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Maximizing Your Financial Aid: 6 Tips for More Money for College

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Your college application is not only the key to getting you accepted, it can also open a lot of doors to school-based funds for you. Uprooted Academy is here to help you learn all the ways to stand out and shine on your application so that you can get access to these funds. Let’s get started!

1. Google yourself.

It’s important to get an idea of your online image. Start by looking at your social media accounts and delete or make private anything you would not want colleges to see. Next, google yourself and see what comes up. The first page can say a lot about you. Ensure what is present accurately represents you and how you want colleges to see you. Finally, consider creating a professional account such as LinkedIn or creating a blog. Remember, you are in control of your image and can cultivate your online story so that others can get an accurate glimpse into who you are!

2. Refine your activity list.

Focus on your accomplishments, leadership experience, and community service. Don’t minimize what you have participated in—include it all; colleges value participation in groups big and small, especially if you have had any leadership experience in launching the group in the first place. Share details about what you did. For example, if you raised money, be sure to detail the cause, the method of fundraising used, and the amount of money raised. If you have volunteered, don’t forget to include that, too! Share information about where you volunteered and how many hours you contributed. Colleges love seeing students who are active and involved in their communities and passionate about their interests.

3. Learn about the different types of scholarships.

You can receive a scholarship based on merit or also look into private options.

Three types of merit scholarships are academic, athletic, and special talents.

  • Generally, private colleges and smaller state schools award academic scholarships. These scholarships are usually based on GPA, SAT/ACT score, and/or your class rank.

  • NCAA Division I and II schools, as well as NAIA schools, usually award scholarships to their athletes.

  • Scholarships for special talents often vary, so check in with your particular college on these.

There are five types of private scholarships: local, regional, national, workplace, and military.

  • Local scholarships will likely give you a better chance at being a recipient since the pool of applications will be smaller, coming from your school or city. Talk to your counselor about local scholarship opportunities, and never neglect the power of the worldwide web when searching for scholarships! Also, don’t forget to check out any prominent businesses in the community as they may also offer scholarships!

  • Regional scholarships still provide students with greater odds of winning than a national scholarship since the pool of applications is composed of students from your county or state.

  • National scholarships are exactly what they sound like: scholarships available to students nationwide. Even though the odds of winning are less likely due to the larger pool of applications, you should still apply to the scholarships that pertain to you! You never know until you try.

  • Workplace scholarships can be made available to you, depending upon your parents' company. Check-in with them to see if any options are available.

  • Military scholarships are provided to students admitted to a U.S. Service Academy, such as West Point. Students who have served in the ROTC and plan to enlist in the armed services after college are also eligible. Additionally, those who enlist after high school are eligible for tuition assistance once discharged.

4. Read the fine print and follow the rules.

Regardless of the scholarship type you plan to apply to, read the fine print and follow the rules. It would feel tragic to be rejected based on a technicality! Pay attention to the maximum word or character counts, the number of pages required, and formatting, such as MLA or APA.

5. Answer the optional essay questions on the application and on the SAT/ACT.

A good rule of thumb is that instead of viewing the optional essay questions on your college application or SAT/ACT as more work, view these essays as opportunities to tell potential colleges more about yourself. Many experts agree that “optional” essays aren’t really “optional” as they can be the make or break in a college’s decision-making process since these essays can help them gather more information about applicants. Moreover, many colleges award scholarships based on your SAT/ACT scores and essays. These scholarships can vary in range from $1,000 to a full ride. Definitely a chance you don’t want to miss out on!

6. Get feedback and be willing to revise.

When applying for scholarship opportunities, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from a few people you trust! A fresh set of eyes can spot small yet important mistakes you may have missed after looking over them so many times, as well as introduce a new or creative spin on something you are working on!

We hope that Uprooted Academy has provided some helpful strategies for you to approach your college application and get all the money possible to support your college career. For more information on financial aid, check out our blogs on The Top 4 Financial Aid Questions Every Student Should Ask and A Parent's Guide to Paying For College: Key Questions Answered.

If this was helpful and you would love more support in navigating the college application process, we can provide you with the tools to apply to college with confidence and success. Get started with our FREE Step-by-Step College Advising Video Course to join our family.

What is our program? Our Class of 2024 comprehensive college application program provides 20+ hours of on-demand video content, a digital workbook to help you create a robust college application, monthly events, and access to scholarships!

We wish you the best of luck as you engage in this process!



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