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Top Tips For Landing Higher Education Grants

College grants and scholarships are not just for valedictorians and super athletes. Many scholarships and grants are available that do not depend solely on your ability to ace an exam or score the tie-breaking point. Associations and clubs created for specialized purposes often offer grants and scholarships to diverse individuals. Be persistent in looking for money to fund expensive college costs. Use these tips to help you succeed:

Participate in only one or two extracurricular activities. You do not have to be on the leadership team of every club in school, or play 3 sports each season. Make a commitment to one or two, and devote your time and efforts to them. This demonstrates to scholarship committees that you are not just looking to get money for college, but instead that you are driven, focused, and determined to succeed in your life.

Use free online scholarship searches to narrow down grants and scholarships for which you are eligible. is an example of these search sites. Never pay for a service to find scholarships as it is likely to be a scam. Contact your local civic organizations to see if they offer scholarships, too.

Make sure you are eligible for any scholarship to which you apply. Carefully review the scholarship’s eligibility requirements before you submit your application. Understand the mission and philosophy of the organization giving the scholarship or grant to see if you are a good fit.

Improve your grades and your ACT/SAT test scores by studying hard, getting tutoring, and retaking standardized tests if you do not like your scores. Check with individual colleges to see what scholarships they offer. Many may cover all tuition and fees for all four years of your education.

Double check any scholarship or grant application you plan to turn in. Have a parent or detail-oriented friend proofread your application for typos, misspellings, bad grammar and punctuation, and for style.

Ensure that any essay you write for a grant or scholarship stays on target and answers the topic or question posed. Keep any sob stories or arrogant-sounding renderings of your life for another time. Demonstrate how you overcame challenges without sounding conceited.

Prepare for any scholarship interview by dressing clean and professionally. Arrive at least 10-15 minutes early, and be ready to answer questions such as “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” or “Tell me why you are a good candidate for this scholarship.” Remain calm and graceful under pressure. This says more about your character than anything you’ve accomplished.