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Reduce College Debt with Scholarships

Six Scholarship judges were sitting around an oval table. Forms were piled into 50 boxes. Each one had the name of a state. I looked at the boxes and wondered why some of them were overflowing and others had just a few. This was the first round of judging. By the time the contest was over almost 16,000 applications would be examined. Some of the comments were really critical, "Why did this person bother to send in an application? It's so sloppy." "This person put the wrong address on the envelope, even though the correct one is at the top of the application." One had a cassette tape inside. We played it and it was a country song. The applicant was a good musician.

That was twelve years ago, and many people still do not know or realize that College Scholarship Planning could reduce or totally eliminate college financial debt.

One of the first questions I am always asked is, "When should we start looking?" Then some answer their own question with, "I'll bet we're too late already huh?" The ideal time is to start is the 8th grade to freshman year. Good planning starts early, but scholarships are posted monthly, and if you start planning early, you have a chance to win, big. Many win the very first time. If you are a junior or senior in high school, go for it. But remember, your chances to win increase with every completed application.

You should start College Scholarship Planning even if there is a chance your child may decide not to go to college. But if the decision is yes, you will have everything in place. And the planning experience is more than filling out a few applications.

Another common concern is assuming your family income is too high to win scholarships. Fact: 80% of all scholarships are need based and income related, but 20% are not. This means millions of dollars are still available. It makes good solid financial sense to make an effort to win scholarship money regardless of income.

Always remember: the college scholarship effort is truly a family affair.

©2005 The Scholarship Doctor, Dale Clifton - All Rights Reserved - Dale is an educational consultant and expert at helping families win college scholarships. To learn more about planning to win scholarships, visit

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