This is a special 6-week editorial series called “LifeEDU” sponsored by Coca-Cola’s #FortheDream program, where we arm parents with tips & recommendations on how to take advantage of the summer period to positively influence the transition between high school to college…and beyond.
Yes, a college education is very expensive – even for public institutions – but the reality is that there’s free money available many parents and teens fail to tap into. In most cases parents don’t know these options exist, or may not have the time to research the many different options.
Free money means that you don’t have to pay back loans, and often comes in various forms from scholarships, work & study programs, fellowships or grants.
We have cut down the job for you by doing the web research to find all the ways – some known and some that get a little creative – that you can afford to send your teen to chase the college dream.
But before, we want to share with you this special opportunity by “Los Tweens & Teens Official Scholarship Partner,” Coca-Cola:
Coca-Cola’s #ForTheDream program inspires and empowers Hispanic teens and families to prepare, plan and pay for college education. The program will award one college tour experience and thirty-four $500 grants via the #ForTheDreamSweeps sweepstakes to help cover education expenses. To enter the sweepstakes participants can post a selfie with someone who is helping them achieve their college dreams on Twitter or Instagram, and tag it using the hashtag #ForTheDreamSweeps. A My Coke Rewards product code can also be submitted as an entry on the website: http://Coke.com/ForTheDream.
Also, we asked our “Tia-in-Charge,” Anllelic Lozada, what she would have loved to know before going to college and this is what she told us:
29 WAYS TO GET FREE MONEY FOR COLLEGE:
1. NCAA Scholarships: provide more than $2.7 billion in athletics scholarships annually to more than 150,000 student-athletes.
2. Bizarre Scholarships: You will be amazed at these opportunities for free money. Have a specific surname, are you tall or short? Yep, there could be a scholarship for you. See a list of 25 HERE.
3. Search for many other scholarships in these free online tools: go.salliemae.com/scholarship/ , Scholarships.com and Federa
4. Hispanic College Fund: open to Hispanic students with a 3.0- 4.0 GPA, with an emphasis on STEM mayors
5. APS Minorities Scholarship Program: open to African-American, Hispanic American and Native American high school seniors and college freshmen and sophomores enrolling in a physics program
6. F. Armstrong Scholarship: open for freshmen students that contribute to campus diversity
7. United Negro College: open to black students and also provide general scholarship funds for 39 private historically black colleges and universities
8. Ventures Scholars Program: open to first-generation and underrepresented college students who are interested in a math or science program
9. Mentorship for Environmental Scholars Program: rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are underrepresented in STEM and other related disciplines.
10. Pedro Zamora Public Policy Fellowship: open to students who seek experience in HIV-related public policy and government affairs, with a priority is given to students of color, women, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, and who are HIV positive
11. Federal Pell Grant: open to undergraduate students depending on financial need, the cost of school of choice, and other variables.
12. Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): open to under-graduated students with an exceptional financial need
13. Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH): open to students who are completing or who plan to complete coursework that is required to begin a career in teaching
14. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants: open for students with a parent or guardian who died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan
15. College Grants: Go to Edutopia.org to search for college-funded grants
16. AmeriCorps: post-service benefit received by participants who complete a term of national service in an approved AmeriCorps program–AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, or AmeriCorps State and National
17. Federal Work Study: program it includes a service component, as schools are required to use 7% of their program funds to pay for students employed in community service jobs
18. IEEE Computer Society: reward active student volunteer leaders in student branches or chapters who show promise in their academic and professional efforts
19. Private investor/private sponsor: This is a common practice in Europe, but not so much in the USA, where students mainly look for “scholarships,” but visit Lumni.net, does operates in the USA and Enzi, launched a pilot program in Stanford in 2010.
20. Organizations and professional organizations: groups like the Association of Information Technology Professionals offer student member scholarships, while the Public Relations Student Society of America offers more than a dozen scholarship competitions for undergraduate and graduate students on the field.
21. Tuition-Free Colleges: Yes, they do exist (some in the USA) for those who qualify, like Barclay College and Moody Bible in Chicago (both Christian institutions).
22. Study Abroud: There are countries outside of the USA, like Norway, that offer free or partially-free college tuition (even for foreigners!). You can find a list HERE.
23. GradSave: think of it as a “baby gift registry” – for college education
24. GiveCollege: a comprehensive platform helping families afford college through education, tracking, and individual and community fundraising opportunities.
25. GoFundMe: ask your friends, family and the community to help with the cause. The site charges you 5% of the total funds raised.
Work and Study Programs:
26. Employers: Companies like Coca-Cola and others all offer Tuition Reimbursement Programs for active students, depending on the chosen degree.
27. Serve Your Country: The Air Force, U.S. Cost Guard, Air Force, Merchant Marine, Military, and Naval Academies: Offer free college tuition after serving. Also, the GI Bill provides educational assistance to service members, veterans, and their dependents.
28. Universities: Even if you don’t get the full tuition, you can get partial by working on-campus.
29. Parent as a Teacher: Some colleges offer free or partial tuition for children of current teachers.
Our top advise? Before you – or your teen – accepts that student loan, make sure you have exhausted all possibilities to find FREE money. Do you know about other opportunities for free money that we missed? Please share in the comments below.
Anllelic Lozada “Angie” is a proud P.A.N.K (professional aunt with no kids), a Personal Marketing Strategist in NYC and Los Tweens & Teens “Tia-in-Charge,” based in New York City. Anllelic wants you to best your best life so you can positively influence your tween and teen. Subscribe to her weekly e-newsletter in Spanish in marketingparatucarrera.com/Vendete, where she shares personal marketing strategies to help you “Comunicar lo genial que eres.”