Billions of dollars each year are given away to college students based on a wide variety of qualifications.

Applying for scholarships is one of the easiest ways to knock thousands of dollars off that wallet-breaking tuition. Yeah, you heard me…thousands! That means you'll be able to afford more than just peanut butter and ramen noodles!

Not a straight-A student? Didn't receive a varsity letter in high school? No worries. There are scholarship foundations out there looking for applicants who display creativity and are different from the average student. Some recent applications I came across asked for conversational and creative questions such as:

  • If you could have one song play every time you walk into a room, what would it be?
  • What was your greatest life lesson?
  • What was one of the funniest things that ever happened to you?

Still hung up on the stigma associated with the writing process? Here are a few things to consider:

  • Essay applications aren't usually long! Most essays have restrictions of 150- 250 words or less.
  • Recycle your essays! If you are applying for one of the generic scholarships (based on merit, financial need, etc.) you will most likely be able to reuse your essay for multiple applications.
  • Tons of scholarships are given away to those of a minority race or decent. If you qualify for this category, scholarships will be a breeze!
  • Going back to school later in life? There are thousands of scholarships given to continuing education adults.
  • What have you got to lose? Applications are usually free, and it's definitely worth a try to receive thousands of dollars for writing a simple essay!

So, where to start? Check out these search engines for specified scholarship results:

Applying for scholarships is something that takes a little bit of time but can earn you huge rewards! Not only will it cut chunks out of your tuition, but it also looks great on resumes and applications later on in your career or graduate degree. All it takes is the right scholarship for you and your abilities, and the rest is a piece of cake (which you will now be able to afford)!

This has been a guest post by Morgan from Columbia, MO
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