Today I’d like to take a moment to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart: money. Nah, I’m just kidding with you all, but I do want to share a bit of hard-learned knowledge about how to finance your educational/career dreams with what is (basically) free money.
Write a personal statement/essay. Start by talking about your hopes and dreams, your past experiences, or even your life struggles - I've turned an amazingly horrible elementary/middle/high school experience complete with absolutely no will to go to college into a pretty nice scholarship pay day... or two, or three... or actually like eight. Next, write about your recent advancements, and how you've grown or changed as a person. Write about all the cool stuff you get to do/learn/see/experience at school. Companies love that stuff. Here comes the inspirational speech part: DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT! Acknowledge all of your accomplishments, both big and small, and be proud of who you are and what you have done in your life. Be proud of how strong you are, and don’t be afraid to showcase what you’ve had to overcome. You should also reference what you hope to do with your education, and why it’s important that you finish school.
Apply for university scholarships, as well as every independent you can get your hands on. I'm talking banks, car companies, gasoline companies, clothing companies, private associations, interest groups, nonprofit organizations, sororities, fraternities, scholarly groups.... basically, any national business or organization offers at least one scholarship, as do many local businesses. Apply even if you think you can’t win, and for the love of all that glitters, please, please, stop whining that they are only available for minorities. Of the many individual scholarships I have earned, none of them have ever been based on my sex, ethnicity, or race. There are plenty out there for you non-minority, non-financial aid qualifying ladies and gentlemen. You just have to put the work in to find and apply for them.