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!

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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Scholarship Basics

Scholarship BasicsIt seems as though some students are under the false impression that only straight ‘A’ students or those from low-income families are eligible to apply for scholarships. Although most institutional, state and federal programs are merit-based (academics) and/or need-based (income), a plethora of private scholarships are also awarded to students based on other criteria. Here’s another newsflash – students don’t have to be high school seniors either; many scholarship programs are open to students beginning their freshman year of high school (some even earlier!) and others are for adult-learners, or those pursuing graduate degrees and beyond. There’s really no excuse for not searching for scholarships to help keep college expenses to a minimum, especially when there are so many choices. Here are just a few of the many types of scholarships available to students.
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College Tuition: Beware of Sticker Shock!

Could you imagine paying over $50,000 a year to attend college? What about $60,000? It may sound crazy, but according to this year’s list of most expensive colleges there are plenty of schools that will set you back a pretty penny. In fact, if you research the Internet, you’ll find dozens of ‘Most Expensive’ or ‘Highest Tuition’ posts and articles, all with figures so high it would cause anyone with chrometophobia (a fear of money) to break out in a cold sweat. Fortunately, many students do not end up paying the full price of admission to these schools. Before you cross any colleges off your list, take a look at the ‘list price’ versus the ‘actual price’ first. Continue Reading…


Turn Your Hobbies Into College Cash!

Fun Scholarships Do you spend your free time pursuing interests outside of school? Chances are those extracurricular activities and hobbies could net you some cool college cash. Although many scholarships are merit-based or need-based, there are numerous programs that target specific areas of interest that may or may not have anything to do with your intended college major. Many organizations and clubs provide scholarships to students who demonstrate an interest in certain activities or show exemplary skills in certain fields, such as music and art. Every day, new scholarships are popping up and one could be perfect for you! Here are a few examples of how your hobbies or outside interests can turn into free money for college. Continue Reading…


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