As if planning to leave home for the first time weren't difficult enough, some students on their way to college have to figure out how to pay for it because their parents can't. These students face another problem, too – a mountain of advice, some of it conflicting and contradictory, about the application process for scholarships.

Although there are various ways to fund a college education, such as a collection of small grants or a student loan, scholarships remain a popular choice, especially for students with the right combination of factors. A high-achieving student from an impoverished family has certain avenues that are better to pursue, while an average student from a middle-class family has to take a different route to locate scholarship funds.

If you are a student whose parents can't pay for college, it is important to remember that there are literally thousands of sources of college money, with literally billions of dollars available. This may be the hardest thing you have ever done in your young life, but if you are motivated to get an education beyond high school, this is your job to take on and your challenge to face.

In short, the way you find money for college is by looking everywhere you can think of, and asking everyone that can possibly help. You will need to make multiple applications – at colleges and universities, local and national corporations, special interest groups, fraternal organizations, labor unions, etc. Even writers' and artists' guilds, as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscar organization), have scholarship money available for students pursuing careers in those special areas.

Have a Scholarship

Have a Scholarship

Don't forget that it is in the business community’s self-interest to promote education in the various fields of study on which so many products and services are based. If you are interested in chemistry, don’t forget to contact Monsanto; it you want to explore the sea floor for oil and natural gas deposits, remember to get hold of Texaco and Arco; and if you want to be a teacher, contact all the teachers’ colleges, even school districts in the part of the country that you want to live in after college.

The process of getting college money is not as complicated as it is simply time-consuming. There is nothing involved in the scholarship application process that a student of average grades and ability cannot understand or accomplish, and if you need help there is plenty available. Not only will scholarship-granting groups give you the application packages and tell you the deadlines, they will also assist you in the process itself. Remember, it is to a veterinary program’s advantage to help a talented, passionate future veterinarian get into their course of study and enter the field. You will find plenty of help from people who share your dreams.

So, if you're asking yourself how you are going to pay for college because your parents can’t, never forget that there are a lot of right answers to the question. Be devoted to the process and show your passion and dedication by taking weekend jobs during the school year, and summer jobs, too. Be willing to go the extra mile, do the extra work and fill out that 25th or 26th scholarship application, because even though the process is fairly simple to understand, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do.

Think of it this way: You are about to climb your own personal Mt. Everest. It is simple to explain what to do – you start at the bottom and walk to the top. But easy? Not at all. If you take on this challenge, to apply for scholarships because your parents can’t pay for college, you will have to work hard and persevere. But have you seen the pictures of the people who have scaled Mt. Everest? They are all standing at the top of the mountain, exhausted and spent – with big smiles on their faces. You can do it too!