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Small Differences Will Set You Apart

We’ve been talking a lot about scholarships and grants over the last couple of weeks. The fact is there’s many ways to pay for college without taking out a student loan.

But with thousands and thousands of students applying for the same aid, how do you stand out from the crowd?

This comes down to two things. While you’re applying, you might hear them referred to as need-based and merit-based scholarships and grants.

The need-based scholarships are based on income. So if your parents make a certain amount of money, you might not qualify. But that’s okay, because that’s where merit-based scholarships come in.

You already know that grades and test scores are a big deal. That’s just part of being a student. But you might not realize that a lot of schools are looking for students who want to be actively involved on campus. The best way for them to judge that is to look at how much extracurricular stuff you’re doing in high school.

Thinking about getting involved in a leadership role in a student organization, playing on an athletic team, joining some type of academic club, or volunteering at your school and in your community.

The more leadership, volunteer and extracurricular activities you’re a part of, the better your college application will look. They could be the small difference that separates you from other applicants.

So if you have a 3.5 GPA and have been involved in your community and school and another applicant has a 3.5 GPA without doing anything else, then you’re off to a great start!

Take this advice, and I promise you won’t regret it. Get involved at your high school, and, when colleges begin selecting their students, you’ll stand out from the crowd!

Rachel Cruze

About the author

Rachel Cruze

Rachel Cruze is a two-time #1 national bestselling author, financial expert and host of The Rachel Cruze Show. She has appeared on Good Morning America, Today and Live With Kelly & Ryan, among others. Since 2010, Rachel has served at Ramsey Solutions, where she teaches people how to avoid debt, save money, budget and win with money at any stage in life. Learn More.