Work Now, Pay Less Later

Searching and applying for scholarships can be a part-time or full-time job. And, like a job, the payoff can be tremendously rewarding. As an educator, I encourage students I encounter to apply for scholarships and other interest-free funding opportunities. When I first tell students my story about earning scholarships to support my entire academic career, they are intrigued. However, the question I get asked most often is:

Did you have to write essays for any of your scholarships?  

And my reply is ALWAYS, “yes”. After this point, I see that many students are no longer interested in applying for scholarships because they have to write essays on top of the work they are already completing for school. I get it. But, it is important to understand the potential value in writing an essay to earn money for school. In other words, “Work now, pay less later!” According to Grading Student Loans, a 2012 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt which is a whopping $693 billion.

The amount of loans one needs depends greatly on various factors including expected family contribution, if a student is an in-state resident, attends a pubic institution or lives on campus. Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, has a Repayment Estimator and I encourage you to play with the Estimator to calculate your loan repayment. I imagine that the loan you receive will have a significantly higher payment than the amount you have to return after earning a scholarship. I say this because scholarships are free funding-FREE MONEY!

So, take some time this week and search for a few scholarships. I’d love to hear what you want to read about regarding scholarships and other funding opportunities. Feel free to submit a comment below.

Until next time,

Dr. O