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College is expensive. Nobody questions it, nobody denies it. There are three options that most people use in order to pay for furthering their education: jobs, shaking down old people at graduation parties, and scholarships.

What’s the best way to achieve your financial needs? While jobs are useful, they tend to have their paychecks used on the car that brings the worker there. And while old people tend to be rich, the money they are willing to give you is somewhat limited. The best way is to get a scholarship for college. There are many types of scholarships, ranging from sports to academic, written and applied for, and anything in between. The average money gained from a single sports scholarship is upwards of $10,000 per year, while an academic one will grant an average of $2,500-5,000.

Seniors should start applying for scholarships early in their senior year all the way up until they begin college. In order to be considered for most scholarships you should do a lot of extra-curricular activities and be actively involved in non-academic parts of the community. Volunteer work is generally smiled upon during the selection process, while writing your neighbor down for a reference because you raked their leaves once is not. So if you better odds of getting that big cash giveaway, help out at the food shelf, rake your neighbors leaves again, and be a part of the community. Nothing in life is free, and scholarships are no exception.

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