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How do I pay for college if I'm not the best?

I'm an average high school senior, and I only do colorguard, so how do I get good scholarships to pay for college?
#scholarships #financial-aid #college #college-tuition

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Subject: Career question for you

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H’s Answer

Hi Cami,

Community college is a great way to raise your GPA while simultaneously knocking out prerequisites to transfer to the university of your dreams. I took this route and saved lots of money on tuition. Community college offers financial aid, and also helps you on your path to transfer. There are also ways to get scholarships through community college, if you talk to financial aid.

I honestly believe that community college helped me so much financially and also to navigate the higher education system, because the transfer counselors have a lot of experience getting students where they want to be.
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Jordan’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Great question Cami. I'm sorry no one's answered it yet! First and foremost, don't doubt yourself! Grades don't make how "great" someone is! It's their hard work and understanding of themselves (+ understanding their skills) that makes the "best" student and being able to master those gifts. I thought I'd share a few links to other relevant Q&A on CareerVillage.org that should be super helpful for you to read through in regards to scholarships. I've included tips in the "next steps" section below a list of trustworthy sites you should create accounts on if you haven't already (that have good scholarships!). Here are tips that could help you in your preparation of finding and submitting for scholarships:

  1. Dedicate a minimum of 1 hour a day for a few weeks to applying for scholarships and it'll go a long way.
  2. Be thoughtful about your entries, just doing the bare minimum isn't going to land you any scholarships. It's better to spend more time on each entry to ensure it's well thought out than to rush through to try to enter a bunch. Quality over quantity!!
  3. I recommend writing one STELLAR essay. Chances are you'll use it for every scholarship application (potentially only having to make minor edits dependent on what the prompt is). Tell a story that clearly represents who you are and what's important to you. The goal of the essay should be to let the reader in to your life. If you can do that in a genuine and meaningful way you'll be considered, I promise! A couple of ideas: Write about the hardest thing you've had to go through in your life or what makes you so passionate about something. Be sure to include lessons you've learned and what you hope to do with that knowledge/experience later in life.
  4. Spend more time finding scholarships that directly pertain to YOU so it cuts down the competition. Look for scholarships in your local community, or that are just for young women, for example. Know what career path you want to pursue? There are probably dozens of scholarship opportunities that are only for students aspiring to follow a specific career path (e.g. STEM, entertainment, sports, design, etc. etc.)


Relevant Q&A on CareerVillage.org you should read:

What financial support can I find to help me pay for college?

How to stand out when applying for scholarships?

What are the chances of winning scholarships?

Jordan, CareerVillage.org Team recommends the following next steps:

Create an account on Cappex and Niche.com
Look for scholarships from bigger companies like Coca-Cola and Taco Bell. Oftentimes they won't list on bigger sites and therefore less youth apply.
Know what school you're attending? Talk to students who go there to see if they have any insights on how to pay for school/what grants or scholarships to apply for.
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Ron’s Answer

Hi Cami,

Excellent question! I agree with the advice to not sell yourself short. You’re still in school, participating in extra-curricular activities, and there are other unique experiences that make you who you are.

After you explore academic and / or financial-aid scholarships, you may consider seeking employment with companies that offer tuition as a benefit (some offer tuition benefits up front, others do reimbursement). Going this route eases the financial burden of student loans, with the added benefit of earning real work experience along the way. I recommend looking into a company with upward mobility in a field that interests you. If you go this route, know it will require a lot of work and sacrifice, but can lead to tremendous success.

You got this!
Ron
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