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10 Scholarships to Start the School Year Off Right

Sep 1, 2015

by Susan Dutca

With summer quickly coming to an end, Scholarships.com is keeping you well-equipped with the top ten, hottest scholarships to bring in the new school year. What better way to enjoy the last weeks of summer than to win free college money? With scholarships available for all ages and across a variety of subjects, we've compiled top dollar scholarship opportunities for you - all you have to do is apply! Explore some of our back to school scholarships below:

Beat the Odds Scholarship

Deadline: September 14, 2015
Available to: Oregon public high school senior
Maximum Award: $2,500

Are you an Oregon public high school student who has succeeded academically despite hardships? Do you plan to continue your education by enrolling in a two or four-year college program? If education has made a difference in your life, Stand for Children Leadership Center wants to hear from you! Sponsored by Stand for Children Oregon, Beat the Odds Scholarships Award & Fundraising awards three $2,500 renewable scholarships for up to four years provided the recipient maintains a 3.0 GPA or better, remains a full time student, and funding is available.

Recipients agree to share their story at the Beat the Odds award events and participate in all related publicity, including the creation of a short, inspirational video about their lives and accomplishments.

For more information and to apply, please visit Beat the Odds Scholarship.

U.S. Bank Financial Genius Scholarship

Deadline: September 17, 2015
Available to: High school seniors through undergraduate college students
Maximum Award: $5,000

U.S. Bank knows paying for college can be challenging, especially with the cost of college tuition increasing and student financial aid resources decreasing. Navigating financial concepts can be tough, but the Financial Genius online financial education courses are available to provide you with every tool possible to build financial success. In addition to a chance to win one of five $1,000 scholarships, you have an opportunity to win a $5,000 scholarship by completing the eight education modules in our U.S. Bank Financial Genius online financial education program.

To be eligible for the Financial Genius Scholarship, in addition to the entry criteria, entrants must also complete all eight Financial Genius education modules.

For more information and to apply, please visit U.S. Bank Financial Genius Scholarships.

Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship

Deadline: September 30, 2015
Available to: High school freshmen through Graduate students, Home-schooled students
Maximum Award: Covers full tuition and housing

The Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship is a full tuition and housing college scholarship for golf caddies that is renewable for up to four years. Each year, more than 800 deserving caddies across the country attend college on a four-year scholarship from the Evans Scholars Foundation. Selected applicants must have a strong caddie record, excellent grades, outstanding character and demonstrated financial need.

For more information and to apply, please visit Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship.

Don't Text and Drive Scholarship

Deadline: September 30, 2015
Available to: High school freshmen through Graduate students, Home-schooled students
Maximum Award: $1,000

According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while driving makes drivers 23 times more likely to get into a "safety-critical event." The purpose of this scholarship is to help you understand the risks of texting while driving.

High school through college graduates are eligible to apply. Home schooled students are also eligible. There is no age limit. You must also be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. An application and brief, 140-character response about texting while driving is required. The top 10 applications will be selected as finalists. The finalists will be asked to write a full length 500-1,000 word essay.

For more information and to apply, please visit Don’t Text and Drive Scholarship.

The "Tell a Friend Scholarship" Sweepstakes

Deadline: Available every three months - September 30, 2015
Available to: All Scholarship.com members
Maximum Award: $1,000

As a Scholarships.com member, you have free access to a customized scholarship search, detailed financial aid information, an organized college search, standardized test study guides and more. So if you like what you see, simply spread the word about Scholarships.com to your friends through our "Tell A Friend" Scholarship and you will have a chance to win money for college - $1,000 for you and $500 for one of your friends. Just enter your email and password on our website to obtain a personalized referral link. Then take that link and blog it, tweet it, email it, or Facebook it and for every one of your friends who creates a profile on our site by clicking your link, you will be entered to win a $1,000 award. There's no limit as to how many people you can send your link to and if you win, one of your friends will be chosen at random to win $500.

For more information and to apply, please visit The "Tell a Friend Scholarship" Sweepstakes.

$1,000 College JumpStart Scholarship

Deadline: October 17, 2015
Available to: High sophomores through college seniors, Non-traditional students
Maximum Award: $1,000

The College JumpStart Scholarship is an annual, merit-based competition that recognizes students who are committed to using education to better their life and that of their family and/or community.

Applicants must be 10th-12th graders, college students and non-traditional students. The main requirement is that you are committed to going to school and can express your goals for getting a higher education. Applicants must write a 250 word personal statement that answers one of four questions, which will be judged based on content and not writing style.

For more information and to apply, please visit $1,000 College JumpStart Scholarship.

Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship

Deadline: October 31, 2015
Available to: High school and home-schooled seniors
Maximum Award: $20,000 Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation supports more than 1,400 college students each year, with annual scholarships of $3.4 million through two nationally recognized programs on behalf of the Coca-Cola System. Scholarship recipients excel academically and in service to others. Most Coca-Cola Scholars share a passion for social justice and many have overcome tremendous challenges to pursue their dreams.

To enter, you must be a current high school or home-schooled) senior attending school in the United States and anticipating completion of your high school diploma at the time of application. Applicants must be planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution and carry a minimum 3.00 GPA at the end of their junior year of high school. No essays or additional materials are required.

For more information and to apply, please visit Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship.

Megan Meier Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: November 6, 2015
Available to: High school seniors
Maximum Award: $1,000

The Megan Meier Foundation is seeking high school seniors that have made a positive impact regarding issues of bullying and cyberbullying in their own school and community. The hope is to honor students that, like the Foundation, aim to promote awareness, education and positive change in response to the issues surrounding bullying and cyberbullying.

Applicants must be currently enrolled as a full time student, possess senior status, and maintain a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA. To enter, you must write a 1-2 page essay describing how your accomplishments relate to the mission of the Megan Meier Foundation and how you have proactively helped to lessen all forms of bullying within your school community.

For further information and to apply, please visit Megan Meier Memorial Scholarship.

Resolve to Evolve Scholarship

Deadline: December 1, 2015
Available to: Scholarships.com members
Maximum Award: $2,000

The Resolve to Evolve Scholarship is about more than just making resolutions - it's about creating change and furthering our evolution as individuals and a society. We must resolve to proactively and progressively confront challenges, however daunting. The "R2E" essay scholarship is an opportunity to move beyond finger-pointing and offer constructive criticism and workable solutions for problems facing an administration or an organization.

To enter, you must write an essay of no more than 5,000 words addressing one of two questions, as well as writing a 1,200 character response that addresses why attending college is important. Applicants must be between the ages 13 and 19. The applicant who submits the overall best essay will receive a $2,000 scholarship. One (1) winner will also be selected from each grade level (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) and will receive a $1,000 scholarship each.

All applicants must be registered members of Scholarships.com in order to qualify. If you have not already registered, please go to the Scholarships.com home page and register now.

For further information and to apply, please visit Resolve to Evolve Scholarship.

The Paradigm Challenge

Deadline: May 1, 2016
Available to: Ages 7-18
Maximum Award: $100,000

The Paradigm Challenge is an annual competition that inspires youth innovation to address important social issues. The first annual Challenge aims to generate new ideas to prevent injuries and fatalities from home fires – America's #1 disaster threat. All ideas are welcome, including posters, videos, inventions, messages, community events, websites, mobile apps, or anything else that will help save lives.

For more information and to apply, please visit The Paradigm Challenge.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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The Text Book Game

Aug 24, 2015

by Christina Zhou

You’re starting college, excited to be embarking on the next big adventure, and…is that flimsy textbook really $500? For many students, the prospect of obtaining the course booklist on the typical college allowance may seem daunting at first. However, the following tips on how to be smart when buying textbooks can help you save a lot of tears and money.

  • Wait and see. Some (cruel) professors will put texts on the course booklist and never end up using them, causing students to waste money by rushing out and buying them immediately. It’s a good idea to wait a couple days to see which books you really need. Also, try asking previous students which books they used.
  • Ask upperclassmen. Speaking of previous students, upperclassmen can also be a great source for cheap textbooks. If you’re lucky, they might even give them to you for free!
  • Buy used, and online. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of students who immediately go to the campus bookstore and buy hardcover before looking up the prices of paperback from alternate online sellers. Amazon, eBay, and Chegg are good starting points for your search. However, make sure to check their approval rating before purchasing, as a good price is not worth poor quality.
  • Utilize the library. Schools will sometimes keep a copy or two of popular textbooks in the library. Get there fast before they’re gone, as you are competing with many other students for what is at most a handful of copies.
  • Embrace technology. Print might feel good, but the higher price won’t. Opt for e-books instead, to save on both money and backpack space.
  • Get your money back. Selling your own textbooks after you’re finished with them is a great method to get back some of the initial expense.
  • And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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Free College Tuition for Student Employees via Employers

Aug 11, 2015

by Susan Dutca

It may be finally time to let someone else write the tuition check for you. With tuition costs increasing annually, what better time to apply for and attend college than now? Some top tier companies such as Starbucks, Bank of America, Google, Nike, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have begun to offer programs that cover four-year tuition costs in higher education. Why are companies being so generous? Take it as a "thank you" from your employer to you for your hard work, intelligence, pursuit of higher education.

You may be wondering: "What is the catch?" Depending on the employer, students may be expected to repay the money if they terminate work contract with their employer provider. Furthermore, you may be expected to complete your degree within a certain time period, through online learning, or at particular institution. Whether you are at the undergraduate or graduate level, SHRM estimates over 50 percent of employers cover tuition costs at both education levels.

