Loans Are Nice, Scholarships Are Better | 09.29.09
We all know that college is undoubtedly expensive. It is one of the biggest financial investments a person makes in his or her lifetime. I’ve been out of college for a little over a year now and know that paying for college will be on my mind every month until my student loans are paid off sometime over the next ten years. Loans are great because they allow you to pay off your education over time after you graduate, but you do end up paying back more than you borrow due to the interest you pay. Â The federal Perkins and Stafford loans, which I took out, have interest rates ranging from 5 to 6.8 percent. Scholarships on the other hand are essentially free money and there is so much free money out there just waiting to be snatched up for those willing to look.
In college, between classes, co-curricular activities, a social life and my beauty sleep, every minute of my day was accounted for. Scholarships were the absolute last thing on my mind. Nonetheless, my mom would occasionally send me a new scholarship that she had found online and encourage me to apply. I certainly do not blame her for trying since I was going to college partially on her dime, but I kept telling her that I was too busy and that I would worry about scholarships later. Â I now realize that applying for scholarships doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming as I had previously thought.
ScholarshipPoints.com, an Edvisors company, gives away over $100,000 dollars annually in scholarship money. By signing up, which takes less than a minute, and participating in different activities you can earn points. Each point you earn is worth one entry into the free scholarship of your choice. There are monthly $500 and $1,000 scholarship drawings and a quarterly $10,000 drawing. In addition other scholarship opportunities arise throughout the year for members.Â The next $10,000 scholarship winner will be drawn on October 31, and it’s not too late to sign up, and this is just one opportunity.
There are literally thousands and thousands of scholarships out there. Some scholarships are so unique that few people even applyÂ making them very noncompetitive. Do you excel in leadership and community service? There are scholarships for you! Are you left-handed? There are special scholarships for you! Do you play the bagpipes? Well, there are scholarships for you too! The point is the money is there, you just need to take the time to find the opportunities that are right for you.
StudentScholarshipSearch.com can help connect you with hundreds of great opportunities with 873 links worth a jaw dropping $9,761,962,903 in scholarships and awards. Â If you are crunched for time you can parse through the Featured Scholarships section which funnels out large monetary awards and scholarships that are fast and easy to apply for. You can also search for local scholarships that are specific to your state or country of residence. These scholarships sometimes have a smaller pool of applicants so your chances of winning are a lot better.
If you devote just an hour a week to researching and applying for scholarships I think you’d be surprised just how many you qualify for. Today I look back on my college experience with only two regrets; I wish I had taken the time to apply for more scholarships and wish I’d discovered the pastabilities meal in the cafÃ© during my freshman year, yum!Â Had I taken that one hour a week to search for scholarships I might have come out of college with a much smaller loan obligation.Â Though had I discovered the pastabilities plan during my first year in school my waistline may have been a bit thicker come graduation.Â I guess I really only have one regret after all.
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