Four-year college, two-year college or a certification. A certification, two-year college or four-year college. If you’re a high school student these thoughts may bounce back and forth in your mind more often than not. Regardless of your choice, you’re going need money to pay for it. Some choices require a great deal of money, some a reasonable amount of money and some choices require a smaller amount of money.
One of the best ways to help you pay for college is by earning scholarships. Scholarships are basically FREE money and who doesn’t love FREE money, am I right? A scholarship is money awarded to you to help pay for school that you don’t have to pay back.
Scholarships for All Kinds of Community Service
There are plenty of ways you can strengthen your chances to get a scholarship pursuing your passions. One approach for you to take to help your applications stand out is to get involved in your community. VolunteerCrowd has volunteer internships, virtual volunteering, and volunteer abroad projects that inspire students and impress colleges. Students can search by location and cause area. Community activism is one of the most important choices you can make that not only benefits you, but others in your community as well.
There are a few common myths regarding scholarships. “Scholarships are only for athletes” – false! Another myth is, “You have to be at the top of you class to earn a scholarship” – false! While many schools offer scholarships for athletics and for academic achievement, they also offer scholarships for music, poetry, hobbies, unique skill sets and essay contests. There are even scholarships for the most creative plan to survive a zombie apocalypse, sandwich recipes and for prom dress and suit duct-taping skills! The bottom line is there are THOUSANDS of scholarships out there for all types of students.
Volunteering can help shape your worldview, guide your career path and can play a significant role in earning scholarships and acceptance to college.
Volunteering + Academics Gives you Better Odds
Another common misconception is that “There are hundreds of other people who are going to apply for this scholarship, why bother?” While at times certain scholarships are highly competitive, that should never discourage you from applying.
When applying for scholarships expect that there is at least one person with the same grades and test scores as you applying to every scholarship you are. Volunteering sets you apart from every other student competing for that same scholarship. Some scholarships even require volunteer experience in order to be eligible for consideration.
“It is not enough to be compassionate – you must act”
– The Dalai Lama
Match Volunteer Projects to Your Interests
Another benefit of volunteering is that it can help you narrow down your college major or trade skill choice. Pursuing volunteer opportunities in areas of interest will help you make that choice. Volunteering can help you navigate future careers. Love STEM topics? Check out Code for Good STEM community service opportunities. You can use your high school years to explore different career opportunities as a volunteer. Understanding your career options now is much better than waiting until you’re well into your degree program and deciding you need to change your mind.
Perhaps you’ve already discovered your passion through volunteering and you’ve already chosen your major. There are TONS of major-specific scholarships available for you that match your career aspirations. Even though these scholarships may not require volunteer hours, portraying your volunteer accomplishments and charitable contributions will help you stand out from other applicants.
Discover your passions. Volunteer. Apply for scholarships. Achieve your dreams. You got this.
RedKite is a scholarship matching engine and guide for borrowing resource for students, parents and educators.