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One college freshman found that it really pays to have a plan because she’s earned 14 different scholarships her senior year in high school.

Just being a good student isn’t enough to get you into the college of your dreams these days, and good grades alone may not cover tuition. The New Pittsburgh Courier reports that Michigan State University student Aubrey Perry realized this very thing just after wrapping up her junior year in high school.

Although she was already a member of the National Honor Society, which is an incredible achievement on its own, Aubrey knew that she still had a little more work to do. That meant packing even more into her already busy schedule since she was already a cheerleader and a member of the link crew. “The summer between my junior and senior year, I really got serious. Though I was in the National Honor Society and The Link Crew, I knew that if I wanted to go to a major university like Michigan State, I’d have to start participating in the type of activities that matter to admissions directors – and especially scholarship selection committees,”

It didn’t matter to the already accomplished student, she was determined to stand out in the best possible way. Make no mistake it was going to be necessary for Aubrey to impress scholarship committees if she wanted to go to school this year because her parents could not afford to send her.

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“When I found out that getting accepted into college was very competitive – and so expensive, I made up my mind to do whatever it took to get where I wanted to go,” Aubrey said. “My parents told me that if I wanted to go away to school, I had to find my own scholarships because they didn’t have money for a college career like Michigan State.” To be clear, her parents weren’t negligent about saving for Aubrey’s education, but they are self-employed. When the economy took a hit, they had to file for bankruptcy.

She continued, “It was a very sobering and emotional conversation when my parents told me that there was no money saved for college.”

That was the moment Aubrey decided to dig in her heels and fight for her education because she believed that it wasn’t too late to live her dream of being a college student. “I put full focus on winning scholarships,” she recalled.

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Aubrey made it her business to seek out each and every scholarship that she might have a shot at winning no matter how big or small. In the end, she earned about $17,000! “I applied to over 100 scholarships – and won fourteen,” she revealed. “My first scholarship I won was $75 and the largest scholarship I won was $5,000. Those scholarships for $25,000 a year are really hard to get because they’re the ones everyone hears about. But, I researched and applied to any and every scholarship I qualified for no matter how small – because it adds up.”

The determined young lady ultimately wound up taking out some student loans to make up the difference, but she put a huge dent in her goal. Now at the beginning of her first year at Michigan State University, she’s already planning ahead for how to earn next year’s tuition. She revealed, “Next year I plan to get a good summer internship and apply again for more scholarships. I have faith that it’ll all work out.”

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