White Middle Class Girl

by Tara

I have a problem. It’s a problem many teenagers my age also share with me. I need to pay for college and I do not have the money for it! So, I decided to apply for scholarships like every good student would. However, as I was applying for scholarship after scholarship, I realized something. There are minimal scholarships for white, middle class women, in the top 10% of their graduating high school class.

Yes, I know there are a ton of other students out there who are going to have a much more difficult time paying for college, but I am having some financial troubles of my own and could use a couple scholarships to help pay for my continuing education. Especially, since I have decided to be poor for the rest of my life by becoming an elementary school teacher.

It is going to be very hard for me to pay off all of my loans from college once I graduate, which is why I decided to apply for as many scholarships as I possibly could in hopes of winning a few here and there. So far, the best thing that has come out of me applying for scholarships is a “Thank you for applying, but we found someone we think deserves this more than you” box of sweets to help me indulge myself in chocolate to make myself feel better about living with loan debt for the rest of my life.

I worked extremely hard in high school to get good grades and I joined clubs and I excelled in sports, but I could never quite reach the valedictorian, community service queen, or state champion titles. I’m just a normal high school graduate who needs a little extra cash to pay for those expensive books or that horrendous meal plan I cannot get out of. I repeat, I know there are many students out there who are in a worse position than I am, however, there a millions of scholarships aimed toward helping them. I am left with the duck calling, random drawing, or tall person scholarships. (Did I mention I’m a full 5’4” tall).

I’m just an average woman working my butt off to pay for college. My mom always told me hard work pays off, I have worked extremely hard in paying for my college education, but I am still waiting for the pay off. Hopefully that happens before I graduate.
Read more Scholarship Tips from other students and parents who have been through process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Tara for sharing your story about the challenge of white, middle class women finding scholarships for college. I occasionally hear the same frustration from white, middle class men. While there are many excellent scholarships for minorities, most scholarships are open to women and men from all backgrounds, including white, middle class. Please check out some of the many scholarships listed on our website, that are offered to students of all races and ethnicity. You many also qualify for additional scholarships and grants through your college or state funds, so be sure to complete your FAFSA and submit it as early in January – February as possible. Also, read some of the stories about how other students pay for their college education. Good luck to you.

Earning money through scholarships IS POSSIBLE

(by Kristina, California)

Searching for scholarships can be a hassle. There are scholarships for everyone but it becomes stressful when you do not know the right places to look. The best scholarships usually come from sponsors within your community. I was having the toughest time finding a scholarship that I could win. I thought they were all “rigged” or “fraud”. I felt only select students could win online scholarships; not the Average Joe like myself. The problem was I was looking in all the wrong places, maybe you are too?

My advice is to talk to your counselors, teachers and even your parents. Often times their jobs provide plenty of opportunities to win scholarships. My mom works for a school district and that made me eligible to use her CSEA membership. That scholarship really helped me out when it came to financing my school books and also went towards buying a laptop for school. I couldn’t very well lug a desk top to each class. So the thousand dollars they funded really came in handy. It is true when they say “every little helps”.

Other reasons why I say ask your school teachers is because they may know more sources that are trying to help students out. Teachers always have your best interest in mind and are willing to help with finding local scholarships.

Reaching out to your counselors for scholarship help is good. They support you by offering a list of recommended scholarship sites that are beneficial and have helped students before. By getting to know your counselor it will make it easier for them to write a personal recommendation that could be needed for most scholarships.

Do not be afraid to ask about scholarships, if you are employed ask your employer if they help with school. Some corporations offer college loans or even better--scholarships.

Last but not least, take advantage of grants. Grants are free money that you do not have to pay back. Government aid is helping me most with my tuition fees, I can not emphasize enough the importance of applying for grants. I recommend the two sites: calgrants.org and fasfa.com. Check it out, more than likely you are qualified to receive money to pay for school.

Read more scholarship searching advice from other students and parents who have been through process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Kristina for sharing your advice about searching for scholarships. You offer some very good advice to talk to your counselors, teachers and parents about scholarship opportunities. Be sure to also check out our scholarship lists and deadlines for Scholarships for High School Seniors and Scholarships for College Students. Best of luck to you.

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