As a student searching for college scholarships, you may grow weary of seeing commitment to community service and academic excellence and even proven leadership skills in most postings about scholarship programs. We can’t all be all-American athletes, star debate team members or master musicians. The truth is that most clubs, teams and bands need members as well as leaders, and few schools have classes full of only A students.
That’s why there are scholarships for the rest of us. These are scholarships for average students with average GPAs and grades. They don’t require that you spend all of your free time at the soup kitchen or animal shelter, or even on the football field. Many scholarship funds have been established to help regular students pay for college to reward people for just being themselves.
There are a number of places to find scholarships if you’re an average student.
Similar to scholarships based on parent affiliations, many places that give scholarships with GPA requirements come from wherever your mom or dad (or grandpa or aunt or uncle) works. Many large companies have scholarship funds that are set aside only for dependents of employees, rather that for national applicants.
And it isn’t just parents who have access to scholarships money from their employers.
If you have an after school job of any kind, it is definitely worth asking your boss about scholarship funds. While most large and medium sized corporations have scholarship funds available, most of them don’t go out of their way to advertise them to everyone.
Sometimes the Internet brings us great things, like weird videos and photos and other distractions. Who knew that the wide expanse of the Internet would also bring more access to college scholarships? A search for weird and wacky scholarships will result in a large number of hits nowadays, as small companies are finding an audience with young people through scholarship contests and other weird scholarships can advertise to a much larger audience. Some of these will ask you to be creative, like the Stuck at Prom Duct Tape Scholarship, which has a huge (and growing) number of applicants each year, but very few of these alternative scholarships are looking for particular prowess in any area.
Sometimes these fall under weird and wacky, but did you know that there are scholarships based on your hair color, eye color, whether you are left or right handed even your last name? These
scholarships for physical attributes aren’t exactly plentiful, but they are out there. In some cases, you have to choose to attend a specific college or university, but if the offer is full tuition, it might be worth it to look into these types of scholarships.
Are there other scholarships for average students? There certainly are, and the secret to finding them is to think about what it is that makes you special. That may seem contradictory since we’re talking
about scholarships for regular people, but every student has interests. You don’t have to be the best at something to get a scholarship, you just have to be able to express your interest.
We’ve listed many essay contests and sweepstakes here because in most cases, just about anyone can apply for an essay contest scholarship or a sweepstakes scholarship for college. These contests tend to focus more on the ideas that you put forth in your essay, whether it is about your thoughts on Ayn Rand or an idea that you have about a recycling program in your community. You don’t have to be an English major or ace writer to apply to an essay contest.
These are just a few places to find scholarships for average students online. As always, there are many offline sources of scholarships for college, like local Kiwanis and Rotary groups, or other community organizations that give small grants to local students looking for an extra financial boost. If you have relatives in the area, talk to them about scholarships they might be more tapped into neighborhood organizations that you know!
Most of all, just remember that everyone deserves free money for college, and that very few students are expected to carry the entire burden of college tuition alone. That’s why companies, organizations, and even the government has set up scholarship programs for everyone including students like you.