With the cost of college constantly on the rise, seeking out a scholarship is a no-brainer for the qualified candidate. But with the application pool ever growing and the competition always intensifying, how can you set yourself apart? Here are four ways to get ahead in the race for college scholarships and grants.
Diversify Your Extracurricular Activities
The real goal here is to show that you are multidimensional, not only that you excel in certain areas. Languages are always an excellent choice when it comes to clubs, and besides being super impressive to scholarship decision boards, learning a second language is an awesome life skill. You can join a sports team. Even if you don’t want to play in college, this looks good. If sports aren’t your thing, show your cultural side by participating in a school play.
It is quite beneficial to your scholarship hopes to show an understanding of duty and obligation to others. The service opportunities that can be experienced during high school enable you to do some amazing thing. The point is to find something you are passionate about, where you can engage and help others. Not only can this help your scholarship application, but volunteering can also allow you to make a huge difference in someone else’s life.
Pursue Hobbies and Special Interests
Not everyone who is a great painter joins the art club. Not everyone who loves to play guitar joins the school band. Make sure to leave time in your schedule to express yourself creatively and pursue your passions, whatever they may be. (Playing video games doesn’t count, though creating your own certainly does.)
Be a Leader
You don’t have to be president of your class to get leadership experience, and politics are not for everyone. You can start a club, or host an event in or out of school. Showing that you are not just a follower or a joiner, but that you can think and do on your own is a great way to set yourself apart.
It is important not to stick with activities that do not hold your interest. While it is essential to try new things, a lack of passion is easy to see and read, and review boards don’t want another paper hero with an endless resume of mediocre achievements. It’s better to be great a few things, than just alright at a million. What makes you special?