Need Money for College? 3 Overlooked Sources of Financial Aid

Do you need money for college? If you are going next semester, then you are probably among many people who may be in need of financial aid. In fact, 85 percent of college undergrads receive financial aid.

Unfortunately, federal aid does not always come in the form of grants. Many students feel that they have to accept student loans to pay the rest of their tuition.

Student Loan Recipients

  • 51 percent of them attended public universities.
  • 62 percent of them attended private, non-profit universities.
  • 79 percent of them attended private, for-profit universities.

While many students are aware of the scholarship programs, the majority do not apply because they believe that they do not meet the qualifications.

It is true that there are reserved scholarships for mentally gifted students and athletes. Yet, there are also scholarships that require little from the applicant like just submitting an essay. If you are lazy, they even have no-essay scholarships, where your odds of winning are probably better than winning the lottery.

Furthermore, there are three sources of financial aid that you may have overlooked in the past. Surprisingly, most of these programs are not that competitive since they do not receive many applicants.


Belluck & Fox, a New York law firm, offers four Mesothelioma scholarships. As a law firm specializing in mesothelioma, they want to encourage students to learn and spread the word about the disease. Applicants are welcome to write essays on a variety of mesothelioma topics. They offer scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,500.

Non-Profit Organizations

Do Something, a New York nonprofit, has a $2,000 Experience Civil Rights Scholarship. It does not require much intelligence to win this scholarship. There is no minimum GPA or essay requirement. However, there are two requirements. You need to visit the website to experience the story and share it with your friends. Again, no high IQ required.


Jay Z is one of several celebrities who has a foundation that issues scholarships to eligible applicants. His Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund was founded on the belief that any motivated person should have the opportunity to pursue or further their education.

If you are the average student with a 2.0 GPA, your chances of being awarded this scholarship are pretty good. Scholarships range from $1,500 to $2,500 with renewable funding for scholars.

The Extra Benefit About These Financial Aid Sources

If you are applying for federal financial aid, you are typically confined to applying for the fall and spring semester. Students seeking federal aid for a summer semester may find difficulty. FAFSA encourages students to verify in discerning which application they should complete with their university.

These overlooked sources of financial aid provide more flexibility by awarding the financial aid directly to students instead of sending it to their university.

If you ever worried about being buried in student loans, worry no more! There is an abundant amount of corporations, non-profit organizations, and foundations that want to subsidize your education.

You can afford to pay for your college education by using creative financing through these overlooked sources.

This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post.


Why College is Leading to More Cases of Depression Nationwide?

The New York Times wrote an article this month discussing how more college freshmen are reporting cases of depression. This trend does not surprise me when these freshmen have to live with the possibility of getting their bachelor's degree in 6 years instead of 4.

Some college students realize that during some point in college that they are no longer engaged in their initial major and feel the need to change it, which prolongs their time in college. Another reason is that overcrowded classes can make it impossible for students to take the necessary courses to graduate on time (even one unavailable prerequisite can cost a student an entire year).

In the New York Times article, they referred to a survey conducted by the UCLA's Cooperative Institutional Research Program, which assessed hundreds of factors that may cause depression. Political views and exercise habits were two of the many factors that were mentioned in the survey. While the survey makes a few good points, I think the most important thing to highlight is the ways that we can prevent these rising cases of depression.

While awareness is growing about the true yields of a college education, there are a lot of parents that still believe that their children must go to college to be successful. Fortunately, this is no longer true in most cases. Students who are attending college for specialized professions will benefit from a college degree. A lot of these specialized professions does not provide any other option. For example, if you want to be a medical doctor, you must go to college.

Is it fair for parents to save money for their children's college fund or to co-sign on their child's student loans, only for it to be wasted because they're unable to find a high paying career? Of course not. If college graduates are dying with unpaid student loan debt because their jobs don't pay enough, why is college even being considered?

There are popular adages that say "do what you love" and "follow your passion." I don't disagree with these statements. However, I don't think it is sensible to go to college for music, photography, or art history. I'm not suggesting that these students abandon these types of careers. They just don't need to go to college for it.

In my younger years, I lived with someone who graduated with a bachelor's degree of music. He had 4 brothers and sisters while coming from a low income household. So, due to his lack of finances, his only option was to apply for financial aid, which was 20% grants and 80% student loans. He graduated with $54,000 in student loan debt and no good job prospects. He decided to move to Austin for better career opportunities in music. The only problem is that Austin is overwhelmed with starving musicians. He's been there for 3 years and still works at a diner as a waiter.

If you want to study at a great music program, consider tuition free options like the Curtis Institute of Music or Yale University's School of Music. Avoid being a victim of naivety or arrogance because it will cost you (literally).


College Is Not For Everyone

I want to hear about your college experiences. Has it worked for you? Or have you regretted it? Post them in the comments section.