Tag Archives: Scholarships

We Have Moved To CollegeMoneyMan.Com

There comes a time when you have to decide to take your blogging seriously, and that tie has come for me. I have produced content for about two years, and podcasting for nearly the same amount of time. To help run my site my way, while making use of the best tools such as Yoast, Jetpack, and other SEO maximizing tools, I have moved to my own self-hosted domain, www.collegemoneyman.com.

We want to thank all of our readers for subscribing with us via wordpress.com, and invite you to subscribe via the site. We hope to see you there as well!

ICYMI – Weekly Financial Aid Coffee Klatch – April 28 – May 4

Weekly summary coffee klatchLast week was a great week and thank you to all those who asked me questions on twitter @CollegeCashMan, and to my new newsletter subscribers. Heres a summary of what I put out this week, and a couple of other funny articles.

Interesting Post

THE START-UP ADVENTURE BEGINS FOR SCHOLARMAMA.COMFeatured Image -- 2291 by ScholarMama – Now this one is interesting, as it announces a proposed web app to help parents organize their scholarship search efforts online.

Published Work

The College Money Man Podcast – Episode Podcasting on scholarships, financial aid, and admissions36

Last week, we dedicated the episode to a discussion of changes in college funding, the decline of smaller liberal arts colleges, and how this will effect merit aid. Listen to the episode: [audio https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/cmmwordpress/Podcasts/episode34.mp3]


Summer Before College Checklist by JLV College Counseling


Scholarships Posted

SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition Scholarship




Scholarship of the Week

SHOW YOUR COLLEGE LOVE SCHOLARSHIP – Offered by Popp and Associates, checkout their page to learn more about this $500 scholarship. Mindy Popp, founder and CEO is also our guest this week on the Podcast.

The Start-Up Adventure Begins For ScholarMama.com

A new web-app service that proposes to help parents organize their scholarship efforts.

ScholarMama | Start-Up Blog

12 years ago, I was high school drop-out on my way to college at age 23.  I had made it my mission to return to school with a vengeance. But how to pay for it all? I wanted to avoid student loans at all costs. I had seen what debt did to other families and would have none of it.

I had taken a class in Not-For-Profit grant writing, and found out that the same skills that go into writing grants, apply to the world of scholarships as well. After a bachelors, and a master’s degree, I came out without student loans and over $250,000 in financial aid and scholarships awarded. However, one of the hardest parts about the entire effort was never the essay, or the letters of tough to organize, but important to remember, scholarships dates matterrecommendation. It was organizing the whole process. I didn’t have access to the convenient and ubiquitous calendars we now have that…

View original post 428 more words

ICYMI – Weekly Financial Aid Coffee Klatch – April 21 – April 25

Weekly summary coffee klatchLast week was a great week and thank you to all those who asked me questions on twitter @CollegeCashMan, and to my new newsletter subscribers.It was a short week due to a family emergency, but we did get our podcast out last week on time and well received.

Published Work

The College Money Man Podcast – Episode 

Podcasting on scholarships, financial aid, and admissions35

This week we dedicate the entire episode to saving for college and what it takes to save for your college bound teen. Beatrice Schultz, host of College Smart Radio  [audio https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/cmmwordpress/Podcasts/episode34.mp3]

Scholarship of the Week

$2500 Scholarships offered through the NRAEF Due In AprilThis one is offered by Popp and Associates, an Admissions Consulting firm. The winner will receive a college scholarship in the amount of $500, and a charitable donation in the amount of $250 will be given to the winner’s high school, college or charity of choice.




ICYMI – Weekly Financial Aid Coffee Klatch – April 14 – April 18

Weekly summary coffee klatchLast week was a great week and thank you to all those who asked me questions on twitter @CollegeCashMan, and t o my new newsletter subscribers. Heres a summary of what I put out this week, and a couple of other funny articles.

Published Work

3 Tips for Parents Looking To Avoid the Golden Handcuffs of Student Debt

For every ten parents that think applying for small scholarships are waste of time, there is that one mother who knows that staying out of debt is cheaper than the hour someone may spend applying for more aid.  Checkout this article and understand avoiding student debt takes a multi-step approach.

