See How He Won 35 Scholarships And Attended Colleges Free

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Whiles’t you are still battling to win one scholarship, someone somewhere had 35at his disposal and guess what? It took him perseverance to win them all. Learn from him in this extract from CNN.

Getting a full ride to your dream college is practically unheard of if you’re not a valedictorian who got a perfect score on the SAT.

Even then, your financial aid award could still leave you with a hefty bill to cover. But don’t give up hope.

There are thousands of private — and sometimes obscure — scholarships out there from companies, nonprofits and community groups. While they may be harder to find and annoying to apply for, there’s a good reason to hunt them down (besides getting Mom and Dad off your back).

Ask Christopher Gray, who won more than 35 private scholarships. They helped him go to Drexel University in Philadelphia for free. He graduated last spring and has some funds left over to use for grad school.

To be sure, Gray spent a lot of time applying for hundreds of scholarships. He started during the summer before his senior year of high school. And Gray is no slouch. He got good grades, founded a nonprofit and volunteered.

He also came from a low-income family and received a federal, need-based grant, but that was capped at about $5,500 a year.

“For me, it was either I apply for financial aid or I don’t go. Scholarships were my only way out,” he told CNNMoney.

Since then, he’s been on a mission to help others access the often untapped world of private scholarships. In 2014, he launched his own app, called Scholly, which gives you an updated, personal list of scholarships you might be eligible for. It received backing from two investors on the TV show Shark Tank. Students using the app received about $15 million in scholarships this year, Gray said.

Some private scholarships are pretty broad, but others are looking for someone specific. Left-handed? There’s a scholarship for that. Passionate about improving Internet speed in rural areas? There’s one for that, too.

Some are as small as $500. But others, like one Gray received from Coca-Cola, was for $20,000 a year. Pretty much anyone can apply for that one, which aims to reward those who have made an impact on their community. Gray also received one from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (for low-income minorities) which will pay for higher ed costs not already covered by other grants.

Finding a scholarship to apply for is only part of the battle. Most require you to write at least one essay. Here are some tips from Gray:

Recycle your essays.

This is how Gray was able to apply for hundreds of scholarships — and why you can, too. After applying for a few, you’ll likely find others with similar essay prompts, he said. Tailor the essay for the specific application, but your core content remains the same.

Avoid words like “awesome,” “driven” and “motivated.”

And while you’re at it, don’t explain how you “took initiative.” Rather than rattle off a list of accomplishments, Gray tried to focus on how the scholarship would impact his life.

Don’t be afraid to get creative.

For one essay, Gray wrote a poem. He won that scholarship and the selection committee told him that it really stood out. But don’t blatantly ignore directions. Take a creative risk for more general essays.

Take your time.

You can’t write an essay in a day. It’s a process, so leave time for editing, Gray said. He asked his AP Lit teacher to proofread.

Keep it short.

Try to stay between 250 and 500 words. “That’s what worked for me,” Gray said.

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20 comments

  • Hi am Ajebush mengistu from Ethiopia…am grade 11 student… But I want get scholars …bcz I want help…plzzzzzzzzz

  • Qué buen blog que he encontrado por aquí, desde lejos observo con curiosidad y preocupación lo que sucede en la Madre Patria, tus artículos me han dado mucha luz y lo ag.roezcda¡ Salud y República! Siempre

  • avec le changement de gouv aux US on se redemande se que deviennent ben laden et son pote omar, d’où l&iolus;expqosron des stats?Si j’ai tout bien compris, Ben passe la moitié de l’année à bronzer à Bora Bora, pendant qu’Omar fait de la mob.

  • Am Mohammed ibrahim and that’s really inspiring, I’ve diploma in chemical engineering from Eit and I can continue where ever you have the vacancy, especially in science and English language. please contact me by diyaradiyara9@gmail.com

  • first I want to say thank you giving this scholarship program. I am gediyon addis from africa Ethiopia. I am graduated from Addis Ababa university with bachelor of science degree in civil engineering on july 2015.I would like to study master of science in structural engineering or related field. If I get chance please contact me by email ;gediyone@gmail
    com or phone number +251921029015.thank you

  • We are hoping your application process for this scholarship has been smooth. Any of you having issues applying should visit the topic via the link within this reply to let us know. We are willing to help 🙂

  • am Thomson Michael from south sudan, i need freely funded scholarship for undergraduate because am poor,i can afford any fee thanks God Bless You

  • Fedli Abdela from Ethiopia
    I have bachelor’s of degre by Poor Economics..i need scholarship if i got the chance..
    phone: +251921441341

  • Am from South Sudan, 19yrs old, looking for a scholarship for bachelor degree. I’ve been trying to apply but can’t the accurate procedures to make it (application form)

  • That is very inspiarly to be straight and so motivating but if possible help us with your agenda with a hope that one day we will make it in africa. Fomula of Greys essay l wonder what would it be like…???? Anyway thanks alot and to my fellow africans its straight out that it is posible and with desined hope lets belive that its not only Grey but you as a son and daughter of africa…together we are here.

  • I’m muluneh from Ethiopia with the holder of doctor of dental medicine(dentist) from Jim MA university in 2013, and want to continue my second degree by mph in epidemiology, mph in health service management, mph in biostatisc,or speciality by orthodontics. thankbu

  • Hello,
    Your story was very helpful i really would need a scholarship hope i will get your guidance.

    Thanks for your help
    God bless you

  • am need of schoolarship in any institution of uganda taking diplom in mass media thank u for appriciating mi request.

  • my Name is Sintayehu Mulu from Ethiopia I,graduated in Debre markose College of Teacher Education in Geograpy Diploma Programe and now Iattend Applied Geogray in Degree program 3 year student now iwant to attend Climate Geograpy please help I,get thise chance and my contact number
    251922977864

  • if this chance is fair for all Africa it interested chance becaus African is economical problem and most African university has no quality.spacialy for masters progrem the chance is fruitable

  • how he apply for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (for low-income minorities) can he give me the exact application portal

    • Hi, I’m Matien Gatkuoth Dejul a south Sudanese students who is always looking for fully funded undergraduate scholarship in the field of earth sciences (geology)or petroleum and mining. Am always finding it difficult to apply because, I some time find scholarship which require admission first before applying for scholarship and to apply for admission there are admission fee needed and that is what always lead me to relax and lose hope because I can’t afford them. While some scholarship are not fully funded and I can’t afford to paying any fees. I would really appreciate your help because I desperately need to back to school.
      Thanks

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