Fund Your Schooling: Hunting Down Scholarships to Pay for Your College Expenses

March 3rd, 2009

Anyone can attend college, no matter how limited their financial resources, if they know how to obtain scholarships to cover the expenses. There are literally thousands of scholarship opportunities available for the taking. You simply need to find and apply for them.

There are a variety of scholarship types, each given out for a slightly different reason. Following are some of these scholarships and how you may qualify.

Academic Achievement

Scholarships are granted to students who have good grades and can write a cohesive essay. These scholarships might originate from the schools themselves, businesses, or nonprofit groups. They generally require you to have already earned very good high school grades and to write an essay on a provided topic. High SAT scores and some extracurricular activities can influence scholarship decisions as well.

Sports Star

Perhaps the most exciting way to earn a scholarship is to be great at a competitive sport. Some schools will offer athletes the means to attend just so you can play for their team. On occasion, you can apply for these scholarships, while in other instances a college representative will actually visit and attempt to recruit you. In recruiting situations, your grades are not as important as long as you meet the school’s minimum grade point average.

Musician or Artist

If you are a good musician or artist and able to impress people with your skills, then you can usually find at least some college-bound money. There are many nonprofit organizations dedicated to supporting the arts and will assist your college pursuit if they think your talent has promise. Schools that focus on art and music may also recruit you if their representatives think you will bring prestige to their programs.

Need Based

Most schools help students who are financially disadvantaged simply for the fact that they need it rather than because you demonstrate any particular gifts or talents. The government also provides students college money based on how much their parents earn and the number of children they have in college, including online colleges.

Additionally, there are groups dedicated to educating people who have limited income. You can often use their funds for any college-related expenses, not just tuition. You may conceivably have the school paying your tuition, the government paying your room and board, and a nonprofit group paying your gasoline and auto insurance.

Minority and Religion

There are countless groups dedicated to the advancement of a particular ethnic group or religion. Whatever your heritage or beliefs, chances are that some organization will fund part of your college expenses for it.

You need to search for groups that support whatever ethnicity or religion you are associated with and learn about the scholarships they offer. After preliminary approval, you might need to write an essay and commit to a certain grade point average in college before receiving their financial gift.

Leadership and Community Service

If you can demonstrate you have helped a community and been a leader to your peers, you will be able to unearth money from many sources. Schools are always looking for students who show ambition in helping others.

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