According to Consumer Reports, the average college student graduates with at least $20,000 in student loan debt. The average student also has at least $4,000 to $5,000 in credit card debt. Some students in high school are now realizing that college can pose a financial burden that they will face for the rest of their lives. These students are taking steps to actively alleviate that debt by applying to scholarships and grants. In addition to doing a general search for scholarships on the Internet, listed below are five helpful tips that students can use to get a free college degree:
- Meet with a High School Counselor
Your high school counselor contains a wealth of information when it comes to scholarship opportunities, and he or she will easily be able to perform a free scholarship search to help you find awards you may be suited for. He or she may know of local scholarships in the community that fit you particularly well. Your counselor may also be able to help you obtain scholarships for community college programs that will allow you to transfer credits to your college and save money.
- Local Veterans Organizations
Local veterans organization frequently provide large scholarships to students who may have fathers or mothers who served in the military. If you are a student and are considering the possibility of entering the military,then you may also be eligible to receive one of these scholarships from a local veteran’s organization.
- Alumni Associations
After you have been admitted to a college, always check with your Alumni Association to see whether any scholarship opportunities exist for you. An Alumni Association may be able to refer you to specific scholarship opportunities that alumni have created for the benefit of undergraduate students. You would be surprised by the number of very specific scholarship opportunities that exist at colleges for students who are involved with a particular organization.
- Get a High SAT or ACT Score
One of the ways that colleges disburse merit-based scholarships is based on how well you do on the SAT or ACT. It is to your benefit to take these standardized tests as seriously as possible. You may be awarded a full scholarship based on your performance.
- Capitalize on Your Unique Features
Did you know that scholarships are given out for people who are left-handed? If you have a very unique trait or even a disease such as MS or Crohn’s, you may want to see whether a scholarship is offered for people in your position. There are scholarships for people fighting cancer as well.
As you can see by the preceding list, there is no shortage of possibilities for funding your college degree. Start doing the research now to provide yourself with the largest number of options.