Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Published 5:52 PM by with 0 comment

Paying for College

Helpful tips for paying for college | Yes, We Rise

College acceptance letters bring good news and worries for some

This is the season that high school juniors and seniors get excited about. My timeline has been flooded with an overwhelming number of my former students, as well as children of friends getting their acceptance letters to college. I am so excited for the accomplishments of all. 

It takes me back to the time when I received my acceptance letter to Seton Hall University; there was a flood of emotions. I laughed and I cried because I knew I did not have the grades to attend college. I knew I wanted to go but I was ill-prepared to go. I came from a family where my sister was a senior at Bucknell University, so I knew my mother would not have the money to send me. I knew I was going to have to go to community college then matriculate later when I saved enough money. 

I decided to do the research and find out how I could afford to go to college. I was fortunate to go to college using the Equal Opportunity Program/Fund (EOP/EOF) in New Jersey. This program offers money to students that are first generation college students. My grandmother and mother both went to nursing and radiology school but it was not a traditional college so I qualified for this program.

As I reflect on my college career and teaching many years, I see students that want to go to college but do not have the means to do so. I encourage my students to seek out various ways to attend college. Most of us know that college can be paid for in several ways; scholarships, bank and federal loans, as well as grants. I paid with all of the above. There are so many agencies that companies that have scholarships for the taking but many students just don't apply. 

I want to provide tips for the students and parents seeking scholarships and other means for paying for college.

1. Consider attending a state school where you live, the tuition and fees are lower and more scholarships tend to be available. Some states also have a Educational Opportunity Fund Program that will fund a part of your college that you don't have to pay back. Only states that I know of now is New Jersey and Maryland. You only have to be a reside for a consecutive 12 months in order to qualify for the program.

2. United Negro College Fund-  This organization gives scholarships to students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

3. For scholarships visit This website houses a list of scholarships for everything under the sun; from left-handed grants to Native American Heritage scholarships. This is a great resource for money for college. Billions of scholarships go unused each year because no one applies.

4. Tap various companies for scholarships. Many companies have educational funds that allow for some type of scholarships for people who apply. Those resources often go untapped as well. Consider the companies that the parents work for, companies that take ads in the school paper, etc. Check all around you.

5. Community resources. Churches, local businesses and investors tend to have monies that they write off as charitable donations every year.

As you seek out these resources don't be discouraged by the No's.... because behind every no a yes is around the corner. Keep tapping the resources and get the money to attend college.

Until the Next

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