Personal Finance, World Changers

The One Big Reason Scholarships Are Important

February 8, 2017 | Posted by Eva Baker

There are many options out there to pay for college.

You can be born into a wealthy family. You could have parents willing to go into debt for your education. You could go into massive student loan debt yourself. Or you could work hard to earn scholarship money to put yourself through school.

Since we don’t get to choose the family we are born into, and we all probably agree that going into debt is not the best option for anyone, let’s take a closer look at the scholarship option.

College Is Expensive

Now that’s an understatement!

Some schools, for instance, can cost up to $40,000 to attend–and that’s just for one year. I don’t even want to think about the total cost for a 4-year degree from one of those places.

Even local schools can cost several thousands of dollars each year, which doesn’t include additional costs like lab fees and textbooks every semester.

My guess is these expenses are probably going to keep going up, so applying for scholarships becomes an important part of an overall financial strategy to pay for school.

Scholarships to the rescue

My friend, Tim Caiello, recognized early on in high school that he had two options before him since his parents were not in a position financially to assist him. One, he could work crazy long hours at a job for years to save the money he needed to go to school. Or, two, he could use those hours to study extra hard.

He chose to study.

This paid off big time when he was awarded a full four-year scholarship to Columbia International University, a private Christian school in South Carolina. He applied for many scholarships, participated in essay contests and worked hard for a great SAT score in order to earn the scholarships he needed to attend school debt free.

You can read Tim’s full story here.

Earning scholarships becomes your job

The earlier you start applying for scholarships, the better. Some teens I know block out 3-5 hours per week starting in middle school just to apply for scholarships! Instead of getting a part time job they make acquiring scholarships their job of sorts.

Don’t think scholarships are just for the super smart kids either. There are all sorts of groups that award money for college not based on grades!

Places to consider include:

  • Local businesses
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Foundations
  • Companies
  • Employers
  • Religious organizations

And to my point, LCEF annually awards over $4,500 in scholarships to high school seniors. The Take Heart Scholarship is an amazing way to earn money for college if you are an LCEF investor and willing to write a killer essay.

You can find all the details here.  Be sure to check it out and apply before April 5, 2017!

Eva Baker
Since she was sixteen years old, Eva Baker has been blogging about personal finance for teens at her award-winning site Teens Got Cents. She loves Jesus, her two cats and CrossFit. She also watches way too much Netflix most days. You can follow her on Twitter.