I am a sophmore in college. I achieved an ACT score of 22. However, my GPA is very low. When I first started college, I got extremely homesick and depressed and my GPA reflected. It was a 2.0. However, the next semester, I made sure to do everything I could to raise my GPA and I got a 3.8. Sadly, my 3.8 was not enough to raise my low GPA. It is currently only a 2.9. I really need a scholarship or grant to help me pay for school. Is there anything I can do with my 2.9 GPA and my ACT score of 22?
Have an Answer?
For your particular situation, you actually have a better shot at winning scholarships precisely because you had a difficult time, did poorly, and then recovered magnificently. That is exactly what you should be writing in your scholarships. As for the ACT, forget about it. It doesn't matter anymore once you're in college. The only thing that matters now is your current grades, the steps you have taken to show leadership either in school or in your community, and the service you have offered others. In your case, if you used your personal experience of depression to help others learn to manage depression, that makes it even more compelling. I am telling you, you can win so many scholarships if you write your essays with this frame of mind. I previously posted about scholarships for another person. I include that post here:
There are several full-ride scholarships that cover full tuition, housing, and provide a stipend (that is monthly living expenses, like a cell phone and transportation). Check out the Gates Millennium scholars, for example. However, these are incredibly competitive scholarships. You will have a much better chance of creating your own full-ride scholarship by winning many smaller, less competitive scholarships. I recommend several things to accomplish this. First, you will need to learn how to write exceptional scholarship essays and responses. To do this, I recommend that you dissect the very best scholarship essays available. Find and read Marshall scholars, Rhodes scholars, Gates Millennium scholars' essays, and then dissect them line by line (and when I say dissect, I mean literally dissect line by line). Print these essays off and annotate the hell out of them to figure out exactly what the writer is accomplishing with every single sentence and every single word. Then find compelling stories in your life and write your essays about these stories with a similar effectiveness as these top writers. When telling a story, stick to this formula: 1) introduce an obstacle, setback, or other painful/ illuminating experience, 2) explicitly state what actions you took to overcome this obstacle (if you didn't succeed right away or at all that is okay too - in those cases, talk about how you were persistent or what key takeaway you learned from the experience and how you adapted your methods going forward) and 3) explain the exact results you created by taking action. If you follow these instructions, you will have a much better chance of winning many scholarships (I know, I did it). Second, you will need to find ALL of the scholarships you can apply for and apply for them. Start with your financial aid office. They will have hundreds, if not thousands, of scholarships. Create a list of every single scholarship you qualify for and include the deadlines and the complete requirements (transcripts, recommendations, etc). Then rigorously use google calendar to schedule time to complete all of the requirements for all of the scholarships by the deadlines. You will realize that most scholarships ask almost exactly the same questions, so you won't have much additional work once you have learned to write top notch essays.
I know this may seem like a lot of work compactly presented like it is here (and it will be hard work, but it is possible), but this process should happen over a year's time (though it can be done in a single semester, if you work your ass off). You need to start very early so you can polish your essays and build relationships to get outstanding recommendations. In order to build those relationships with your professors, you will need to go to office hours at least bi-weekly with serious, thoughtful questions that show you are thinking about the class well beyond the rest of your classmates. One final note, to create your own full ride scholarship, you will have to compete for merit scholarships, not only need-based ones, which means your grades must be top notch. If you have difficulty getting straight A's, I suggest you work on that first. Go to the local bookstore to the education section and find books on how to become a top student, read them and apply the knowledge in them. Best of luck!!!
Adele Robinson Rodriguez
Do not lose hope continue to raise your GPA as much as you can. There are scholarships that will still help you, not to worry.
Here are a few places you can go that will help you.
you make a profile and it will ask you to put in your GPA and it will list all of the scholarships available for you. Pretty neat site.
2. Need Based Scholarships. They focus a lot more on the need for financial assistance rather than the GPA
3. Also there's a lot of scholarships for your background, certain skills you are good at, volunteering in the community. Do Not Give Up!