U.S. News found that 67% of college-bound high school students graduating in 2016 took out student loans to pay for college, and students graduating from college in 2016 had on average $37,172 in debt. Most high school students are so focused solely on the four years after they graduate high school, that they forget about the decades after.

College should be a time to broaden your horizons; it should be a liberating experience. Not one in which you get bogged down by trying to pay for it. When most people hear the word “scholarship” they think of the best of the best high school athletes getting paid to go to big-name schools, which could be a little disheartening. Athletic scholarships aren’t the only ones out there. There are scholarships for being a girl, for majoring in… anything, for bowling, even just for being a nice person. The free money that is just left sitting every year because no one would write the 200 words required to get it is absurd. However you plan on paying for college, be it splitting the cost with your parents or footing the bill on your own, scholarships are the only time when you can get free money to chip away at one of life’s biggest investments. I am not bashing student loans. I’m saying that whatever you can do to minimize the amount that you borrow will do you a lot of good.

One of the most common reasons for not completing a seemingly daunting task is that there isn’t enough time. There are a few issues with this argument. The first of which being if you want to do something it is definitely possible to make time for it, just get creative. The second being that most seniors in high school have a lot of free time. ESPECIALLY second semester. Regardless of whether you have a job, there is a lot of time both in school and out of school that could be spent filling out scholarship applications.

After you’ve decided applying for scholarships is necessary and feasible, it’s time to find ones to start.

 

Websites such as:

  • ScholarshipOwl
  • Naviance
  • Niche

All have ways to put in your personal preferences and demographics so that you won’t waste time looking through scholarships you’re not applicable for.

 

Now that you have the what, why, and how, it’s time to start saving money!