What are some effective strategies for finding scholarships?

Hey everyone! So, I graduated from high school in May, and right now, I’m doing Americorps City Year, working as a “student success coach” in an elementary school. But here’s the thing — I’m stuck in this weird in-between phase where I’m not a high school senior anymore but not quite a college freshman either. And let me tell you, it’s been a real challenge trying to find scholarships to apply for.

Ideally, I’m looking for merit scholarships that aren’t super specific in their requirements, like the Taco Bell Live Más Scholarship. My situation’s a bit complicated because I don’t expect to get much aid from FAFSA or my parents. I’m really set on attending Kenyon College in Ohio, but to make that happen, I need to snag as many scholarships as I can. I’ll be getting about 7k from Americorps this June, and I’ve saved up around 17k from working over the past few years, but I’m trying not to drain that completely.

Here are some stats…

ACT: 33 (36 reading, 35 English, 32 math, 30 science)

AP Language and Composition: 5

AP Literature and Composition: 5

AP Modern World History: 5

GPA (unweighted): 4.0

Class rank: 1/93

High school leadership: Captain of the track team, captain of the Quiz Bowl team, student liaison to the Board of Education, class secretary, treasurer of the French club, and co-captain of the debate team.

High school non-leadership participation: National Honor Society, volleyball team, English Festival at a local university, Youth Coalition through a local Family Recovery Center, French Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society.

It’s been a major headache trying to figure all this out, so any advice you guys have would be a huge help! Thanks a bunch, y’all!

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Hey there, my daughter’s a senior over at Kenyon, and when she applied, she got a pretty sweet combo of merit and need-based scholarships, even though we’re not exactly hurting financially. With your impressive stats, chances are you’ll qualify for a merit scholarship there, especially if you knock out a killer essay and show them how keen you are on the school. Plus, depending on your family’s income, you might also be eligible for some need-based aid.

Have you given their net price calculator a whirl? It gives you an estimate of need-based aid, but in our experience, it ended up costing us even less than what it showed (I think almost 10K a year less, if memory serves). And hey, Kenyon offers some “talent scholarships” for stuff like music and creative writing, so you might want to toss your hat in the ring for those too.