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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!)