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Save $50,000/year (but you can keep the Ramen)

You spend every day trying to save money. Which will it be—the chicken or the pork Ramen? Homemade toilet bowl cleaner? A Groupon for your haircut? Save a few dollars here, a few cents there.

What if I said you could save $50,000 this year? Or $10,000, or $15,298, or whatever amount your college tuition, room and board, books, and commute costs all add up to?

You can, if you fund college through scholarships.

Most students are willing to work a minimum wage job for dozens of hours a week and not even willing to spend an hour applying for a scholarship that could be an exponentially more efficient way of making (and saving!) money. Let’s do the math.

Let’s say you’re willing to take a $10/hour job (hey, it’s above minimum wage!), which means you’d be willing to spend 2,000 hours earning $20,000. That means you’d be willing to spend 2,000 hours earning $20,000 in scholarships! Now, when I funded college through scholarships, let’s say I spent five hours per week on scholarships (it was actually less than that). If I did that every week for four years, from senior in high school to junior in college, that’s only 1,000 hours, and I earned $100,000!

Seriously, winning scholarships is the best way of earning (and saving) money there is for college.

So what are the top five tips for winning scholarships as efficiently as possible?

Find scholarships nobody else knows about.

Seriously, do you want to be competing against everyone and their brother’s dog sitter’s postman’s cousin? No, you don’t. Find scholarships with few applicants, and your chances of winning will be higher.

Find scholarships you’re really, really qualified for.

There’s almost always someone with a better story than you have, and winning scholarships is all about telling an irresistible story. So that means, you need to find scholarships you’re really qualified for and that seem made just for you!

Be crazy passionate.

There are too many burned out, used up people in this world and scholarship providers have no interest in funding another one. Therefore, find what you’re passionate about—crazy passionate about—and make that your dream! Write about it, design your major around it, tell your story in it, and tell them why you need that scholarship money to make that dream happen. Live the life you long for!

Find scholarships everywhere.

One of the biggest mistakes students make is just going to FastWeb and leaving it at that. Nothing will cost you more money than that! Only a very small percentage of all scholarships are on FastWeb, and of those that are, every one has hundreds if not thousands of applicants—those are terrible odds for you. You need to look on random websites, search on Google, talk to relatives, and get as creative as possible in finding scholarships (almost as creative as you are in inventing new Ramen recipes…).

Start looking now and never give up!

Remember, there are scholarships for students as young as elementary school! I’m assuming you’re past that stage now, but regardless, don’t give up—there are as many scholarships for students in college as there are for high school seniors. I actually won most of my scholarship money while I was an undergrad, so it is never too late to save money if you don’t give up!

With these five tips, I hope you get well on your way to funding college 100% through scholarships, saving tens of thousands of dollars every single year.

But even regardless, you might want to hang onto that Ramen.

The chicken flavor is actually pretty good.

Author Bio: Hannah Rivard, a 2012 summa cum laude graduate of Northwestern College (now the University of Northwestern, St. Paul), funded her entire $100,000 college education 100% through scholarships, immediately beginning a scholarship consulting business called “Thousand Dollar Hour.” Hannah keeps a blog, wrote a book, and speaks around the state helping other students do what she did and fund college through scholarships! Learn more at

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About The Author

Mike is the owner and main contributor for Mike enjoys learning about personal finances and works hard to help college students make and save money in college.

Number of Entries : 128

Comments (2)

  • Mike Glover

    Mike – Great post!

    I especially like your take on being “crazy passionate”. It’s so true that so many people are burned out, not passionate about there academic or professional career and by being absolutely passionate about your career/education, you will stand out for sure!

    Saved – Bookmarked – Shared this post!

  • Connor Hubbard

    Loved the article!! Kids are always struggling to make ends meet and find a lil more cash in their pocket. Solving money problems between roommates at college can be difficult! HomeSlice is trying to make problems between roommates more easily solvable.

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