Scholarships, credits for college, oh my!

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This may not be widely known, but competing on your high school forensics team can benefit you in more ways than simply improving your public speaking skills. Being in forensics can help save you time and money in college! Sounds like something on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, right? Well, believe it.

There are colleges out there who will offer potential college speech or debate competitors scholarships or even college credit for joining their team. Obviously you will need to check the colleges you are looking into to see if they offer these options. Colleges might have you fill out applications for such compensation. You might have to undergo an audition. Every college has a different method of determining who will receive money or if your experience warrants credit.

If this is something you are interested in, be aware you will have to be on the team (if receiving a scholarship to compete). This might be hard to do for a freshman who is getting acquainted to college life. However, if you had no life outside of school and activities in high school you must likely will be fine.

To pursue these options it is best to speak directly to the speech/debate coaches at the schools you are planning to attend. Give them a call if a number is provided or send them an e-mail. At college visits, see if you can speak to a speech or debate team representative. Coaches are always looking for fresh talent and colleges are always looking for money. Letting it be known you are interested in the team gives the college and coach more incentive to persuade you to be on the team/at the school, and they will talk to you more readily than a person who is only mildly interested. College is a business so exploit that to find out all you wish to know or to see if your speech/debate experiences can get you any money or credit in exchange for you going to that school.

Also, many college theatre departments offer scholarship amounts ($500 a semester and beyond for minors, $1000 or more per semesters for majors in some areas) based on auditions, and students can use speech pieces to audition. Something to think about!

I loved being in my theatre just to see all the potentials come in to audition.

Also, if you are from Illinois and your school participates in Theatre Fest, keep in mind they have auditions for university theatre programs there. Have fun while getting auditions out of the way.

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