Students may be eligible for special scholarships

After choosing a major and filling out a college application, completing financial aid paperwork should be your next step. Many seniors dismiss scholarships because they worry that their GPA isn't good enough, or that they're not a talented athlete. The truth is, there are many scholarships for lots of different kinds of students.

For instance, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation offers talented students the chance to apply for its Gates Millennial Scholarships. Students who are awarded one of the coveted scholarships will receive financial assistance which can pay for up to 10 years of tuition fees. Applicants must apply by January, and have to complete eight essay questions in order to be considered. The Foundation awards 1,000 of the Millennium scholarships every year.

Scholarships do not have to be repaid, and you can apply to as many scholarship programs as you wish without affecting any applications you might have made for loan-based financial aid. Depending on your background, ethnicity, academic achievements and other factors, you may be eligible for one or several scholarships, which could ease the financial burden of pursuing a postsecondary degree.

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