With consistent, hard work and starting early, you can find ways to acquire your college education for free or minimal costs.
Grants vs. Scholarships
A Grant is a gift of money that does not have to be paid back. Grants can be found:
* Where your parents’ work
* Cereal boxes, store products, keep your eyes open
* Registering for fastweb.com
* Academic excellence on entrance
* Often where they use volunteers
- Through the college
- College scholarships organizations
- Through the government
- Through private alumni
Things to do before you search for grants and scholarships:
- Begin now to collect letters of reference (as many as possible)
- Volunteer positions
- Church helpers
- Friends in influential places that know you
Your letter of references should:
- Be on letter head if possible
- Explain the responsibilities of the company/your responsibilities
- Their opinion of your work ethics and ability to
- Work with the public
- Follow directions
- Work independently
- Work with a team
- Register online with FASTA and add your profile.
- Collect as many applications as possible and file them by due dates.
Get a file box and label it by months placing the due date application 1 month prior to the due date.
You’ll need several copies of your birth certificate and your diploma (when you receive it) as well as your SAT/ACT scores.
- Write a long 2000 word essay that contains:
- Why you need the money
- What you intend to do in and after college
- Where you’d like to go to college if money were not an object and why
- What will this support do for you and mean to you
- What one thing in your high school years had the most effect on you?
- Who are you?
- What do you believe?
- What things in life do you consider a priority?
- If you had to be described by others, what would they say about you?
- How do you think what you want to learn in college will affect the world and/or community around you for the positive?
*I suggest you watch Spanglish (the movie is an entrance essay)
- Write an 800 word essay on an experience that was negative that grew you positively.
- Write a 500 word essay on what you learned in high school (out of the box thinking)
- Write a 500 word essay “if you were a kind of candy what would you be…(stressing diversity)
- How would receiving money help your future. (500 words)
- How will college affect your future. (500 words)
Write all of these essays and refine them. Then when you begin summitting applications and they want your thoughts, you can pull bits and pieces from these essays. Doing this makes submitting lots of applications. Many grants/scholarships will be for $1000 (more or less) but if you’ve applied and won 20 of them, that could amount to $20,000. Don’t turn your nose up at $250-$500 offers.
One of the ways to be prepared to submit as many scholarship applications as possible is to take and inventory of all your shills, extra-curricular activities, community involvement, work-related skills, sports and hobbies. Below list any and all items that come to mind: