Get money to get a college degree.

Scholarships are Easy Ways to Pay for a College Education

If there is one unchangeable fact about getting a college degree, it is that a college education always costs money...a lot of money!

Unfortunately, if a student's family is typical and is one that earns an average income, the main thing that is going to affect their decisions is the large amount of money needed for a college education. This expense can be crushing, and it also crushes the hopes of many students who come from such families.

The single greatest reason for a student of a financially underpriviledged family to fail to get a college degree is quite simply seemingly prohibitive cost of a college education.

Qualifying for various college scholarships, loans, and grants can help, of course, but there are still a great many people who are just not qualified for these. Or perhaps they do not wish to encumber their future with the obligations these create, or maybe they simply do not know how to get them in the first place. By the way, one of my favorite radio shows is Dave Ramsey's financial advice, and a lot of his callers mention how encumbered they are with college loans.

For many of these people, the college scholarship in some form or another is a way to pay for college expenses when one's personal financial resources are lacking.

Most people, while having some vague idea of what a college scholarship is, do not really understand the wide range of opportunities covered by the term.

Many still assume that a college scholarship falls somewhere int the same category as loans and grants, and view it as having some kind of strings attached or as being difficult to obtain. Many also assume that a scholarship is limited to what it can do in terms of books, tuition, housing, and other college expenses. However, a good understanding of what a scholarship is, what it can do, and how to obtain it can result in you, or your child, getting a college education without having to spend large sums of your own money.

Quite simply put, most scholarships are direct financial (monetary) grants of money given by various organizations, institutions, and individuals for the purpose of assisting worthy recipients with the costs associated with getting a quality college education.  Scholarships may come from a state government, various public and private institutions, some colleges themselves, charitable foundations, and a wide range of groups or individuals.

A scholarship is different from a grant or loan in that the money is normally "granted" to the student (hence the name) with no requirement to repay.  Most scholarships may have some sort of requirement attached for the continuing receipt of money, such as maintaining a "B" average, for example, while some may simply be a one-time shot that only covers a semester or other period, leaving the student better off than before but still in need of further financing.

The key issues, however are that the scholarship is usually limited to a certain number of people (sometimes only one grant per semester, for example), commonly requires some sort of qualifying process (often based on skills or grades), and, perhaps most important, as said, the money does not have to be repaid.

The following is a very short list of some commonly available and well known scholarships or scholarship sources:

With all of the available scholarships which do exist, it can become quite confusing for students, and their parents, to recognize the scholarship which would fit best their qualifications.

Common info needed is which scholarships are in existence, which scholarship to apply for, and where and how to apply.

In this modern day of the Internet, the most plausible answer for this potential setback is basically to know the proper resources. There actually is a college scholarship search engine which you can access for free in the internet. Through use of this resource, you will not just save your time and money; you can also get recent updates.

There are also many reference resources, such as The Scholarship and Grant Guide, which show you how to find money for college from many different agencies and programs.

No matter how easy the scholarship seems, however, you should carefully read the posted requirements. If you think you are a good fit then you can proceed with your application. If not, no problem, you can then look for another. After all, applying for many scholarships improves your chances for getting at least one.

Understand this one thing, most scholarships are based on the academic performances of the students and their ability for attaining and maintaining high-grades. Some are based on the student's artistic ability, excellence in sports, or are awarded to the students who excel in a specific field.  Some scholarships are available through various organizations to which the student is connected.  For example, several years ago while I was with the Texas Army National Guard, the National Guard Association of Texas offered a scholarship for familiy members related to the national guard member.

You can sum up the information in this article in this way: Once you know how to gather the necessary information about scholarships and go through the process of applying for a scholarship, you will be accessing a valuable resource for helping to pay the expenses of a college education. However, even if you are unable to attain a scholarship but have had some time in the work force, there is another possible way to get your college degree at a lower cost.

Getting a college degree for life experience.

It is unfortunate that most college degree programs do have to cost so much. However, it is fortunate that many colleges today recognize the value of one's life experiences in the formation of knowledge within the individual.  Many colleges and universities, in fact, are more than happy to grant a college degree online based on the life and work experiences of the student.

If your college scholarship search does not bear fruit, or if you need to get a college diploma more rapidly than with a normal on-campus or distance learning program, you might want to look into programs which offer college credit for life experience.

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Page Updated 9:47 AM Wednesday 10/3/2012