Paying for College

It should come as no surprise that college is expensive, but there are some tips and tricks that can help reduce your overall costs. We’ll take a look at how scholarships work, who can get them, and where to find them. Even if you think your parents make too much money, or your grades aren’t good enough, we’ll show you that there are scholarships and other resources out there for just about everyone — including you!

New Year Scholarships

10 Scholarships to Kick Off the New Year

It doesn’t seem possible that 2013 will be ending in just a few days. Where has the time gone?  I mean, seriously, doesn’t it feel like you were just trying to figure out what to wear on the first day of school? I’m sure many of you are grateful that the semester is finally over, especially if your grades were not spectacular. If you’re a high school senior, you’re still wondering when you can catch your breath and take a break. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you still have a few more weeks of torture to endure while you wait to learn your fate for next year. Even if you took the initiative and applied to early decision, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to pay for everything. The stress never seems to end, does it? Before you start pulling out your hair, take a deep breath and relax. I’ve got your back. The New Year is a perfect time to work on scholarship applications. Just schedule a little time between your Call of Duty marathons and catching up on all those television shows you missed this fall. Here are a few to get you started.

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Undocumented Student Scholarships

Scholarships for Undocumented Students

The college admissions process is overwhelming for many, but even more so for undocumented students. They face a variety of barriers, including confusion about the process, legal issues, and financial hardship. To make matters worse, many believe that they are ineligible to enroll in an American college or university. However, no state or federal laws prohibit undocumented students from earning a degree at either a private or public college, although some colleges have enacted their own admissions policies requiring proof of citizenship or legal residency. Other institutions that do accept undocumented students may, however, charge these students the higher, out-of-state fees, even if they have resided in the state their entire lives. Only 11 states currently have measures in place to ensure undocumented students are charged at the lower, in-state tuition rate. Another roadblock students face is the inability to receive federal and state financial aid, although a handful of states have offered aid to those who qualify for in-state tuition. It’s no wonder that less than 13,000 undocumented students are estimated to attend college in the United States. Thankfully, one resource has opened its doors to these students…private scholarships. Here are just a few that are currently accepting applications.

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Happy Halloween

No Tricks, Just Treats With These Fun Scholarships

The one thing I miss from my childhood is dressing up and heading out with my friends to score candy on Halloween. I would spend weeks coming up with the perfect costume. Only something handmade and unique would do, so creativity was a must. Of course, being a natural redhead, I have donned Jessica Rabbit, Annie and the obligatory Pippi Longstocking outfit, but the majority of my repertoire leaned toward the macabre. Thankfully, The Walking Dead has provided me with an excuse to dress up once again, but it’s not as easy to get people to give me candy. I’m usually met with strange stares or told that I’m a bit too old to be trick-or-treating anymore. Maybe it would work better if I actually tagged along with my kids? Oh well, I guess I need to find something else to occupy my time tonight. If you’ll be staying home this evening, consider using this time to work on scholarships. I’ll even help you fill your goody bag by treating you to seven fun programs that require no special tricks to win.

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Think Outside the Box

Think Outside the Box When Searching for Scholarships

A few months ago, I wrote a post called ‘Where Have All the Scholarships Gone?’ It was in response to the numerous postings I came across on Facebook and Twitter where students professed that they were unable to find scholarships anywhere. It included some of the widely known resources for locating college money, such as free scholarship search tools and guidance counselors, as well as a few new ways to locate free money. Apparently, there are still several students out there who haven’t either read the post, or simply do not understand how to conduct a simple search on the Internet, because the whining about the lack of scholarships has not subsided. I hate to sound harsh and call these students lazy, but I am dumbfounded by the lack of motivation or creativity some of them exude. When I was actively searching for scholarships, I literally left no stone unturned. Heck, I even turned over a few couch cushions in my quest to find money; every dollar found was one less I would have to repay in student loans. If you are having difficulty locating college scholarships, just remember to think outside the box, and try these lesser-known avenues for finding free money for college.

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crowdfunding

Need Money for College? Try Crowdfunding!

A little over a year ago, I stumbled across some interesting articles about students seeking college money from complete strangers, otherwise known as crowdfunding. I did a little research and published a short post about this phenomenon, but wasn’t completely sold on the idea. In fact, I even suggested that students focus their efforts elsewhere. Now, fifteen months later, I think I may have been a bit too hasty in my critique. Although I was right on the money about ScholarshipProz.com not living up to its promises (to date the site has brought in a meager $726), many students have found success on other websites.  GoFundMe.com (highlighted in my original post) continues to help people raise amazing amounts of money in short periods of time, as does Microgiving.com (also featured). Here are some other fundraising sites that may be worth a look, too.

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