Dear Carol

Is there any way to guarantee a free ride to college?

Dear Carol,
I’m a sophomore in high school. I get good grades, I play sports and I’m involved in almost every activity possible: clubs, student council, you name it. But I’m still terrified that I won’t get into college. I’m doing everything I can, but what if it’s not enough? Especially with the money issue. I can’t wait to get away from my house and live my own life, but I won’t be able to do that without money. Is there a magic button to push so I can get a full-ride scholarship to the college of my dreams?
- College Concerns 

Dear College Concerns,
Good for you for being so motivated and involved. If your school has a guidance counselor, talk to him or her about this, but I’d say you’re well on your way. Colleges look at grades, test scores, activities, recommendations and essays, but there’s no magic button to snag a free ride. Do your research on scholarship opportunities from sources other than the schools themselves ( is a great resource).  If you are a minority student, keep your eye on schools that are actively trying to have a more diverse student body. If you are from a state with a small population, like Vermont or the Dakotas, be aware that selective colleges like to enroll kids from all 50 states. Keep dreaming big, but apply to a variety of schools and know that you can get a great education at a state or community college. One more thing: Remember to enjoy high school, too! Life is a journey with lots of destinations.

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by GL | 1/31/2018
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