How to Get Free Money for College: Applying for Scholarships
Scholarships and grants can be the difference between sending your kids to an expensive, brand-name university and letting them get an affordable degree from a community college or public school. But with so many different schools giving out millions of dollars in scholarships every year, how do you know where to start? This article on how to get free money for college will help you find the right resources to achieve your academic goals without putting your family into debt!
No matter what state you live in, there are many financial aid opportunities available. Many students think they won’t qualify, or aren’t sure where to start looking. This guide walks you through some of those misconceptions and helps make your search easier. There are multiple options that have never been easier to apply for than they are now; so don’t give up hope! I will help you find scholarship money, but first let’s talk about a few common myths surrounding scholarships and financial aid in general…
Before you can apply for any scholarships, you need to make sure that you meet all of their eligibility requirements. To do so, you’ll want to make sure that your GPA is above a certain threshold and that you have some kind of merit (or achievement) in something that’s relevant to your field. It’s also worth learning about your state’s grant-in-aid programs – these are similar to scholarships but are generally funded by taxpayers. These kinds of programs tend to be available only at community colleges and two-year institutions, but they’re a great way of getting help with education expenses without paying out-of-pocket.
If you have a GPA over 3.5
Many students are surprised when they find out that having a GPA over 3.5 doesn’t automatically make you eligible for scholarships – most require applications and, in some cases, additional essays. Always check your college’s scholarship page (for both in-state and out-of-state schools) to see what criteria you need to meet. In addition, check with other organizations you belong to or participate in (like your religious institution or an organization centered around a hobby). These often have scholarship programs as well. Remember that money doesn’t always have to come from colleges; while many people look at scholarships as being monetary awards given by institutions of higher education, they can also be provided by any organization – even if it is just $100 here and there.
If you have an ACT score over 26
If you’re someone who scored a 26 or higher on your ACT, good news: You don’t have to worry about making a case in order to apply for scholarships. Anyone who gets that high of a score can just apply and will likely be awarded money. However, keep in mind that if you want these scholarships, it is still important to put together an impressive application package because at least 20% of scholarship winners are chosen by their essay. Even if you don’t think your essay is going to be judged separately from your overall application, it’s best not to take any chances—take time to write an excellent and thoughtful personal statement; people who win without writing strong essays have very impressive ACT scores and have typically had some experience with writing scholarships.
If you are working on a specific field of study
First and foremost, you’ll want to know what your available resources are. This includes taking advantage of any scholarships or grants that are related to your degree program. Some local libraries have booklets with information about what type of aid is available for different majors, as well as how much it could potentially be worth (and when and where it’s due). It also helps to look at college websites; many will have scholarship opportunities listed right on their homepage. While there, take note of any upcoming deadlines and make sure that you meet them! Don’t forget about fellowships, too—which usually require a GPA above 3.5 or specific research experience in your field—but can amount to thousands in free cash.
National scholarships for minorities and people with disabilities
There are many scholarships out there that target students from certain backgrounds or who have certain interests. Here is a list of national scholarships that you can apply for if you have any of these attributes. These will help pay tuition and other expenses, but some don’t even require that you attend college—you could be awarded one on your good looks, athletic prowess, or talent at running really fast in a straight line. That’s right; millions of dollars are just waiting to be claimed by those who fit certain criteria. So go check it out!
Local scholarships in your area
Getting local scholarships is one of your best bets if you have a particular passion. For example, some churches and other religious organizations offer small scholarships for people who have demonstrated a commitment to their particular beliefs. Also look at community foundations and organizations that seek out local talent, such as museums or historical societies. Local scholarships are also offered through area businesses that help promote jobs in your region. Many companies offer college-prep programs or other opportunities that can lead students toward careers they might want to pursue after graduation. Although these scholarships often go unclaimed because of lack of awareness, they’re worth checking out if you’re serious about finding money for school without taking on debt..
Students can often find scholarships specifically set aside for students who want to start their own business, as well as students with an entrepreneurial spirit. For example, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a $1 million scholarship program with specific criteria focused on those interested in building a better world through business. There are also other scholarships that focus more broadly on entrepreneurial endeavors—like using one’s skill set or creativity. Scholarships such as these tend to be offered by organizations like Women’s Business Centers and chambers of commerce, but not necessarily colleges or universities themselves. Be sure to check out these types of opportunities, which often have very low entrance barriers (or none at all).