A Cents-ible Guide to Scholarships

by Jackie Thompson

With batches of admission decisions coming in each week, many seniors are discovering they’ve successfully tackled the first obstacle on their path to higher education: getting in. Being accepted into any college is cause for celebration, so by all means, celebrate. But remember, the issue of paying for college still remains.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize how many scholarships are available to them. Some are small, and it’s annoying to apply to them all, but in the end, it’s definitely worth it,” says Senior Katie Bennett, who will be attending the Ohio State University this fall. She makes it a point to apply to scholarships she finds online when she can. “That extra money won from a scholarship can help pay for books, school supplies, and definitely give you some wiggle room when it comes to budgeting for entertainment and eating out.”

When applying for scholarships, it’s important to remember that quality outweighs quantity. Intuitively, one may think the more scholarships you apply for, the more likely you’ll be to win at least one, but that’s hardly the case. Behind every essay contest, there are living, breathing judges with working brains who can tell if you’ve slapped something together mere hours before the deadline. Instead of cranking out half-hearted essays for causes you don’t care about, choose a few to apply to that have prompts or topics that interest you.  

Specialization is also key. Everybody has something unique to bring to the table, and there’s a scholarship for nearly every characteristic, talent, or interest under the sun. There are scholarships devoted specifically to the left-handed, to men over 6’2” and women over 5’10”, and to those with a passion for duck-calling. The list is endless. The trick is to apply to scholarships with criteria only a select few can meet, especially if you feel you aren’t the strongest writer. This way, you’re competing with fewer people and being judged by those who either understand your plight or share your passion. For the same reasons, it’s important for all BHS seniors to fill out the local scholarship application when it’s released in the next few weeks. In the meantime, here are a few links to some great scholarship resources:

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