College -- one word that many teens plan for in their future. It broadens horizons and opens up many opportunities.
We've heard of the need for a college education, but we've also heard about how truly expensive such an education can be. From books, to classes, to dorms, college isn't cheap.
"Paying for college" will be one of the big challenges of going there, said Jake Firesheets, a senior at Roy High School.
Emilee Sandoval, a senior at Roy High School, also says one of the challenges she'll face when attending college is "Affording it! For sure!"
"Paying for (college) is going to be interesting," adds Thomas Knighton, a junior at Davis High.
So how do you pay for such an essential part of your future? The answer: scholarships.
There are many different kinds of scholarships out there. Some are based solely on academics, others deal with nationality, interests and experiences. There are scholarships awarded by colleges, departments and small businesses. But how do teens go after all these different scholarships?
Shannon Guymon, a senior at Davis High, said she looked for scholarships, checked deadlines, and just did her best.
"Going to clubs, going to leadership camps, doing service so that I can get scholarships," is the strategy for Andrew Peacock, a senior at Syracuse High School.
Marilyn Greer, a counselor at Layton High, shares a few do's when it comes to preparing for scholarships:
GPA and ACT
Colleges and scholarship agencies look at your grade point average, or GPA, especially if you're applying for an academic scholarship. They don't just look at your grades, they also look to see what kind of classes you are taking. Try challenging yourself with honors, advance placement and concurrent enrollment classes.
"The more rigorous the classes in high school, the better prepared you are for college," Greer said.
Challenging classes also help prepare you for taking the ACT. Don't put off taking this test. Take it early so that you can improve your score if you need to by taking it again.
Those awarding scholarships want to see "well-rounded students," Greer says, meaning students who take part in their school. When clubs say that being a member looks good on an application, they aren't kidding. Join clubs and other activities that interest you.
Steffani Semadeni, a senior at Layton High, said she "tried to join a lot of groups" -- mostly musical groups -- in order to include them on her scholarship applications.
Service plays an important part on scholarship applications and can even be a deciding factor in whether or not you receive a monetary award.
"Some (scholarships) are based totally on service and leadership," Greer said.
There are many service opportunities out there ranging from peer tutoring to starting a food drive. Make sure to record your service hours and keep track of who your supervisor was, in case a letter from this person is needed for an application.
Joe Fletcher, a counselor at Viewmont High School, recommends teens "do more than just church service." Go the extra mile and do something unique.
As an example, Brandon Cluff, a senior at Davis High, served others by being an autonomous learner, or AL, in ninth grade. He helped "teach a class and helped students understand basic science concepts."
On top of these points, make sure you don't procrastinate. Many scholarships are set up on a "first come, first serve" basis. The sooner you turn in your applications the better.
"Start working early," Fletcher says.
Also, apply for more than one scholarship. There is no guarantee that you will get any particular scholarship so the more you apply for, the better your chances.
If you have any questions about scholarship opportunities and requirements, ask your school counselor or contact the financial aid office of the college where you are applying. These people will very likely have the information you are looking for and will be able to help clarify points that you might be confused on.
TX. correspondents Dezarae Beaman, Syracuse High, and Lindsey Larson, Roy High, contributed to this story.
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Hillary Slaughter is a junior at Layton High School. She loves reading, crafts and "the great outdoors." Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.