Build a short list
cash for college grant means

Grant Means, sophomore, Stanford University
2012 Coca-Cola Scholar

His advice: Don't waste your energy applying for scholarships that aren't good fits. Make sure the scholarship you are applying for aligns with your passion in a deep way. Once you have a short list, go after those programs with everything you've got.

Almost all scholarship applications have word or character limits, which means you have to justify every phrase. Be picky and maximize the impact of what you say. Give them something they won't see 1,000 times. Be creative. Be different.

Watch: Is the cost of college crippling?

You should build two résumés. On one put down and describe everything that could possibly be important. The other should be a one-pager with the accomplishments you are most proud of. You can use these as building blocks for the applications.

  @Money - Last updated October 04 2013 05:46 PM ET
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Colleges with the highest-paid grads

From Harvey Mudd to the U.S. Naval Academy, graduates with bachelor's degrees from these universities earn the highest salaries in the country, according to

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