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No 4.0? No Worries, There Are Still Scholarships For You

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No 4.0? No Worries, There Are Still Scholarships For You

Think scholarships are only for the kids with 4.0 GPAs?

Luckily for you, this myth couldn't be less accurate! There are scholarships out there for everyone, even if you aren't a sports star or the valedictorian. Here's how to find them.

Look for institution-specific awards

Don't assume your school doesn't offer any aid besides what's included in your award letter. Most colleges and universities also award scholarships to students based on their majors, academic histories, or volunteer work. Some even award legacy scholarships to students, and all you need to do to qualify is have a family member who graduated from the school.

Consider work-study options

Most students work a part-time job while they're in college, so why not make yours into a scholarship opportunity? Work-study scholarships allow you to gain valuable work experience while putting the money you earn toward your education. Many schools participate, and you may have the option to work on or off campus. This won't just help you pay for school - it'll also give your resume a nice boost and put you in touch with some professional connections you could use after graduation.

Think local

We get it - when you're heading off to college you probably want to get as far from your hometown as possible and come back only for summer break and the winter holidays. But don't dismiss your high school and the place you grew up just yet! High schools and community organizations are known to distribute scholarships to local students, and you don't necessarily have to be an honors student to qualify.

Let your major guide you

Do you have a major or dream career in mind? Look into businesses, nonprofit groups, or government organizations that are involved in that field and see if they offer scholarships. If you're an advertising major, look for local or national marketing organizations that can help pay for your education; computer science majors can see if major players in the tech industry offer scholarships to talented students.

Embrace your passions

Don't discount your hobbies and interests because they're not "profitable" - they could be more worthwhile than you think! Whether you love poetry, writing, birdwatching, or hiking, there are scholarships out there that relate to your passion and could help you earn money to pay for college. Search for local nonprofits or businesses centered around your interest and see what types of tuition assistance they offer college students.

[Looking for more info? Here's 5 steps to winning a scholarship application.]