"I applied for that?" That's how Julia Isabel Martinez Rivera felt after receiving a $20,000 scholarship from Chegg.
She had written so many essays and clicked submit so many times that she'd lost track of all the awards she applied for. (She was also surprised because the textbook company showed up on her doorstep with a jumbo check.)
"I'd applied for so many," says Julia, "that I'd forgotten I'd even applied for that one."
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After all, the University of California-Berkeley junior secured more than $50,000 total in scholarships for college students, plus grants, before her third year on campus. She only resorted to federal student loans once she maxed out her gift aid allotment.
Here are four helpful takeaways from her experience.