How to Get a Scholarship Without Good Grades
Everyone wants to win scholarship money. Some people need to win scholarship money. Not everyone received the best grades in high school. Many people assume there isn’t a point in applying and that only people with top grades win scholarships.
This assumption is very far from the truth. Having this mindset could end up costing you money that you could possibly win from scholarships. Even without a straight-A report card.
While there are many scholarships that award students for merit, there are also many scholarships that award students for attributes other than academics. Do you play a sport? Have a unique talent? Volunteer in your community? Did you overcome a hardship? All of these things can win you scholarship money.
Your report card may not be pristine, but there are surely other things that you can show off. Here is our guide on how to get a scholarship without good grades.
Choose Scholarships Wisely
The first thing that you should be doing is only applying to relevant scholarships. If you have a 2.5 GPA, don’t waste your time applying to scholarships which require a minimum GPA of 3.0.
There are many scholarships that require a lower minimum GPA. There are also scholarships that have no GPA requirements. These are the scholarships that you should focus on.
Many scholarships award creativity and don’t take into account an applicant’s grades. Take the Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest. This scholarship awards students who make the best prom outfit from duct tape. You might not have aced your history class, but you might be able to whip out a killer dress from duct tape.
If fashion designing isn’t your thing, maybe throwing footballs is. Dr. Pepper gives away $1 million in tuition to students who prove that winning scholarship money will change their lives. Finalists are invited to throw a football at a college football conference championship game.
Get Solid Recommendation Letters
Having good recommendation letters is so important. This is especially true if you don’t have high grades.
Recommendation letters help give the scholarship committee an outside opinion of your character. If you can get recommendation letters from somebody who can vouch for why you deserve the scholarship, this can really give a boost to your candidacy.
Write a Killer Essay
Your personal statement can make or break your chances of winning a scholarship. You may not have the highest grades, but sometimes the judges are looking to invest their money in unique students.
The scholarship committee values creativity, independence, and determination. Make this side of you shine in your essay and you may have a chance at winning the scholarship, even without good grades.
Enter Sweepstakes Scholarships
Sweepstakes scholarships are lotteries that you can enter to win money. All you have to do is fill in the company’s application with your personal information.
Because sweepstakes scholarships are so easy to apply to, they receive thousands of applicants. You shouldn’t only apply to scholarship lotteries, but since they only take a few minutes to apply to, you might want to try your luck.
Scholarships for Everything
There are scholarships for everything. There are scholarships for students of certain religious or ethnic backgrounds, scholarships based on gender, location, areas of study, scholarships that award tall students, and even scholarships that award students for their last name.
For example, if you are a Hispanic female, look for scholarships specifically for that. If you are Catholic, or a business student, find scholarships that are relevant to those qualities. More specific scholarships generally receive less applicants. This increases your chances of winning.
Work for It
We aren’t going to sugarcoat it; applying to scholarships is hard work. If you are hoping to win a scholarship but only apply to a few, this probably won’t cut it. If you are really hoping to win scholarship money, you need to invest your time in winning one. This means applying to as many scholarships as you’re able to. The more you apply to, the more you increase your chances of winning.
Having high grades increases the number of scholarship options you have. But, it isn’t the end all be all. Even without high grades, you have other great qualities that some scholarship committee out there is looking for. If you spend your time finding the scholarships that are right for you, you might get lucky and win some serious scholarship money.