Mastering the Scholarship:
Tips on How to Get College Cash
By Kendyl, age 17, Tennessee
College tuition is crazy expensive these days. Adults rave about a time when a semester only cost $600. Now, tuition plus housing and other expenses can propel costs to astronomical levels. The best way to diminish the burden is through scholarships. Yet sometimes scholarships seem to resemble sweepstakes on candy wrappers. Here are some tips to finding all the cash for college you can:
1. Search locally. Your community might offer scholarships through the Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club. Not many people apply for these, so they're easier to get.
2. Think about what makes you special. Are you legally blind? Super tall or short? A good writer or marbles player? Believe it or not, there are scholarships for all of these. Make some money off your talents or physical traits.
3. Look for the weird ones. Most people first think of scholarships for financially needy or especially brainy students. If you don't qualify for these, there are plenty of weird scholarships that don't require financial or academic records. For instance, I recently applied for a scholarship that involved answering trivia about fire sprinklers after reading an essay on the subject.
4. Be persistent. You can't get scholarships you don't apply for. Try to apply for at least one every couple of days. The more you fill out, the more likely it is that you'll get money.
5. Talk to your guidance counselor. It's literally part of their job to keep that sort of information on hand. If you show initiative in asking for help, they'll be only too happy to give suggestions and write a glowing recommendation letter.