There are many benefits of applying for scholarships and financial aid for school. First, and probably most important is the fact that college is expensive. Costs are on the rise and it is becoming more and more difficult to be able to finance schooling on your own. Scholarships can be a great way to shed some of the fee burden off of your higher education tab.
While I was researching this topic, I came across a few scholarships that I wish I had seen back in my final high school days. Looking back on it, with a little “googling” I could have potentially saved hundreds, even thousands, of dollars with creative scholarships.
Just a few years ago, scholarships were awarded primarily for academics, test scores and athletic ability. However, times have changed. You can now save the big bucks based on more than just your GPA and transcript—you are now encouraged to showcase your activities, hobbies and personality. There are scholarships out there just waiting to be awarded to those looking outside the beaten path! If something makes you unique, or you have a longtime hobby that is a little out of the ordinary, try searching for scholarships based around it. You will be surprised with what might pop up!
Don’t believe me? Let’s look at a few examples to kick that hamster wheel into gear.
There are scholarships awarded to students who have a bit of a “green thumb”. By paying close attention to the growing gains of going “Green”, students have the potential to win scholarships based on their initiative to get students involved. DoSomething.org will enter students into a drawing for a $500 scholarship just for referring their friends to their service programs and starting a club at their school. If you have the passion to give back to your community and it’s already apparent in your extracurricular activities—this scholarship could be perfect for you!
Now being a short girl, this next one wouldn’t quite apply to me, but it’s still fascinating and worth looking into! The Tall Clubs International Student Scholarship is awarded to students who are gifted in the height department. Students can win up to $1000 in scholarship money just for being “heads above the rest”! For the ladies who are over 5”10, and the gentlemen who surpass 6”2, this one could be calling your name!
Avid fashion lovers and prom dress shoppers unite! This next scholarship stopped me dead in my tracks. In high school, prom was the event of the season. It didn’t matter who you were or what group you fit into—everyone went to prom. I spent weeks looking for the “perfect dress”. Ironically enough, I now look back at it and cringe. How in the world did I pick that?! I should have had fun and gotten creative. Maybe if I had seen this scholarship I would have! The Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck on Prom Contest awards over $5000 each to a couple who makes amazing Duck Tape prom outfits!
These are just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of scholarships opportunities that exist in the depths of cyber space! Spend time searching for scholarships whether you’re in high school or already in college—there are scholarships made for anyone and everyone, you just have to find them! From surveys, to sprinkler safety, to vegetarian awareness, there are countless numbers of untapped scholarship resources just waiting to be uncovered! Scholarships help you save money during school and make it more affordable in the long run!
College sports have come a long way from throwing a Frisbee around in the quad with your friend named Brad. A college student’s schedule is, for the most part, very flexible and what better way to fill that time with some healthy outdoor activities?
Quidditch is one professionalized collegiate sport that is on the rise, figuratively. This sport originated in J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world in the Harry Potter series but has been reinvented for muggles (non-wizards). The first with broomsticks took place in Middlebury, Vermont back in 2007 and since then the International Quidditch Association (or IQA) has grown to 78 teams nationwide.
Quidditch is played on a grass field with three Goal Hoops on either end. The rules of the game are quite simple: each player must hold a broom between their legs at all times without the use of any artificial attachment. The game begins with one red ball thrown to the opposing team. If a player holding said ball is hit, they much drop the ball and run to their Goal Hoops before returning to play. There is one white ball that is to be advanced down the field through running with the ball or passing. There is one tennis ball used as “The Snitch” that is placed in a long sock and tucked into the back of the Snitch Runner’s shorts. If any person catches designated Snitch runner, the game is ended and the points are added up. Whichever team catches the snitch adds 50 points to their overall score.
If wizard games aren’t for you, outdoor recreation from backpacking and hiking to rock climbing (both indoor and outdoor) have been popular among collegians. Many colleges embrace the environment around their campuses through outdoor clubs for students who are interested but weary of starting outdoor sports such as kayaking, canoeing, hiking, camping and such.
Slacklining is another sport that is on the rise. If you have seen the Super Bowl half time show, you would have seen Andy Lewis’s incredible stunts. Although not a professional game in the collegiate world, this hobby has been adopted mostly by the American West Coast. The sport originated in the Yosemite Valley in California. This is a very minimalistic activity as the only equipment needed is the slack line itself. Slacklining is a test of balance. A slackline, usually $40-$70, is stretched across two trees or poles. The line’s tension can vary and be adjusted to the user. A person can start by simply balancing on the line with both feet, then maybe one foot or try to walk across the line. More advanced slackliners practice jumping or yoga moves on the line.
Disc golf is another sport that may soon become an NCAA sport. Disc golf is exactly what it is named: it is the game of golf but instead of using a club and golf ball, a person is throwing a Frisbee. There is a soaring number of disc golf clubs that have been forming on college campuses. In 2010, 26 teams participated in a tournament in South Carolina. Other states who are known in the disc golf realm are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Illinois.
So why can’t college kids just go to the court and shoot a basketball around or participate in traditional sports? While standard sports are still very popular in college, these other sports can play out fantasies as in Quidditch; they can be practiced in small groups of friends; and they get you moving in a way that you might never have before. It is proven that workouts are more efficient when disguised through fun activities. So go out and play!
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As we have seen expressed for the Super Bowl, die-hard fans will stop at nothing to show support for their team. Many college kids feel the same about their college’s sports teams, but they have some obstacles in the way. The most problematic situation faced by those face-painted fans seems to be getting to the away games.
Needs some transportation ideas?
- Most obviously, check out what your school has to offer. In many cases, if there are enough foam fingers who are looking for a ride, strings can be pulled to get a bus rented through the Athletic Department of the school. If this fails, this idea can always be done privately. Can anyone say “Party Bus!”
- The Car Situation- What sounds cooler: carpooling or road tripping? Without a doubt, road tripping brings to mind movies like Little Miss Sunshine and Road Trip. No one wants a National Lampoon’s Vacation situation on their hands, so advertise to your friends you would like to get a road trip together for the next away game; don’t call it a carpool. This way you can incorporate other fun aspects of road trips like making a playlist and stopping at a diner half way through. No one does those things for carpools except for soccer moms…
- Public Transit- Pros: No one has to drive. Fun Atmosphere. Everyone stays together in one big group. Cons: Cost. Use this as your last resort, but if planes need to be involved, check out a price comparison site for cheap flights. You can also look at taking a Greyhound bus although that can make for a VERY long and sometimes scary trip.
Good luck and don’t forget to drink water! If you lose your voice at the big game, the after party might not be as much fun…
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