Class of 2021

Yes, Activities Help Pay for College

Simple actions to take your sophomore year

College may be last thing you’re concerned with. And while we agree that it’s a long way off, we also know that what you do now lays the groundwork for your life after high school. So help your future self by thinking about college and consider how your sophomore year decisions might help pay for that college experience. 

This month, learn:  

  • Why academics help pay for college 
  • Activities mean more than just hanging out with friends 

2018 Newsletter Archive

What You Should Do NOW:

Your Actions Now May Impact How You’re Going to Pay for College

For most sophomores, college is the last thing you’re concerned with. And while we agree that it’s a long way off, we also know you are laying the groundwork for your life after high school. So take a little time to make sure you’re helping your future-self with thinking about college - and part of the college experience is paying for it. College costs are a big factor in the planning process. Attending college can seem expensive, but it’s an excellent investment in your future. Never let expense stand in the way of a college education.

There are lots of ways to pay for college.

Different funding sources include:

  1. Scholarships
    As a major source of gift aid, scholarships are a great resource to pay for your postsecondary education. They may cover the entire cost of your college education or be a small one-time award and are often awarded on merit rather than financial need. No matter the amount, scholarships are worth applying for to help lower the cost of your education.

  2. Grants
    Grants are free money awards (gift aid) for students with financial need or who meet other certain conditions. Grants may provide a few hundred dollars or a full ride. Many students qualify, but those with the most need are eligible for the most funding from the state and federal government.

  3. Loans
    Student loans provided by the federal government are one of the largest sources of financial aid in the country and must be repaid. Educating yourself on the definitions, interest rates, and terms of these loans is critical to financial stability in your future.

Finding sources of funding means researching (either online or in person) the aid available at colleges you want to attend and asking your counselor for tips on scholarships and grants.

Your performance NOW can make a huge difference.

Merit-based financial aid programs in many states award students for their achievement not only in the classroom but also on college entrance exams, in the arts, athletics, or other areas of unique accomplishment. Students who participated in activities develop new skills, broaden their experiences, practice social skills, and increase their appeal to college admissions personnel. ACT research also indicates that regardless of a student’s high school GPA, involvement in high school activities is often associated with higher ACT scores.

That’s why it’s important to take your activities and studies seriously and strive to do your best.



Continuing your education after high school is an investment in yourself and your future. And there’s always a way to pay for it.