The Ten-Step Guide to College Financial Aid By Zachary Freeman

Community Service Makes the World Go Round

                A question that I get a lot: “I have bad grades—why would I waste my time applying for scholarships?”  And a few months ago I would have replied with, “…well, you shouldn’t.”  But now, being enlightened completely (joke), I have discovered that in reality, grades are not going to make or break you for some scholarships.  Sure, they want their money to go to someone intelligent – but more than that, they want their money to go to someone respectable.  

                The easiest and most productive way of proving that you are a valuable asset that will responsibly use scholarship funds is by showing a scholarship committee that you have a good work ethic.  Whether or not you showed it in school, you still have time to gain back that ground by putting forth an exceptional amount of community service.  

                My high school had/has a required “Senior Project”, which in all honesty was simply a forced community service project.  Of course, when it was assigned, there were the usual sighs, groans and complaints—but it wasn’t until I started looking for free money that I realized just how valuable that community service was.  Even though the work wasn’t as voluntary as the recipients of the service would like to think, having 50-100 hours of community service greatly improved my versatility to the scholarship committees.  And this information doesn’t just go for scholarships; college admissions, internships, and even job interviews look for the type of person who is willing to devote their time and efforts to helping others, even if they aren’t being compensated.  This mindset will prove very beneficial to you, if you can keep it, because everyone that sees your actions sees that you are exactly what they are looking for…respectable.  

                Of course, there are many other ways to improve your chances of getting free money, but I am going to let you read my book to figure them out for now 😉

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