More Scholarships equals Less Loans

by : Carl Willoughby

My daughter is a Junior at St John's University in New York City. I just checked her financial aid record and discovered that so far, it has cost over $82,000 to attend.


$82,012.36 to be exact. And she still has at least one more year to go.

The tuition is $24,400 per year (and increasing). $24,400 x 3 = $72,000 over 3 years (according to my calculations). So where did the other $10,012.36 come from?FEES… New Student Fee, University General Fee, Student Activity Fee, Late Payment Fee, ID Card Replacement Fee, A/R Interest (what's that?).

And this doesn't even include books (which average about a hundred bucks each), food, transportation or room and board. And she doesn't even live on campus.

According to St John's University - the cost of attendance for the 2007-2008 Academic Aid Year will be:

Books and Supplies…………….. $1,000.00

Fees……………………… $640.00

Home Maintenance………………. $2,700.00

Personal Expenses…. $1,800.00

Transportation……………………. $1,100.00

Tuition……………… $26,200.00............

Total: ……………… A Whopping $33,440.00


Her grades are pretty good… All A's and a couple B's. You'd think she could get some grants and scholarship money since she's a good student. Well, she can. But not $33,440.00 worth.

Which means the balance will have to come from loans. By the time she graduates, she AND I, will be up to our eyeballs in student loans and debt.

Now I don't know about you, but it took me years and years to pay off my own student loans. Now I have to start all over again by taking out Parent Plus Loans to help pay for my daughter's education.

So, what's the solution? The solution is MORE SCHOLARSHIPS. More Scholarships = Less Loans.

College is more expensive than ever. The scholarships you win can change your life forever.

Example… If you can pull off a $5,000 scholarship, that's $5,000 less in student loans you have to take out. A $5,000 student loan means 10 YEARS of paying about $100 a month … EVERY MONTH!Instead of paying that money to the government in the form of student loan repayment, you could save about $12,000 or so for your retirement.

Assuming a modest 8 percent rate of appreciation, that $12,000 can easily grow to over $120,000 in 30 years. In 40 years, it'll grow to over $260,000!That's a serious life style change. And that's just for a small $5,000 scholarship. Just imagine what a $10,000, $20,000 or more in scholarships can do for your lifestyle.

Billion$ of dollars are available in scholarship money. But the irony is that most students (and their parents) don't know where, and more importantly… HOW to apply for scholarship money.

Here are a few tips on writing your scholarship essay.

1) Heavy emphasis is placed on "work ethic". Whether you work hard in the home with "family responsibilities" or are involved in student organizations or are on the varsity sport field, you have to "Tell Your Story".

Otherwise, the scholarship committee doesn't know. And if you are facing hardships, the key to winning the scholarship is the part where you turn it around and talk about how you are overcoming the hurdles to achieving your goals, (not by telling a sob story).

2) Scholarship committees like it when you've helped people. Most scholarships go to those students who spend time by helping other people, whether through a job, work outside the classroom or volunteer work.

3) When possibe, go into detail. Although most scholarship essays have word limits of some kind, don't summarize the most telling parts of your story. Describe it passionately and give as much detail as space permits.

4) Use a high-quality paper.

This may sound a little mundane but consider this… 95% of all essay papers received have been printed on "copy paper".

To make your essay stand out from the thousands of others, get a high-quality paper stock. High-quality paper doesn't wrinkle or crease as easily as copy paper.

Appearances Count!Scholarship money can save you tens of thousands of dollars in student loans which you have to pay back. It is worth the little extra time and effort.

Make your application Stand Out From The Crowd… Be Outstanding and Win!