How to get college scholarships (5 tips and tricks)

We all know going to college in the United States is super expensive. I truly believe that getting a higher education does not mean putting yourself in a mountain of debt. On my YouTube channel, I share my top five ways of how I was able to land over $50,000 in college scholarships.

I wasn’t a perfect student. I didn’t play a sport, I didn’t have straight A’s or have great test scores. Yet, I graduated college debt-free and you can too! Let me know what you think and tell me if anything surprised you. And be sure to download my FREE Scholarship Checklist >>> HERE.

VIDEO OVERVIEW

  1. Attend community college- Going to community college will greatly reduce your financial costs for college. The majority of community colleges offer tons of scholarships and grants for their students. Attending community college significantly helped me get my full-ride scholarship to the University of Maryland because I was able to take on leadership positions while participating in extracurricular activities.
  2. Write a winning scholarship essay- The scholarship essay is your best opportunity to show the scholarship committee why you are deserving to receive the scholarship. The scholarship judges want to hear what you are passionate about and what you hope to do in the future. You can be creative, funny or insightful. Make sure someone proofreads it before submitting.
  3. Join honor societies and take honors/advanced placement courses- Scholarship judges want to see that you pushed yourself academically in high school and college. You don’t need straight-A’s to get scholarships but you do need to take a few high-level classes. In addition to AP and honors classes, join a few honor societies that your school participates in.
  4. Get great recommendation letters- Most competitive scholarships require you to submit one or two recommendation letters. Ask teachers and counselors who you developed a close relationship with to write your recommendation letter. The letter should add something new that your resume and transcript does not tell. A good recommendation letter speaks to your academic and social maturity, character and personality.
  5. Apply for small scholarships- Scholarships that are only $500-2,000 are still definitely worth applying to. A lot of times these scholarships go unclaimed because no one applies to them. Many of these less competitive scholarships are advertised on social media. Try typing in #JanuaryScholarships in Twitter or Pinterest and see all the results that come up. I post different scholarships to my Pinterest board six times a day https://www.pinterest.com/girlwithdrive/scholarships/.
  6. Bonus tip! Apply to contests– Contests are usually quicker and easier to apply for than scholarships. These are usually not renewable but can help you get things like a new computer or books.

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