While the tried and true way to get into the college of your dreams is by studying hard through high school, earning top grades and making yourself stand out from the pack academically, you can also earn a non-academic scholarship and make your way through college affordably. Many schools offer non-academic scholarships for other endeavors; in the following, you'll find out how they work.
You can either earn a non-academic scholarship through the institution you chose to attend or through an outside organization. The most commonly discussed type of non-academic scholarship is the athletic scholarship, which can only be offered by a Division I or Division II school, as all NCAA Division III schools have agreed not to reward sports scholarships. Other types of non-academic scholarships can include a ton of different fields, such as singing, dancing, any type of visual art and even for more outlandish talents like magic and juggling. A borderline type of non-academic scholarship is the tried and true essay contest; however, be wary of unsolicited calls for essay scholarship contests, as this is a common type of swindle and will cost you time and money to enter.
No matter the type of non-academic scholarship you pursue, there's a standard set of steps you should take. To begin, you'll want to research and contact the leading organizations in your field and find out what sort of scholarships they offer; this information is typically quite easy to find on the internet. You'll likely need to send in some supplemental content to qualify, be it a video of yourself dancing or an mp3 of you singing. As long as you get your scholarship application in on time and meet all of the qualifications, there's a great chance you'll get that scholarship and some extra cash for college! Now it's up to you to actually graduate!