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!

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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Scholarships for Average Students

Scholarships for Average White Males & Everyone Else!

At least once a day, I see some tweet from a guy about how he can’t find any scholarships for average white males. Apparently, he hasn’t been looking very hard because there are tons of opportunities out there. I think many guys simply make the mistake of not taking the time to read the eligibility requirements, otherwise they would realize that most programs are open to just about everyone, including the average Joe. I know it may seem as though many of the scholarships are targeting the top academic students or those from a minority backgrounds, but it’s just as easy to find awards that grant free money for artistic talent or even social media skills. Maybe, they should spend a little less time complaining and more time actually searching for scholarships. In fact, I’ll make it easy for them by listing a few scholarships they can start applying to now.

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Scholarships for Moms

Mom, You Can Win Scholarships, too!

Heading back to college as an adult is never easy. Many of us have families, jobs and other demands on our time. Then, of course, there’s the financial strain it can place on our budgets. I know, because I have been there. Nine years ago, I made the decision to quit my job and go back to college to finish my degree. I was worried about being the oldest student in my classes (I wasn’t!) and how I was going to pay for everything without disrupting my children’s lives. I didn’t want them to give up any of their activities or make any huge changes to the way we lived. Why should my dream make their lives miserable? So, I did some research to see if I might be able to find some free money for college. I had a son, who was a sophomore in high school, and he was already applying for college scholarships. I found that many of these programs were also open to me. Unfortunately, he wasn’t really thrilled to be competing against his mother for scholarships, so I tried to find programs that were more suited to my skills and needs. I soon found several programs that targeted women and mothers, which meant I could apply without the worry of eclipsing my son. I’ll never forget the first award I won; it was right before Mother’s Day and my children put the notification letter in a box with a silver charm that said ‘winner.’ It’s still one of my favorite gifts to this day.

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Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand Scholarships: Opening Doors and Minds

Nearly a decade ago, I stumbled across the Atlas Shrugged Scholarship. I had never heard of the author, Ayn Rand, but I needed money for college and this essay contest offered a $10,000 top prize, so I headed to my local library to grab a copy. When I finally located it on a shelf, I could not believe the size of the work – 1075 pages. Whoa! The scholarship deadline was in three weeks, and I seriously doubted my ability to absorb so much material in so little time. Fortunately, the characters in the novel were so compelling that I found it hard to put away and finished it in a matter of days. Although I did not win the scholarship, the novel’s underlying themes stayed with me, challenging what I believed to be essential truths about being human and how one should treat others. Ayn Rand was the creator of Objectivism, a philosophy she described as, ‘…the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.’ Most of her work introduces you to the tenets of this philosophy, but even if you disagree with many of its points, her novels do make you think about your role in the world.

Although Rand died in 1982, the Ayn Rand Institute continues to open minds, and doors, for students through its many scholarship programs. Each year, over 600 students receive awards to help further their academic studies, with prizes ranging from $25 to $10,000. Here is a short overview of each program and who is eligible to participate.

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Funny Scholarships

Celebrate April Fools’ Day With These Funny Scholarships

The first day of April is always interesting in my house. I have four kids, so they find it amusing to ‘punk’ mom throughout the day. Even waking up can be fraught with peril; I never know if I will be covered in some sticky mess or step into something disgusting. I’m not sure how April Fools’ Day started, but my children have embraced it as a day where even their most outrageous pranks will receive amnesty. They don’t know it yet, but one day (many years from now) I will be helping my grandchildren exact some serious payback. I could start by telling my daughter I lost her college fund while playing poker, but that seems a bit too cruel. Besides, saving (and finding) money for college is no laughing matter, unless you apply for these funny, and a bit weird, scholarships.

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