The Secret To Getting Paid To Go To College

You’re getting ready for college and wondering how on earth you’re going to be able to afford thousands of dollars for you schooling, not to mention money for food, clothes, housing, gas, etc.

My parents made me a deal that if I received scholarships waiving my tuition, they would pay for things I needed, mostly clothes and supplies. So I started looking for scholarships, of which I found there to be thousands out there and tens that were applicable to me.  I am currently attending my university for FREE, and through my junior year, I have been paid $2,200 from other scholarships to go to college!

So where can you find these scholarships?

  • Scholarship Websites.

The first place to look is your university’s website.  Most likely there is a link from the homepage to a “Financial Aid & Scholarships” website.  Most universities have a separate tab just for Freshman Scholarships.  These scholarships may be merit-based, need-based or based on leadership and involvement throughout high school or diversity.  There will also be scholarships divided into “resident” and “non-resident” categories.  This is where you will find a lot of tuition waivers.

Look through all of these categories and see if they apply to you.  Even if you weren’t the most involved student in high school, apply and emphasize the involvement you did have.  Even if you aren’t racially a minority, you may qualify for a diversity scholarship through age and/or gender.  And even if your grades weren’t the highest, apply for the merit-based scholarships.

  • Departmental Scholarships.

Next, look for departmental scholarships (even if you don’t know your major).  Universities understand that many students change their majors over their studies.  Pick a few departments you think you may be interested in, and apply for some of their departmental scholarships.

  • Alumni Association.

You can also look at the university’s alumni association website for scholarships as well.  Some of their available scholarships may require you to have a family member that is an alumnus of that university and holds a current alumni association membership, but not all do.  First generation college students and students going to a different university than any family member can also find scholarships here that are open to them.

  • University Database.

Even if you haven’t actually decided which university you want to attend, you can apply for scholarships to any of them.  Receiving scholarships may help you decide where to attend.  Make sure to check their websites and see if the university has a scholarship database.  On a lot of these websites, you can plug in information about yourself, and it will provide you with a list of scholarships available to you.  These databases include scholarships provided from businesses, not just university scholarships.

  • High School Counselor.

If you’re still in high school, go see your counselor! They are very knowledgeable when it comes to scholarships and often will have a packet that lists scholarships you can apply for.  Get this packet as soon as possible and go through it thoroughly to find the scholarships that apply to you.

Check for these scholarships early, as deadlines pass quickly in the spring.  Check every resource you can think of, and apply for scholarships you think you have no chance of getting as long as you fulfill the criteria.  Remember, your odds go up when you file an application.

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Jillian Jensen

Jillian Jensen

Jillian Jensen is a junior at the University of Utah majoring in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Print Journalism. Jillian is involved with student government and Greek Row at the U. Her biggest hobbies are writing, traveling and photography, but she also loves playing and teaching piano, skiing, dancing, sports and spending time with her family, friends and dog.
Jillian Jensen

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