In my earlier post SNAP QUIZ: How Special Are You? I advised you against relying on a single, gigantic scholarship that will sail you through your entire college career – so what, I hear you asking, is a regular, normal kid like you supposed to do? What kinds of scholarships are realistically attainable for someone who likes playing Angry Birds on his iPhone more than he likes computing the square root of a negative number on his scientific calculator?
Don’t despair! There ARE scholarships available to you and all other non- super students living among us, but you’ll need to do some research to hunt down the right ones. Even if you think you have nothing to offer a scholarship committee, you might be surprised at what you can find. I remember once when I was doing volunteer work in a school career center, helping to match students with appropriate scholarships, a girl came in and sifted through the scholarship offerings that were on display, and then turned to leave the center with a look of discouragement on her face. I stopped her by asking, “Is there a specific type of scholarship I can help you find?”
“No,” the girl replied sadly. “I already looked, and there’s just nothing. My grades are bad and I’m not good at sports or anything like that, so nobody will want to give me money for college.”
I was determined to prove to this girl that she didn’t need to be a super achiever to win a scholarship and I did! I found her an application for a scholarship that anybody could apply for; the organization only asked that each contender write an essay about bees. There were no other eligibility requirements. She didn’t have to be an amateur beekeeper, she didn’t have to be allergic to stings, she didn’t have to eat honey for every meal—she only had to write an essay on the broad topic of buzzing insects. This put the girl on the same level as every other high school kid who hardly ever thinks about bees. She wrote her essay and she won the scholarship!
Granted, a successful bee essay probably will not generate a big enough award to foot your entire college bill. You may not be able to pay your tuition with one massive scholarship, but the smaller ones do add up if you apply for and win multiple awards, like I did. Also, the more scholarship victories you achieve, the more opportunities you have to hit your parents up for a congratulatory dinner at your favorite restaurant.
Check back soon for more ideas on how to find and pursue the types of scholarships that YOU are qualified to win!