Sometimes it feels as though students with perfect grades have it easier when it comes to scholarships. While it is true that some scholarships have GPA requirements, there are many more that are looking for other qualities in applicants. There are scholarships out there for everyone! So, if you don’t have a 4.0 GPA, don’t be discouraged! Here are eight tips for finding scholarships as an average student.
1. Skip Scholarships with GPA Requirements
If scholarships have a GPA requirement that is higher than you GPA requirement, skip it. Don’t waste your time. Most scholarship providers will automatically disqualify your application because you did not meet all of the eligibility requirements. Stick with the scholarships with no GPA requirements or with GPA requirements you meet.
2. Show Your Talent
If you have a talent for something, use that talent to your advantage. Think about all of the things you are good at and search for scholarships. There are scholarships or athletes, photographers, and poets, just to name a few. There are scholarships available for common and not-so-common talents. Whatever your talent, use it to find scholarships.
3. What Are Your Passions?
Is there something that is important to you? Show your passions to scholarship providers and you just might win a scholarship. Many scholarship providers who are looking for passionate students don’t care about your GPA. They want to see students showing their passion for the same things that are important to the scholarship providers. So, if you’re passionate about the outdoors, the environment, or stopping distracted driving, for example, show that passion and you could win a scholarship.
4. Embrace Your Background
Some scholarships are open to specific ethnic backgrounds. There are quite a few minority scholarships that are open to African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American students. However, there are also organizations that offer scholarships to students with specific nationality backgrounds, such as German, Irish, or Italian.
5. Do You Have Other Differences?
Did you know there are scholarships for students with disabilities, health conditions, or learning differences? There are also scholarships for LGBTQ+ students, first generation college students, and students have lost parents. Look at your life and determine the things that might make you different from others and look to see if you can find scholarships.
6. Ask Employers
Many employers want to help their employees fulfill their dreams to attend college. You might also find that your parents’ employers want to help you pay for college. Don’t just stop with the actual employer. If you or your parents are union members, check with the union for scholarships. And, if you or your parent (or even grandparent) was or is in the military, you might just find many scholarships available to you.
7. Stay Local
National scholarships are attractive, but local scholarships can be even more attractive. Local scholarships may be easier to win because the applicant pool will be much smaller than the national scholarships. Many local scholarships will not have GPA requirements, or lower GPA requirements, so you’ll be able to showcase the other things that make you a great candidate.
8. Keep Applying
Never give up when it comes to scholarships. It can be frustrating to apply for a scholarship and not win. However, you cannot win a scholarship when you stop applying!
Just because you don’t have the best GPA does not mean you cannot find scholarships. Don’t let your less than stellar GPA stop you from applying for scholarships. There are scholarships out there for everyone.