Paying for College Education

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I would like to highlight the story of Christopher Gray featured in CNN Money who won 35 scholarships and went to Drexel University in Philadelphia for free. This is a continuation of the College Series of blog posts. I have listed the previous posts in this series here for your convenience.



Paying for College

Okay, when it comes to paying for college, you have four mainstream alternatives:

  1. Your parents have saved up money under a 529 College Savings Plan
  2. You are borrow from one of the various government sponsored college loans
  3. You apply and receive scholarships
  4. A mix of all of the above


If your parents are paying for college, great! That is very noble of them. Being a good steward of money, you must still apply for scholarships. If alternative #1 is not an option for you, then you should focus all the more on applying for scholarships – relying on a college loan must be your very last and least preferred option.

If you read my previous post, you will get an understanding of how severely college debt can impact you for years after graduation if not managed carefully.


I would like to highlight the story of Christopher Gray featured in CNN Money who won 35 scholarships and went to college for free. The usual song and dance on the street is that unless you crack the SAT test and are a valedictorian, you won’t get any scholarships. That is not the truth. Here is an extract from CNN Money:

“There are thousands of private — and sometimes obscure — scholarships out there from companies, nonprofits and community groups. While they may be harder to find and annoying to apply for, there’s a good reason to hunt them down (besides getting Mom and Dad off your back). Ask Christopher Gray, who won more than 35 private scholarships. They helped him go to Drexel University in Philadelphia for free. He graduated last spring and has some funds left over to use for grad school.”


Key Take Away’s:

Diligence Pays Off: Christopher Gray didn’t apply for five scholarships and give up. He applied for hundreds of scholarships. When I am looking to hire somebody, I don’t look at five resumes and give up or settle for less.

I have screened hundreds of resumes until I have found the right candidate for the position I am trying to fill.  Diligence pays off.


Scholarship Application: It will take time and effort to fill scholarship applications and you will need to write essays.  Be authentic! Gray highlights that his essays were about 250 to 500 words in length. Have a winner’s attitude, as you write, your writing will improve. Do your research and keep on applying for scholarships.

Practice makes perfection. Would you rather go through some trouble applying for scholarships or carry the burden of debt?


Volunteer: Do volunteer work and get certificates of recognition. Volunteering looks good on resume and I can assure you it has a positive impact on your resume.


Scholarship Resources: 

Scholly is a cell phone app that Gary created which helps you determine which scholarships you might be eligible for.

Confessions of a Scholarship Winner

The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2016: Billions of Dollars in Scholarships, Grants and Prizes (Ultimate Scholarship Book: Billions of Dollars in Scholarships,)

I am by no means an expert on scholarships.

Do your home work.

Be laser focused and give it your best when it comes to applying for scholarships.

You will pat yourself in the back for doing it.



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