Scholarship Countries

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The Story

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.