Student loans are one of the biggest financial challenges that students and parents are facing right now. As if getting a good college education wasn’t expensive enough, most public and private institutions keep raising the cost of tuition, fees, and room and board every year.
But what if you could pay for a top-notch education with someone else’s money that you don’t even have to repay? Scholarships are the best way to pay for school, but are often completely overlooked and misunderstood by students and parents.
If you think you need to be an Einstein or an athletic superstar to get free money for school, you’re in for a surprise. In my interview with Jocelyn Paonita Pearson, scholarship expert and founder of The Scholarship System, we talk about how she got over $126,000 for college.
Jocelyn was an average student from a large family that didn’t qualify for financial aid. After years of trial and error, she cracked the code on how to get a free ride through college and graduated completely debt free.
We discuss how families can tap into more scholarship money and avoid getting into student loan debt. You’ll learn:
- The optimal age students should begin applying for college scholarships
- How to avoid taxes on scholarship income
- Different types of scholarships to consider applying for
- Myths that typically hold families back from getting scholarship money
- How to continue getting scholarship money until graduation
- A free resource to uncover lesser-known and less competitive scholarships
[Listen to the interview using the audio player in the upper right sidebar of this page or on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Spotify]
5 Things You Should Know About College Scholarships
Applying for scholarships can be overwhelming for students and parents. There are many misconceptions about when to apply, where the money goes, how to find the best scholarships opportunities.
Here are 5 things you need to know about getting college scholarships:
1. Getting scholarships takes effort (but probably not as much as you think).
Applying for scholarships isn’t always easy. In fact, it takes hard work and dedication. But that can work in your favor because many students don’t try to get scholarships in the first place.
Less competition means you have a better chance to win scholarships, especially lesser-known opportunities.
2. Students can apply for scholarships through college graduation.
Don’t fall for the myth that only incoming college freshman can get scholarships. You can continue applying for and receiving scholarship money in your final year of college, and even beyond if you continue your education.
Eligibility varies depending on the scholarship and many are available to undergraduates during any year of their education. If you want to go to graduate school or get a doctoral degree, there are even scholarships for advanced education.
3. Winning scholarships gets easier after you know the process.
At first, going after scholarships may seem intimidating because it’s unfamiliar to you. However, each application gets a little easier as you repeat the process. So, don’t worry that your first submissions aren’t perfect—just get started.
4. Some scholarships are paid directly to students.
Most students and parents assume that all scholarship awards are sent directly to the college or university. In fact, some scholarships send funds directly to the student to give him or her more flexibility.
5. Scholarships can be used for more than tuition.
While some scholarships may be for tuition only, many can be used for anything you like. You might spend them on textbooks, fees, computers, and room and board—or on everyday living expenses like transportation, food, or a haircut.
So, don’t miss out on scholarship funding that could save you or your family hundreds of thousands of dollars and eliminate the stress of student loan debt.
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