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Small scholarships add up

THU.| 11-9-23 | OPINION

     As college applications are underway for seniors who are choosing that path and they must start thinking about how to pay for college. Students can receive financial aid to help with their payments, if eligible, but another popular way to help pay for college is through scholarships. 

     Students can go for the merit scholarships that provide a full ride, going through a multi-step application process with teacher recommendation letters and essays. However, these huge prize scholarships are only reserved for a select few students. For students who are not at the top of their class with hundreds of volunteer hours and a 4.0 GPA, they must look elsewhere for the money towards college.

     Another option for students still involves scholarships, but these scholarships are significantly easier to apply for and win. Smaller scholarships for prizes ranging from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars are offered by different organizations online. For example, for $2,000, students can 

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Graphic by Addison Adler

write a short essay about what they would do if their high school was overrun with zombies during a zombie apocalypse. For $500, students can choose a lyric from Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts” album and discuss how that lyric has impacted them. Other $500 scholarships include essays for fans of “The Office,” Taylor Swift and “Stranger Things.”

     Some applications don’t even require any writing. Students can win money in scholarships by simply filling out an application that asks a few standard questions. For example, the Sallie Mae Scholarship gives students a chance at $2,000 simply for entering your graduation year and email.

     I think that it is important for students to not only look at the $20,000 scholarships but to also search online for smaller scholarships. These scholarships can combine to be worth a lot of money. Many of these scholarships do not require much effort and can add up to be more than many multi-step application scholarships. It is worth trying to apply for these scholarships, even if they don’t seem like much money. Counselors at Rose encourage students to apply, making a list of some of these scholarships available on the senior Canvas page.

     As students prepare and discuss how to pay for college, I think that students should keep small scholarships in mind. They are easier to apply for and win money from than the huge scholarships, such as the Morehead-Cain scholarship, which only a few students win per year. These scholarships can be found online simply by searching “small scholarships.” I encourage seniors who are applying to college to explore these opportunities.

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