Full Scholarship – two words that could change your life.
Going to college for free can be like winning the lottery. Imagine throwing away several trash bags full of college scholarship offers. This can include a full ride, free room and board, graduate school money, etc. This is what happened to us and I’ll show you some important tips that can help you.
Whether you’re a student or a parent with college on your mind, read on to learn how you can minimize or completely obliterate your possible future college debt. This article will help make your college years much more affordable in the short and long-term. Maybe something you read here will help you get you free college. So let’s begin.
For some families, getting just one scholarship offer can be the difference between going to junior college or attending the perfect university.
There’ s no denying that it’s getting harder and harder to afford to go to college and to launch yourself into the career of your dreams. The price of college tuition has increased by 600% in the last twenty-five years and our nation is 1.2 trillion dollars in college debt. The burden is being placed more and more on the students themselves as they have to pay for tuition, room and board, books, fees, transportation and more. In fact, the average college loan per student is around $100,000 and it takes about twenty years to pay off. College debt has become so crippling to many graduates that they are now often unable to afford a mortgage.
As a parent of a pre-college child, you have spent the last nine to twelve years dedicating your time, money and energy to your child’s learning at school. Like most parents, higher education is your goal and it’s highly likely that you want your son or daughter to go to college.
Scholarships can still come your way even if you haven’t managed to squirrel away enough money into a college fund. Guidance counselors may not have all the answers to finding all the right scholarship opportunities. So, allow me to let you in on some information that may open a few doors and change your life.
My top five ALPHA secrets to winning scholarships and free college
These little known tips and secrets will help you stay ahead of the pack. It’s surprising but I have found that most public and private school students are either not aware of them or don’t take the time to put these guidelines into practice.
- Aim High
It’s simple. Colleges love students with great test scores. Full scholarships are obtained by students who receive certain scores on their PSAT/NMSQT or SAT tests. There are usually several full-ride scholarships available in each department of most colleges. Colleges gladly (help ) pay the way of students with the best scores. Colleges get their national rankings based on test scores so aim high and attract the best colleges and their best offers.
- Logic Rules
Did you know that PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT are tests of logic? They do not test exclusive knowledge or curriculum only learned at public or private schools. Many smart kids – from all academic and demographic backgrounds – do poorly on these tests because they don’t understand the test or how to look at the questions logically. Learn the logic and how to answer every question in 30 seconds or less and then pass the tests with flying colors.
- Practice, practice, practice!
Succeeding on these standardized tests can simply be a matter of finding the numerous recurring patterns and learning and practicing the test-taking techniques. You will find the questions themselves very often point to the answers. Students can learn to answer them quickly once they discover the secret methods that many others successful test-takers have.
Just decoding and knowing that there are repeated patterns within the tests is not enough. Now you have to make your progress undeniable. When you practice often enough you’ll create an automatic habit. Schedule twenty minutes a day or an hour or two a week to practice these techniques. If nothing else, it will stop you from having to cram at test time. You can find actual tests from the College Board.
Big scholarship money starts to be thrown around in junior year. So, put time on your side. The earlier you take the PSAT/NMSQT tests the better. It gives you plenty of time to work on your weaknesses. Generally, it’s good to start to prepare to take the tests in eighth, ninth and tenth grade. Try not to wait until junior year for your first try. You may not know this but students can start taking the SAT as early as the seventh grade.
The SAT is offered seven times a year (from October through June) and there is no penalty for taking it many times. Colleges usually take the highest scores without averaging them. And most schools will even take the highest score from each section from different tests.
The SAT is used as an academic leveler. You see, because all schools weigh and calculate their scores differently, the SAT allows all students to be compared on the same playing field. This is why a 4.0 GPA may score differently from school to school. Your best bet, to take advantage of the many opportunities for free college, is to aim for your desired test score.
Remember ALPHA, your most important keys to helping you fund some of or even your entire time at college!
Creative and Proven Ways to Pay for College
No family should have to be strapped with college loans! Your decision to go to college should be about choosing the best school for you. Here are some unique ways to get college money:
Pay for college with milk money!
Imagine getting money back on every dollar you spend and putting it away for college. And I mean anywhere from 1-35% that you could earn on everyday purchases such as buying groceries, filling up your tank, eating out, booking travel, shopping online and more. Upromise is a free service with over 12 million members.
Upromise allows you to:
- Shop with 600 participating retailers and get up to 35% back.
- Eat out using a participating credit card and get up to 8% back from more than 8,000 restaurants.
Grocery and drug stores have thousands of eligible items and when you scan a Upromise registered card at the checkout, you could get up to 3% back. Make it a family. When your family and friends join, their purchases can also go toward your Upromise account and your child’s education.
Here’s a priceless piece of information. Not making a lot of money can actually work to your advantage when it comes to paying for college. There are 72 colleges and universities that have replaced loans with grants and scholarships for low- or lower-income families. In some cases, colleges are counting lower income as less than $140,000. Visit FinAid for comprehensive information. Many of these are Ivy League institutions, and in order to qualify, some of these only assess the income earned the year prior to your student applying to college.
There are also colleges that cap their loans, and for some for the figure is as low as $5000 total for four years. Students with low GPAs are also eligible for scholarship money. Take a look at the organization called Colleges That Change Lives for more information for finding the right college for you.
Credit for Prior Learning
Entering college with credit for subjects previously studied can not only save you money but also allow students to skip what they know, graduate early or even take on another degree. AP, Dual Credit and CLEP/Dante are some of the ways that students can cut down the cost of college.
Check out a program called “Freshman Year for Free”. It is a free program that allows students to do their first year at home. Students just pay for any tests associated with the classes. More information can be found at Modern States.
Working for your education
Students can receive a completely free education by working at the college throughout their school years. At this type of school, none of the students pay because everyone works. Some of these schools are:
- Ecclesia College, Arkansas
- Berea College, Kentucky
- College of the Ozarks, Missouri
- Blackburn College, Illinois
Free College due to College Endowments
There is a good number of colleges that offer free education through college grants or endowments provided by the college themselves. Each college will have their own selection criteria.
Students who have military aspirations and the right SAT score can inquire with the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, and so on.
Other colleges that fall into this category are:
- Webb Institute, New York
- Curtis Institute of Music, Pennsylvania
- Barclay College, Kansas
Higher education can be a life-changing experience and students who get the high test scores are usually the ones who get the incredible scholarships. For us, learning the test secrets was more than worth it. But as you can see from everything I wrote about today, a high test score is just the beginning! I hope I have helped you learn how to navigate the complex arrangements around college funding so you can find it easier to follow your heart when it comes to studying for your dream life. Besides, we earned free college and so can you.