Scholarships for C Students
There is a common misconception among students and parents regarding college scholarships. Actually, there are a host of them but the one we are concerned with here involves the notion that only students with superior grades are eligible for scholarships. This isn't true.
It is not uncommon for scholarships to require a certain GPA but it is not a universal requirement. In the following paragraphs we'll look at how and where to pursue college scholarship money for the student with minimally-gifted grades.
Just because your GPA hovers around the meridian of the grade globe doesn't mean you aren't ambitious or have plans that require a college education. Plenty of famous people in nearly all fields have sucked at school. Too many to even mention – go Google it if you're curious. In fact, it could be argued that formal education in the U.S. does very little to spark the imagination or kindle the mind. But before we go off and get too subversive let's look at what the student with mediocre grades can do to secure college scholarship money.
START SCHOLARSHIP HUNTING AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. It's never too early to start. Ideally you'll begin as a high school freshman. If it's too late for that get started as soon as you can. The earlier you start the more you'll realize what you can do regarding your hobbies, skills and interests to make yourself an attractive candidate for scholarship committees. Because your grades aren't that great you'll be relying on other factors to help you secure funding. Are you a C student who likes bowling? There are scholarships out there just for you.
This doesn't mean that it's too late for you if you are not a freshman. It just means you'll have more to do.
FORGET ABOUT ONE BIG SCHOLARSHIP. Chances are you're not going to get $100,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to pay for your schooling. Concentrate instead on securing several smaller awards. Start by searching locally. Local businesses, religious institutions, your parents employers, fraternal organizations – all of these are potential scholarship opportunities.
Your high school guidance counselor should be able to provide you with some information. Your local library can also be a great resource. Don't be afraid to ask for assistance. And, of course, the Internet. Using a search engine, enter 'college scholarship' and the name of your city. Play around with different search terms and see where that takes you. Be creative.
DEVELOP A SYSTEM. Your first scholarship application will most likely seem quite daunting. Most are laborious, intricate and time consuming. The more you do, the easier it'll become. You'll need to be organized. As you begin, bear in mind that your organizational goal is to develop a sort of assembly line process with all of your paperwork – your essay, letters of recommendation, transcripts, Federal Student Aid Report, etc. You should also use a scholarship calendar where you keep track of important deadlines and other dates.
Getting free money is never easy, regardless of how worthwhile the cause. So be prepared for a fair amount of work. But be patient, organized, optimistic and cast a wide net and you should be able to find what you are looking for. Good luck!