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How a high school student earned $80K from this year-old scholarship program
The startup's new scholarship program allows students to earn money for college based on their high school accomplishments, and students are cashing in. - photo by Payton Davis
If all high school students knew Abby Saxastar's story, they might not be so quick to consider the less glamorous parts of their four-year experience pointless.

According to CNN Money, that's because Saxastar earned $80,000 in scholarships based solely on her high school successes through a program developed by the startup

Saxastar plans to use the amount she accrued to cover full tuition at Stetson University in Florida, and CNN Money reported she's not the only college hopeful who's signed up with since its start in August 2014: 60,000 students from 5,000 high schools now participate.

Instructions on's site read students must just have details about their accomplishments to begin.

According to the site, students list their grades, sports and clubs participated in since ninth grade, watch scholarships "pile up" from various colleges, and cash in when they've picked a university and been accepted.

And students in their senior year don't have to miss out.

"Saxastar learned about the program a few months before she graduated high school in June, but the program allows students to retroactively include information," according to CNN Money. "So even as a senior, Saxastar could log her grades and activities for the past four years." co-founder Preston Silverman told CNN Money's platform features 76 colleges currently, with hopes to increase that to 100 by the year's end.

For teens with a bit more time before graduation, Kristina Ellis' experience provides some solid tips on scholarship-stashing, according to Yahoo News; she earned $500,000 in college scholarships without being "a top student or star athlete."

Yahoo News' report stated Ellis' most important moment took place when she first entered high school.

The first day of freshman year in high school my mom sat me down and basically said, Kristina, I love you and believe in you, but theres no way I can support you financially once you graduate from high school, so youre going to have to figure out your own way to pay for college, Ellis told Yahoo News.

Ellis did just that taking opportunities like working with youths to make her applications impressive, applying for more than 40 scholarships her senior year, and creating a blog or other things to impress the scholarship committees. Through those efforts, she earned enough to pay for her bachelor's degree, master's and Ph.D., according to Yahoo News.

A Unigo collection of tips for those seeking scholarships indicated applicants should consider things few students will: Scholarships that require more work mean fewer applicants, and small awards add up.

Students who feel burned out in regards to the pursuit of academic awards might want to fine-tune the search to their interests also.

"If students are interested in what they are writing about, chances are the scholarship committee will be more interested in reading the applications, too," according to Unigo.
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