You're in the midst of making the most pivotal choice of your academic career: where to attend college. And while tuition rates skyrocket, high school seniors have even more decisions to make, like how to pay for college. Even if your final decision on where to go is in limbo, you can still tackle your next (and equally important!) round of applications: scholarships.
Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FastWeb.com, a top website for finding scholarships, author of Secrets to Winning a Scholarship, and frequent contributor to the New York Times' college admissions advice blog “The Choice,” shared his expertise with Her Campus on what it takes to lower your college costs. "Every dollar you win in scholarships is a dollar less you'll have to borrow," he says. According to Mark, it's crucial high school students apply for any and all scholarships they're eligible for – and it's easier than you think. "Winning scholarships requires a combination of luck and skill," he said. "By applying to more scholarships, a student increases his or her chances of winning one scholarship."
So sit down, take notes, and sign off Facebook for a bit. Here's a list of 10 diverse scholarships you can (and should!) apply for right now.
Davidson Fellows Scholarship
Have you worked on a project recently, specifically in the areas of music, math, technology, science or literature? This scholarship requires an innovative project with the goal of making an impact -- one that could be recognized as significant to experts in your project's field. You can apply online by submitting your application, three nominations, and your project abstract. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and 18 years old or younger as of October 4, 2012 to apply.
Deadline: February 1, 2012
Award: Maximum $50,000
All it takes is being a legal resident of the U.S. and living in a county of a participating Ronald McDonald House Charities chapter to be eligible for this award. If you can demonstrate academic, leadership, or community involvement, this program –- which has provided more than $44 million in scholarships for students over the past 100 years –- is for you. Check out which of their scholarships you're most eligible for and get started today.
Deadline: January 27, 2012
Award: Varies from scholarship to scholarship
GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship
Have you demonstrated admirable leadership or citizenship at school, work, home, or in your community? This scholarship, provided by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, is open to extraordinary high school seniors with demonstrated financial need who are graduating this winter or spring with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and U.S. citizenship. Apply online and remember to include a nomination and recommendation from a leader within your school or community.
Deadline: February 17, 2012
Little Rock Nine Foundation Scholarship
The Little Rock Nine Foundation strives to ensure students receive equal educational opportunities. This scholarship is open to any student who can prove financial need, have at least a 3.0 GPA and be especially willing to mentor a high school student through their Mentorship Awards Program if awarded the scholarship. Submit your application and letters of recommendation by mail.
Deadline: January 31, 2012
Healthy Lifestyles Scholarship
Are you passionate about staying healthy and fit? This scholarship, open to high school seniors and first-year college students with U.S. or Canadian citizenship requires an essay answering the question: "Why is a healthy lifestyle important in school?" All it takes is a minimum of 500 words and personal perspective.
Deadline: May 30, 2012