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Monday, October 29, 2012

Why summer is the perfect time for scholarships

It's summer. That means ice cream, beaches, frivolity, and working 60 hours a week.

It also means scholarships.

Never stop looking for scholarships just because it’s summer! Many scholarship applications are due throughout the summer or early in the fall, and it’s important to find and apply for them when most other applicants are tanning on the beach (or, bring your laptop to the beach and tan while you apply—how many jobs combine great pay and a great tan?).

I'm sure you'll find a perfectly idyllic place to work on scholarships. Go to Hawaii. Convince your parents the trip will pay for itself in all the scholarships you'll apply for there...

In fact, summer is the perfect time to ramp up your scholarship search. Once school starts, you’re going to be busy with the two hundred activities you’ve overcommitted to, and it will be a lot harder to carve out time to work on scholarships -- and fund college through them.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Elementary school college scholarships

You've heard of college scholarships.

What about elementary school scholarships?

No, I didn't think so. Some of the most overlooked scholarships are ones given out to students in elementary school, middle school, and junior high, to be held until the student goes to college years later.

You don't even have to be a child prodigy to get scholarships young! (Image courtesy of

Now, if young students do win one of these scholarships and don’t know where they want to go to college yet (understandable, considering most 5th graders haven’t even decided if they prefer macaroni and cheese or hot dogs), how the money is distributed is up to the scholarship provider. Some send you a check directly, and others will hold onto it until you decide to what college you’re going to attend.

The advantage of finding and applying for scholarships so early is that there are very few applicants for those scholarships, because no one thinks of looking for them that early. So that means getting them is best started early!

Monday, October 1, 2012

What are the odds? Why scholarships are better than the lottery.

I know what you're thinking.

"I'm not going to apply for scholarships. I'll apply for 10 and not even get one. That's terrible odds."

You're both right and wrong. You're right -- not every hour you put in will get you a scholarship, but wait a second. Imagine if there were a $100,000 lottery you had a 1 in 5 chance of winning being advertised in your hometown. Of course you would buy tickets! You'd probably buy 10 or 20 or even 30 tickets, just because even if only one worked, that would be $100,000!

Thankfully, this isn't true. Sometimes it feels like it, though. (Image courtesy of

That is how it is for scholarships: with strategic planning, you could potentially win one in five scholarships you apply for. Even if it’s 1 in 10, that’s still great odds, and add scholarship to scholarship to scholarship, and pretty soon you have a college education paid in full—that’s a pretty good lottery.

(And you don’t even have to spend money on tickets while funding college through scholarships!)