My Top 6 Twitter Feeds For College-Bound Teens

Here I highlight my favorite twitter feeds for parents of college-bound teens that focus on real listed scholarships. Some great podcast finds out there hosted by @ScholarshipGuru, @ScholarshipCntr, and @Scholarships360

The College Money Man Podcast – Episode Podcasting on scholarships, financial aid, and admissions34

This week we dedicate the entire episode to being SAT and ACT ready, how that can affect so much when it comes to scholarships, admissions, and merit aid. Listen to the episode: [audio https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/cmmwordpress/Podcasts/episode34.mp3]

Scholarship of the Week

$2500 Scholarships offered through the NRAEF Due In April$2500 Scholarships are available for many students that score well on the PSAT. Taking the PSAT is a great opportunity to not only practice for the real SAT, but also makes your student eligible for more merit aid, along with the pride of becoming a National Merit Scholar.

Worst Tweet of the Week

Scholarships suck, bad tweet of the week


This weeks award goes to @tamara_kayyyy for the tweet that shows that some kids just hate the effort of scholarship applications. For any parent reading this, take heart! In all likelihood this student will do a poor job of paying attention, miss fine details, and ultimately not finish college if they expect everything to be handed to them. If your kid is competing for the same funds, their odds of winning just got better.  Again, poor attitudes usually result in poor outcomes.





$2500 Scholarship – The National Merit Scholarship Competition – My Scholarship of the Week

Take the PSAT to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship CompetitionThis scholarship is one that if awarded, is worth more than the $2500 scholarship itself. The scholarship is awarded by state and only so many per state will win.  However, for those that don’t win the prime award, another 1400 are evaluated automatically for other scholarships offered by other companies affiliated with the PSAT/NMSQT. In addition, National Merit Scholars, as they are called, are obviously going to have an edge in college admissions and other scholarship opportunities. We discussed this in a recent podcast for parents and their college-bound teens.

The nice thing is, students filled out the application when you applied to The PSAT/NMSQTtake the test! The PSAT itself, and your results are what will determine the outcome. So if you have taken advantage of SAT Test Prep, or considering it, it is a great way to not only qualify for the scholarship, but to practice before the taking the SAT. So at worst, by taking the test, your college-bound teen has prepared for taking the full exam, while qualifying for scholarships without adding a single application to their efforts.

3 Tips For Parents Looking To Avoid The Golden Handcuffs of Student Debt

I grew up with a friend who is now a doctor at a prestigious hospital back home in California. “Tony”, always intended to become a doctor, and worked hard to get there. However, he assumed so much debt in Medical School, a huge part of his budget is dominated by paying them back. Don’t get me wrong, he makes good money now. He is one of the top in his field. However,the golden handcuffs of student debt when we recently talked, he mentioned how much he wanted to quit. A man of deep faith, Tony wanted to spend 3 years with Doctors without Borders doing “good works”. However, paying back his student loans has become his all-consuming goal and he can’t leave the hospital until the loans are paid off.

Welcome to what I call the modern “Golden Handcuffs”

What Are The Golden Handcuffs

Seriously Think Before You Borrow!
Avoid the golden handcuffs by not borrowing

In the business world, the term “Golden Handcuffs” refer to certain financial incentives that companies use to keep employees tied to their jobs. An example would be a vesting schedule, which allows the employee to own shares, but not be able to sell them unless they are still employed with a company past a certain date. Often this is 1 to 5 years. However, a new form a golden handcuffs have arisen in the student loan debt that is assumed every year.

Let say  you are lucky enough to get a decent job straight away after college. Let also suppose that you have the average student loan debt profile of $29,400.  Your payment, based on the average salary of exiting graduates is around $320 bucks. That is around 10% of your monthly salary. However, for those students sporting a graduate degree who have racked up $100K or more, it is much worse. Medical school graduates have an average of $169K in debt student debt. At that level, with both undergraduate and Medical school debt is crippling and hard to managegraduate debt, the average payments each month are around $2160. Thankfully, doctors get hired. Lawyers have it much worse, as so many are not even getting hired after graduation! If you are lucky enough to get hired, the pay will tie you to your job just to pay back the  loans.  This is what has happened to Tony.

