Dear 100 Hour Board,
So, Scholarships. I never had any luck with them for my undergraduate degree. I'm at the spot where I have to go back to school to get a better paying job, but without a better paying job or scholarships I can't afford to go to college.
So what do I do? I've applied to hundreds of scholarships and sweepstakes without getting anything. My mom thinks I'm wasting my time, especially on the sweepstakes and other scholarships that aren't really scholarships, but what do I do? I feel like I have no change with sweepstakes, and I have even less of a chance with essay scholarships, since I'm not a good essay writer.
Literally all I have to do is get the financing, and I can start my program. So how much more effort do I put into scholarships, of all sorts, before I give up?
Dear Frizzle Frazzle,
That sounds like a stressful situation. Hopefully I can offer some advice that will be helpful to you.
In my personal experience, the key to getting scholarships is to apply for small, local scholarships. You should research scholarships offered by the local chapters of the Rotary Club, Elks Club, Lions Club, and BYU Alumni Association. I got some scholarships from each of those groups.
I would also apply for scholarships at any other groups your are part of. My local credit union gave a $1,000 scholarship to basically any high school student that applied by making a 3 minute YouTube video about personal finance.
I also would recommend looking for financing specific to your industry. For example, many states have special grants for teachers, firefighters, etc.
Also, this might be a last resort but if you're sure your education will increase your earning potential it might be worth looking into student loans.
Anyways, good luck and hope this helps!
Dear Mrs. Frizzle,
My rule of thumb has always been that the fewer people apply to the scholarship, the better it is to spend your time on it. (And way fewer people apply to most scholarships than you think.) I'd agree that your time is mostly wasted on seeking out sweepstakes-style scholarships, but I wouldn't count yourself out on any scholarships that require effort, even if you're not the greatest writer. Plus, there are plenty of scholarships that require effort, but not in the form of essays.
Also, there are niche scholarships for pretty much everything. I'd suggest writing down your major, your interests, and anything about your identity or background that might make you unique or underrepresented in any field you're interested in. Then just search different combinations of those terms, plus the word "scholarship," and bookmark what you find. I think you'll find a lot of options pretty quickly. Good luck!