One of the more interesting scholarships for high school juniors is Moody’s Mega Math Challenge. Now understand that many of these aren’t necessarily scholarships for high school juniors; they are scholarships for high school juniors and other high school students.

Moody’s Mega Math Challenge is a challenge well worth looking into since the winners—a team of up to five high school students—win a total of $80,000 to pay for college. That’s some serious college money.

You will actually have to earn the money though. How, you ask? You and your team have fourteen hours to solve an applied mathematics question. Applied mathematics not your thing? Prove your leadership ability and go recruit four math geniuses and share in the bounty. $80,000 can buy a lot of books.

What other scholarships for high school juniors might you find? There are many essay contests that offer serious money and—guess what—they are open to high school juniors. So sharpen your pencil and start brainstorming, there’s gold in them there hills!

Your junior year of high school is a good time to start laying the groundwork for those college years. But how do you do this?

If you are serious about scholarships for high school juniors or high school seniors you should prepare to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This will be your entry into the world of federal financial aid. Your FAFSA results will determine whether you are eligible for government grants, scholarships or loans.

Your Expected Family Income (EFC) will be the amount the FAFSA results say you can afford to pay. If your family household income is less than $41,000 expect to qualify for the Pell Grant—worth up to $5,800—and possibly more.
Near the beginning of your junior year you will need to take the PSAT/NMSQT. This may qualify you as a potential National Merit Scholar. The award itself is worth $2,500, but its prestige alone can unlock the door to other potentially generous scholarships. This is one scholarship that is truly earned as only the top four percent of test takers even make it through the first round of consideration.

One mistake many high school juniors make is thinking that they have worked hard their first three years of high school so they will just cruise through their senior year. Don’t do this.

College admissions officers still want to see that you are taking a rigorous, challenging course schedule your senior year even if they may not be evaluating your final grades in those classes. This signals to them that you are a serious student and person and not just someone who wants to do the least amount of work it takes to get by.

Finally, you should start thinking about specific schools. A list of a dozen is a good place to start. Don’t limit yourself. Pick some large schools and some small schools. Public. Private. Local. Out-of-state. Mix it up.

Set up some visits for the summer. Find out which schools have strong programs in your major. If you don’t know your major start thinking about that. It’s an exciting time for you. Enjoy the journey!

Your high school guidance counselor is a good place to start your search for corporate scholarships.

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