It's often said education is one of the best investments a person can make. But year after year, those costs just keep rising.
Surprisingly, good grades aren't always the best way to earn cash for college.
"It really just takes research on the part of the student, because there are thousands and thousands of scholarships out there," says Sheila Roberts, a college and career advisor to high school students.
But you don't have to be at the top of your class to get college scholarships. In many cases, you just have to meet some specific criteria.
Nursing student Kaeti Milton did her research and found that her triumph over thyroid cancer as a teen qualified her for a scholarship through the American Cancer Society.
"I received a scholarship from the University of Alabama Huntsville, and I just wanted to get some extra money for books on the side and supplies and I saw the American Cancer Society's scholarship and that I was eligible for it," Milton said.
You can point out just about any characteristic and there's likely a scholarship for that. For example, if you're tall -- 6'2 or taller for men and 5'10 or taller for women -- you can apply for a $1,000 scholarship from Tall Club International.
On the flip side, Little People of America offers scholarships to students who are 4'10 or shorter.
Even your eating habits can get you money for school. The Vegetarian Resource Group offers two $5,000 scholarships a year to students who don't eat meat, fish or fowl and promote vegetarianism in their community.
If you have a creative side, you can try your hand at designing amazing prom outfits. The only catch is you have to use Duck Brand duct tape. The fashionable winners receive $5,000 scholarships. Though this application takes hours and hours of manpower, for a majority of scholarships, it's as easy as giving your opinion.
"It would be more like the essay scholarships, that is, only asking you to answer a question, and if they like the way you answered the question, they would consider you in the applicant pool," Roberts says.
Were you born in 1994, 1995 or 1996?? Scholarshipexperts.com wants you to write an essay related to the year you were born for awards of $1,994, $1,995 and $1,996 each.
The easiest way to find scholarships that you qualify for is through free search engines like Fastweb.com.
Whether you think you qualify for financial aid, Roberts said every student should fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, because it can link you to scholarships and other aid opportunities.
Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.
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