Randal S. Olsen, a Ph.D. student at MSU decided to ask the questions, “Could you actually work your way through college“.  you can't work your way through college anymoreRandal examined the trend of tuition at MSU and the rate of minimum wage pay in the US. He found (as many of us in college finance expected) that the likelihood of an average person working 35+ hours per week for minimum wage and being able to pay for the cost of attending MSU was nil. The inflation in the cost of college, coupled with the average spending power of a minimum wage worker, has made debt a part of the college experience.

How to Avoid The Golden Handcuffs

Avoiding the golden handcuffs of student debt requires the parents of college-bound teens to take charge of the college financing effort and be proactive on every front possible.

1) Find The Money Before Students Start College Classes

Search locallyAs I have said many times, the sordid love affair of matching a student and a school requires an approach that emphasizes the balance of college fit, with affordability, and aid. The college your student attends must be the one that wants them the most. The way a school shows their love of your student, is via the Merit Aid offered on the financial aid offer letter. The more aid offered from the school itself, the more they want to invest in your child’s success. Take the time to look at sites like CollegeAbacus.com and how looking at the net price calculators side by side will offer a realistic view of college expenses.

Working hard during the high school years towards earning solid grades, and earning higher SAT/ACT scores makes a difference, When coupled with searching for the gem colleges that will offer the best aid can help avoid student-loan debt in the long run as many merit aid awards are multi-year.  And when offered, being willing to appeal the financial aid award offered, and/or have your child’s EFC reconsidered will make a difference in the cost your family will pay out-of-pocket

2) Be Proactive & Fight For Additional Financial Aid During The College Years

Finding the aid you need by searching for scholarships everywhere!It’s not enough to get a good package during the first year of school and stop there. Being proactive every year is a must for cost conscious parents. Having your EFC reevaluated each year may make a difference. In addition, using EFC reduction strategies can make a difference in the aid offered.  If a job loss in the family occurs, or your family business takes a financial hit, contact your financial aid office immediately. Beyond that, the hunt for scholarships and grants must never end. In fact, there are many scholarships that are not only multi-year, but only qualify for only after you have attended school for a semester.  So a relentless pursuit of outside aid, coupled with already awarded  merit and federal aid can make a difference between student debt and a debt-free degree.

3) Keeping An Eye On Cost Drivers

Most consider college costs fixed and non-negotiable. I’m here save_moneyto tell you that college costs can be lowered if you use the right strategies.  Everything from the meal plan your child chooses, to how often they come home to visit are factors that are controllable.

Living off campus with roommates, and sharing bills can keep living expenses lower. Letting Junior know they can’t drive home to visit every weekend can cut travel costs. Utilizing community colleges during the summer to cut the total cost of a degree can make a huge difference in tuition costs.  Also, taking summer courses is key to the strategy of getting a degree in 3 years, not 4. If you think about it, by reducing the cost of a college education by a year shaves off an entire years living expenses and added fees.

A great tool many students fail to use, is the Federal Work Study award included in their aid package. While a job doesn’t seem like aid, it actually is a great opportunity for your student to build job experience while earning on campus. In addition, the funds earned are not counted against your student in later years in the financial aid calculation. Finally, buying or renting books online can also save nearly $1500 over the average college students term over buying them in the college store.

 Never Put On Cuffs You Don’t Have To Wear

Avoiding student debt while in college is a matter of finding and securing financial aid from every source you can find, coupled with a relentless eye for reducing costs. But this will only work when you and your student work as a team to constantly seek aid, while controlling expenses. As the parent of a college-bound teen, it’s up to you to take charge and get your student on board to the realities of heavy student debt and how to avoid it. It may mean the difference between putting on the golden handcuffs of student loan debt, & financial freedom for your student after graduation.