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!

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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Scholarships for Juniors

10 Fall Scholarships for High School Juniors

I know it seems like every scholarship out there is for a graduating high school senior, but trust me, there are plenty of programs open to high school juniors, too. And no, you don’t need to know where you plan to attend college or which degree program you want to pursue; you just need to have the determination and drive to go after these opportunities. In fact, the earlier you start the scholarship search process the better, as it will give you more time to hone your skills and figure out which types of programs are best for you. You may find that you prefer the lottery-style scholarships that don’t require much time or effort, or you could be an amazing writer who can earn some serious cash through essay-based scholarships. Whichever type of program you prefer, there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you, including these 10 fall scholarships that are accepting applications right now.

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Community Service Scholarships

Volunteer Scholarships for Those Who Give Back

If you are a student who volunteers at school or in your community, you already know that helping others is its own reward. Nothing feels better than to help those who may be a little down on their luck or to bring a little laughter to child who is battling cancer. A smile or a hug is worth more than any money you could earn flipping burgers at the local fast food joint. Although volunteer work is not always the most glamorous, you have the opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills, and know that you are making a difference in your community. Community service can also help you land a job and get into college. With all these benefits, there really should be no reason why you wouldn’t want to volunteer, but if you still need some incentive, here’s one – scholarships! You may not get paid upfront to donate your time, but all those hours could result in some free money for college. Here are just a few of the programs you may be eligible to win.

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Money for Dad

Celebrate Father’s Day With These Scholarships for Dads!

Before I became an impossible teenager, I was daddy’s little girl. I could count on him to take my side in any argument and he was always there to save me when I bit off more than I could chew. Most importantly, he made me feel as though I could do anything. Looking back, I realize that he made many personal sacrifices to make sure I had everything I needed or wanted. Instead of buying his dream car, he put that money into guitar and piano lessons for me. When he considered taking golf lessons, he put them on hold so I could attend a vocal competition in California with my school. I’m sure there were other dreams he put on hold, as well, to ensure his family was happy and secure.

Father’s Day is just around the corner and I would give anything to be able to thank my dad for everything he has done for me, but unfortunately, he passed away several years ago. If you know a dad who has put his educational dreams on hold and is now considering returning to school or even attending college for the first time, be sure to let him know how much he means to you and show him some support by sharing these scholarships with him.

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