15 Scholarships Scholarships are the most publicized and talked about form of financial aid. While there are a great number of scholarships available, scholarships are often difficult to obtain. Thousands of scholarships are awarded each year by colleges, organizations, corporations, and clubs. Many people, however, underestimate the difficulty of obtaining a scholarship. The valedictorian who has a 4.0 GPA and a 34 on the ACT will probably have no problem getting a scholarship; neither will the athlete who’s broken a state record. These students, in fact, will likely receive several scholarship offers. A student with a 3.0 GPA will have a much more difficult time getting a scholarship, unless the student has an accomplishment, talent, or attribute that sets him/her apart. Many scholarships have such specific eligibility requirements that very few students qualify. For example, in order to be eligible for a scholarship, a stu- dent might need to go to XYZ college, have a 28+ ACT score, and belong to a particular ethnic group. For another scholarship, a student might need to be a female in the upper 10% of her class and have a specific major. Then there are the scholarships from the National Marble Tournament, the Michigan Llama Association, and StarFleet: The International Star Trek Fan Association. While it can be difficult to find scholarships for which the “average good student” qualifies, those who invest the time and energy often find that their efforts pay off handsomely. When looking for scholarships, keep the following in mind. u Finding and applying for scholarships takes a great deal of time and effort. Students need to start early. u While a one-year scholarship is for one year only, a renewable scholar- ship can become a four-year scholarship. u Be aware of deadlines.Counselors and teachers should be given plenty of time to prepare transcripts and to write letters of recommendation.