How to Reach Your #SquadGoals After High School
If you take a look at our #BDSquad, you can see that all of our members are college bound after graduation. You can also see that each of our members have unique talents, whether they are artists, musicians, scientists or athletes. Our #BDSquad knows that it’s their unique skills and talents that are what is going to take them to the college of their dreams. The same goes for you! The idea of paying for college can be an intimidating one, but college funding vehicles such as grants, scholarships, work-study programs and student loans are all available to make your dreams come true. These different forms of financial aid are based on need or merit, meaning that your academic achievements, athletic prowess and all other talents are what matter most. With hard work and determination, combined with these basic college funding tips, anything is possible!
Start Applying Early
One way to get ahead on raising funds for college is to start applying for scholarships and financial aid early. Many financial aid vehicles have limits on how many students can apply, meaning that they function on a first come, first serve basis. We also advise that you apply for any and all scholarships that you meet criteria for. Scholarships with smaller dollar amounts are less likely to get as many applicants, meaning that your chances of being awarded these amounts is more likely. After all, every little bit helps!
Seek Out Advice
Leaving high school and navigating the world of college applications can be a seemingly impossible task, but luckily there are other students that have been there before! If you have questions, don’t be afraid to approach friends, family and other trusted adults for their advice on how they achieved their #SquadGoals. Your high school counselors and coaches are great resources for advice on applying to colleges, creating resumes and countless other post-graduation tasks. We also recommend reaching out to local college counselors for their advice on how to be successful as a student once you’ve been accepted to the college of your dreams.
The FASFA Matters!
The FASFA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is your ticket to federal financial aid. This form may look intimidating, but it takes only about 30 minutes to complete with your parents’ financial information. There are tons of grants and scholarships out there that are up for grabs once this application is complete! Check out more information on how to complete this vital college funding process here.
Work Part-Time to Start Saving Early
This may seem obvious, but the earlier you start saving, the easier it is to pay for college. Saving early will help you raise funds and maximize interest, making your money stretch further. We also recommend for students to take on a part-time job to help contribute to their college funding. Not only will you learn the true value of a dollar earned, working part-time can actually help you in school itself. The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics found that students working 15 hours a week are more focused in class and have higher GPAs. Talk about a win-win!
It’s the hardworking students that went the extra mile that are going to receive acceptance into the best colleges, as well as the best scholarships and grants. You can start to get a leg up on other applicants by putting your best foot forward and challenging yourself by taking more difficult high school courses. Taking AP courses will not only boost your GPA than standard classes, but many colleges will also accept these courses as transferred credits when you start school, saving you both time and money. Don’t be afraid of pushing yourself for fear of failure, most colleges prefer students who push themselves to take more difficult courses, even if their test scores and grades aren’t perfect. Not only is it important to push yourself academically, it’s important to push yourself outside of the classroom as well. Extracurricular activities including clubs, volunteer programs and sports can help you get noticed by colleges while also helping you discover what interests and talents you would like to pursue in college.
Find the Right College for You
Most importantly, spend time exploring your interests and researching what college may be best for you. A college should reflect your #SquadGoals and your personality. There are several questions to ask yourself when applying for a college: Do you want the adventure of a big school, or the intimacy of a small school? Do you want to stay near home or attend a college out of state? Does this college offer the majors that you are interested in? Once you have identified your main interests through extracurricular activities and your studies, it’s time to discover what majors will place you in a job doing what you love most.