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What are some ways I could have a free ride to college?

Im interested in a trending a college far from home. My family does not have the funds.

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Madisyn’s Answer

Hi Jonathan,

A good way to secure a free ride to college is by applying for a lot of scholarships! The more scholarships you apply for, the more money you stand to gain for your college costs. Even a small scholarship of $500 can significantly lighten your financial load!

I encourage you to explore scholarships on both local and national scales. Locally, many organizations generously offer scholarships to students in their community, which narrows down the competition and boosts your winning odds. On the national front, scholarships can be more lucrative, providing a larger financial award.

Additionally, don't overlook the potential scholarships that colleges themselves may offer. Some institutions reward high-achieving students with full-ride scholarships based on outstanding GPAs, impressive extracurricular activities, and more!

In essence, keep your GPA high and your college essays polished so that you can start sending out those scholarship applications. Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Madisyn! Jonathan
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Jonny’s Answer

Hello there! Applying for scholarships and seeking financial aid are just a couple of strategies to fund your education. But have you ever thought about serving in the military or joining the reserves? It's a unique opportunity to gain real-world experience and earn certificates in specific fields, which can contribute towards your college credits. Plus, there are numerous military scholarships and benefits like the 9/11 GI Bill available. These resources could potentially cover the cost of your four-year college degree and accelerate your career progression.
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Bailey’s Answer

Hi Jonathan! There are numerous scholarships and grants that cover college expenses. Here are some useful websites: scholarship.com, fastweb.com, studentaid.gov
Some of them may take some time but it'll be absolutely worth it.
There are also work-study programs offered by colleges and universities that will allow you to work part time on campus while studying to make additional income. You can either research or call the university you're interested in to see what work-study programs they offer.
I hope this helps :)
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Brittany’s Answer

Sure thing! Here's a friendlier version of your text:
Hey, it's a good idea to search for companies that offer tuition reimbursement. Did you know Starbucks does this? They actually cover the full tuition for Arizona State University. Isn't that awesome?
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A. Michelle’s Answer

Jonathan - Start doing research in two areas: (1) scholarships broadly available to students meeting certain criteria (grades, extracurricular or background) and (2) financial aid and scholarships offered directly by schools in geographic areas where you are interested in attending college. One other suggestion: you don’t necessarily have to go far away to have the “away from home” college experience. Attending college in a different part of your state or a nearby state would give you this experience without the high cost to travel home for breaks.
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Peter’s Answer

Not sure if this is something you would consider but serving the military is an option. If so here are some links to get you started
https://www.todaysmilitary.com/education-training/paying-college
https://www.todaysmilitary.com/education-training/rotc-programs
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T.J.’s Answer

Hello Jonathan!

A way that might help you is applying to four-year scholarships at colleges across your state (or the state you want to go).

Some colleges have full-ride scholarships offered to students who meet specific criteria. The criteria they use for these are usually:
- Your GPA
- Your SAT/ACT score
- Your Extracurriculars
- Your Personality, Charisma, and Goals.

Here's some examples of colleges with four-year free tuition:
- https://tinyurl.com/3asvuwup
- https://tinyurl.com/3r3edwku

Since you want to travel out-of-state, look for full-tuition or free-tuition scholarships under the college's Financial Aid page.

Basically, free-tuition across four years requires you to meet high standards. To get one of these scholarships, I recommend doing the following steps:

#1). 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐚𝐜𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐜𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡.
You want to get a high GPA and high enough test score. Some scholarships will ask for a 3.5 GPA, while others will ask for a 3.9 GPA. Some colleges have a test score requirement ranging between 1200-1400 for the SAT, for example, as well. It depends on the college website.

If you don't have high grades, you may need to improve them.

The amount of time you'll have to increase them depends on whether you're a freshman or senior in high school. Preferably, students can aim to build their grades over time and early.

#2). 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐞𝐱𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐞𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐠𝐨𝐚𝐥𝐬 - 𝐨𝐫 - 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲.
Colleges like to see students commit to something. You can focus on committing to a cause you care about.
A club that relates to your major (or fields you're interested in). A organization that focuses on community service. A sports team.
Do something you're genuinely interested in and that you can see yourself doing until you graduate high school.

Alternatively, you can focus on doing something that matches a college's values. All colleges have values, and they share their values on their About page online.

Let's say there's a college that cares about innovation. You can spend time innovating solutions for a problem in your community (through community service) or by creating a project related to your major (an app, a mural or art gallery, or business plan - personal projects do count as extracurriculars!).

The main idea is to show that you want to make an impact in society.

#3). 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐱𝐭 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐩𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬.
For full-tuition scholarships, colleges will format the application process in the form of a competition.
The competition will usually focus on either essay(s) and / or an interview.

If it does require these things, practice your essay writing and interview skills. Think about what the program values. When you reflect on their expectations, you can provide answers to meet what they're looking for.

If you're unable to get a full-ride scholarship, that's okay :) There's always other ways you can get a college degree. Try your best and see how it goes.

Sending you good luck with the scholarship process :)
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