Scholarships and grants are the best means of funding your college education. But, majority of students give more importance to student loans without thinking about the problem they can become later on; the interest on these loans keeps rising, and if you have a large amount to pay back, you will need to find a job that pays well after leaving college.
Therefore, scholarships and grants are much better options than loans, as you don’t have to pay anything back. There are many scholarships available for all types of students, including those who don’t have an outstanding academic record. These scholarships are offered by different educational institutions, companies and organizations. All you need to do is to start searching for them and apply to those that are suitable for you. This takes a little effort on your part, the return of which can be in the form of free money for college!
You should start searching for scholarship opportunities much earlier than you need them. Start several months in advance, and find scholarship and grant listings. There are number of search options available, including financial aid office, online scholarship search services and newspapers. Consult with the staff at your high school’s financial aid office; join a legitimate online scholarship service; read newspapers for scholarship advertisements. As mentioned above, you can apply and get a scholarship even if you don’t have a high GPA. There are grants available for athletes, ethnic minorities, single moms, performing arts students. Disabled people can apply for a scholarship that is specifically designed for them.
If you don’t qualify for any of these scholarships, then you may apply for one of the unusual scholarships being offered. These include scholarships for left-handed people, scholarships for people who are under a certain height, scholarships for people who have a certain last name, etc.
Many Companies and organization run scholarship programs, offering scholarships to both high school grads and students who have completed their first year in college. Two examples of scholarship awarding organizations are Google and PEPSI. You should consider all these options before deciding which programs you’re going to apply for.
You will have to be patient when searching for scholarships and grants. Make a serious attempt at finding opportunities that you have a chance of winning. It’s a good idea to apply for more instead of just selecting one; more applications often increase the likelihood of being awarded a scholarship.