Avoid Student Loan Debt with College Grants and Scholarships

scholarshipsStudent loans can be a hassle, and with new government bills being introduced every week, borrowing money for college can seem risky. Luckily, taking out student loans isn’t the only way to get financial assistance for your education. In addition to Federal Student Aid and state sponsored assistance, there are many scholarships and grants for colleges that you can apply for.

College scholarships can cover tuition for anywhere from one semester to a full four years. To apply, students are usually required to write a short essay, maintain a certain GPA, or get a letter of recommendation. Many people qualify for these college scholarships, but they don’t apply. A common misconception is that college scholarships are only available to high school seniors. While that may be the case for some better-known grants for college, there are a wide variety of college scholarships that are open to nontraditional or returning students. Just because you’re not a freshman or high school senior doesn’t mean student loans are your only means of paying for college.

Here are five college scholarships that are open to nontraditional students:

Pepper Tuition Giveaway Promotion and Contest
Opened August 2013
Dr. Pepper is sponsoring a nationwide promotion for the 2013 college football season in which they will give away over $750,000 in tuition assistance. To enter the promotion, entrants must upload a short video.

For more information, please visit www.drpepper.com.

Generation Ali Global Citizenship Scholarship
Opening Fall 2013
This program is offering scholarships inspired by Muhammad Ali’s six core principles: Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality. Up to 15 scholarships of $10,000 will be awarded to students around the world. 

For more information, please visit www.scholarshipamerica.org/generationali.

Military Commanders' Scholarship Fund
Opening Winter 2013
The fund sponsors up to 15 $5,000 scholarships for dependent children of active duty, reserve, National Guard or retired members of the United States military who hold valid Exchange & Commissary shopping privileges.  Applicants must be high school graduates, with at least a 3.5 GPA, who plan to enroll for the first time in a full-time undergraduate course of study in the fall. 

For more information, please visit sms.scholarshipamerica.org/militarycommanders.

PG&E Bright Minds Scholarship Program
Opening Early 2014
The program is open to high school graduates living in a PG&E service area in California who plan to enroll in full time undergraduate study for the entire upcoming academic year. Nontraditional students who are returning to school to finish their degree or planning on attending for the first time are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please visit https://www.scholarshipamerica.org/pge.

Great Lakes National Scholarship
Opening Early 2014
This program is offering $2,500 scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students with at least a 2.75 GPA who plan to enroll in a full-time STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) field of study for the entire 2014-2015 academic year.

For more information, please visit scholarshipamerica.org/greatlakes.

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