When I was deep in my college search a mere six years ago, I found something that I didn’t think existed anymore—unless your skills were in athletics, not academics. And much to my surprise, after applying and interviewing, I received the holy grail of college financing.
My four years of undergrad were on a full-ride scholarship . Before you start throwing tomatoes at the computer, let me explain. In exchange for tuition, room and board, and a book allowance, I spent my college years working extensively for the campus newspaper . In fact, I ended up becoming the editor.
So it wasn’t completely free money. And most scholarships aren’t—the trick is finding scholarships with requirements tailored to your own interests. The instant I stepped foot in the newsroom on my campus tour—even before I had the scholarship—I knew I wanted to be there. Just like I was able to find a journalism scholarship rewarding me for something I wanted to do anyway, college departments can reward you for involvement in activities or even for just being a part of the department. Studying political science? See if your involvement in College Democrats or College Republicans can get you some extra cash. Majoring in biology? Maybe you can get a scholarship for helping with research.
While I was able to snag one of the big ones, even small scholarship amounts from a department can add up. And they are out there; you just have to look for them. Talk to your adviser or department secretary about scholarship options. Or, share with us here: What tips do you have about finding scholarships?