Ask any millennial with thousands of dollars in student loans — college isn’t cheap. Collective student loan debt is over $1.5 trillion. Politicians are throwing around the idea of free college education, but while they are trying to decide, young people continue growing older, nearing college age. Scholarships sound promising, but parents and children sometimes don’t know where to start. Jean O’Toole was the first person in her family to attend college, and she wished she knew more about available scholarships. To help other people achieve their college dreams, she wrote Scholarship Strategies, a book to teach families how to find money for college before settling for student loans. Check out her conversation with Bold TV.
Scholarship Strategies is for undergraduate and graduate students, high school students, families with children and even professionals looking to go back to school. The first place these students look at is their college or university. Institutional scholarships can be helpful, but they typically can be very competitive and limited. There are scholarships for children as young as 6 years old. Why? With outside scholarships connected to companies, organizations, individuals and foundations, these people decide where their money goes. You name it, there’s a scholarship for it.
Many people think they can win scholarships only if they have top grades, impressive athletic achievements or significant financial need. These are usually the ones that are most readily advertised, but a little digging will find scholarships for other individuals. There’s a growing category of scholarships called “need-blind” scholarships, which don’t take into account a family’s financial standing. O’Toole specializes in helping people find their full scholarship potential, and her website provides free resources to find scholarship diamonds in the rough.