How Your Hobbies Could Help Pay for College

Are you involved in sports? Volunteering? Rotary clubs? The good news is, there are many different extracurricular activities that can get you scholarships for college.

With the recent spike in tuition costs, more students are seeking out college scholarships to help ease the burden of bills. According to CNN, there has been a 8.3 percent increase in public university tuition costs, and reports a 5.4 percent increase in costs to live and study on campus.

So if you are worried about how to pay for college, which many of us now are, scholarships may be the answer.

There are many different types of scholarships; athletic scholarships, academic/merit scholarships, scholarships for volunteer work, and many more. Choosing the right scholarships to apply for is the most difficult part.

A few things to note…there are very few high school students that actually receive athletic scholarships, so you may not want to bank on this idea. Academic scholarships are often hard to come by as well, so this leaves us with extracurricular activity scholarships.

Many students forget that participating in activities outside of schools is more than just a bullet point to list on a college application. Depending on the activities you are involved in, you could be recognized to receive money toward college.

The best way to get scholarship money for volunteer work or other activities is to get involved with a well-known, recognizable organization.

For instance, Kiwanis clubs, rotary clubs, boy scouts and other organizations are well known for getting students scholarships.

A boy I know from work will be a college freshman in the fall at Full Sail University in Florida. He received a full-ride scholarship for being an Eagle Scout (the highest position in the boy scouts) and for performing hundreds of hours of volunteer work through this organization.

A further tip for those of you performing countless volunteer hours—log your hours! If you are able to produce an exact number of hours you spent assisting your community, you stand out more to colleges. Simply saying “I did volunteer work in high school” isn’t that impressive because everyone does/says that. Show universities you are serious about the work you do.

Another great way to acquire college scholarships is to perform volunteer work or go on mission trips with a religious organization (if you have one). Students are well recognized for volunteer hours abroad, and are often credited additionally for their international experience.

When applying for scholarships, just remember to think outside the box. There are more scholarships than just athletic and academic scholarships. Consider what activities you could get involved in which are easily recognized by scholarship authorities.

Finally, remember to apply early for scholarships. There are a finite number of scholarships given for certain accomplishments. If you apply early you will have priority for scholarships if your credentials are desirable.

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Madeline Fetchiet

Madeline Fetchiet

Madeline Fetchiet is a sophomore at Michigan State University, studying journalism and philosophy of law. Aside from reporting, Madeline enjoys tae kwon do, reading, writing, researching and traveling, and can be considered a music enthusiast. Madeline currently works as an intern for, and is a banquet server at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, MI. Perfecting the storytelling side of reporting is something she looks forward to in her future career as a journalist.
Madeline Fetchiet

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