is free money. You never have to pay any of it back. Getting a scholarship is not easy. They can be obtained by anyone though. You do not have to have a perfect GPA to get a scholarship.

If you are interested in obtaining a scholarship to help with the cost of college you need to start planning early in High School. Search out the different scholarships available and see what the requirements are so that you can set your goals to meet them and apply. Here are some tips to help you get that scholarship:

  1. Be early: Do not wait until your senior year to think about scholarships. Start your research early. Apply early. The early bird truly does get the worm.
  2. Check local: There are always scholarships available to students locally. It may be your local veterans group, glee club, or some other group or company. You can bet there is local scholarship money available. You need to seek these out early so you know what the requirements are and start meeting them and apply early.
  3. Preparation: Preparation for obtaining a scholarship is the number one thing you must do. You need to know everything about the scholarship program and application process. You need every “i” dotted and every “t” crossed and the application must be flawless. Knowing what is necessary of you is very important. You can do it.
  4. Check with the college you are interested in attending. Schools have their own scholarship programs and you will want to apply for them as well.
  5. Apply for many and often. Do not limit yourself to just one scholarship. Go after as many as you can find and qualify for.
  6. Use your school counselor. They are plugged into the latest scholarship and grant information. They will help you with every aspect of the application process and meeting the requirements.
  7. Do not be dull. You must be active in your school and community. Help at the soup kitchen, or join the chess club. Get involved in some sort of athletics. Any community activity helps you.
  8. GPA: You must maintain good grades. This is critical. There are many different scholarships out there but just about all of them require good grades. Do not let your grades slip.

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