Make sure to read all the guidelines and restrictions when determining your eligibility, as certain companies may expect a minimum GPA. On a positive note, not all companies are particular about students’ major, and are open to a wide field of studies. According to the Chicago Tribune, some annual caps could be $5,250 per student – this is still sufficient to cover a healthy portion of tuition.

To see if you qualify, conduct thorough research on the eligibility criteria and read the fine print offered by your employer. Take this opportunity to finance your college dreams, especially if you may not have to pay a penny. In addition, look at other ways you can earn free money for college by exploring some of our scholarships and conduct a free scholarship search today. With so many chances at earning free college money, how can you pass up the opportunity?

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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Convict Education 101: College in Prison funded through Pell Grants

Aug 4, 2015

by Susan Dutca

Is it possible to educate and correct inmates through quality, legitimate prison education? Discussions of social and educational reform, particularly within more decrepit and under-resourced environments are commonplace - but what about when it comes to educating incarcerated individuals? According to the Washington Post, proponents such as Education Secretary Arne Duncan plan to assist those behind bars, particularly through Federal Pell Grants, which averages less than $6,000 a year per student. Through the new Second Chance Pell Pilot program, the goal is to have college and universities providing college-level courses in prions; in turn, inmates would be more educated which would lower prison recidivism rates, as well as community and social violence. It is not clear whether the investment would create a safer society or to what extent it would be effective, and considering its funding source – tax payer dollars - individuals such as U.S. Rep. Chris Collins argue it is a waste since the Pell Grant is a "limited pot of money needed to assist struggling middle-class families."

The Department of Justice estimated in 2013 that inmates taking educational courses in prison are 43 percent less likely to be re-incarcerated. Furthermore, four to five dollars in prison costs would be saved with every invested dollar. Unshackling the stagnant, 20-year ban on offering Pell grants to state and federal prisoners could come sooner than anticipated. While numbers have not been finalized, an estimated $30 billion a year would go into the pilot program. Only inmates eligible for release may qualify, and the program is expected to last three to five years. After all Duncan claims, "America is a nation of second chances." The question is, to whose and at what cost? In your opinion, should this be on the agenda for educational and penitentiary reform?

The Pell Grant, like all other grants, does not require repayment and is renewable annually. Based on your eligibility, you may qualify for the maximum amount of $5,775. While the new pilot program has not be implemented, take advantage of free money that you may be eligible for by conducting a quick and simple search at Scholarships.com.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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Jobs During College

Jul 30, 2015

by Ashley Grego

While some students are fortunate with affluent upbringings, others have had jobs since the day they were legally allowed to join the work force. Even with a heavy course load, some of these students still have to work. Typically, three types of jobs are common during college: work-study, on-campus and off-campus.

Work-study is an on-campus job usually open to students with financial need. According to the U.S. Department of Education, thirty-four-hundred universities in the country actually offer work-study programs. Unlike the other two types of jobs that will be presented later in this article, work-study pay goes toward tuition only. Therefore some students in the work-study program who have financial obligations outside of tuition, must then also pick up a second job.

A second common type of job common amongst college students are on-campus jobs. A student with an on-campus job may hold the same position as a work-study employee, but have the freedom to spend their paycheck on anything they would like. On-campus jobs can range from librarian assistant, postal clerk or even cook. The greatest benefit of these jobs are that students living on-campus do not have to worry about commuting.

Last but surely not least is the off-campus job. All of my jobs and internships, except one, have been off-campus. In terms of benefits, I personally think these positions are the best. From my experience, even though the commute may be inconvenient, off-campus jobs are open to anybody and give students more opportunities to explore outside of school. A wide variety of positions are available to the student, specifically opportunities to hold a position geared toward their major.

Additionally, I find that outside of campus, employers are less focused on the “student” title and more of the “employee” title. Employers can offer more hours than work-studies and on-campus jobs as well as responsibility, providing students with more real world skills that will benefit them as a post-graduate adult in the workforce.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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A Winning Recipe for College Dining

Jul 20, 2015

by Erica Lewis

Food is important to any college student. Who doesn't love food? When college begins, it's important to think about all of the dining options that are available. Many campuses offer dining halls on campus, with smaller schools having one or two options and larger universities boasting more choices. There are many advantages to eating on campus, the biggest one being convenience: Not only are your options close by but payment is often as easy as swiping your student ID. Many students may be tempted to eat off campus but that can mean going through a lot of money in a hurry.

Whether on or off campus, it is important to think about the amount of money being spent on food; however, this is especially important if living off campus where you can't necessarily eat at the dining halls for every meal. Buying fast food can seem like a cheaper option but it will add up over time. Money can be saved by buying food at the grocery store; your meals will usually be healthier, too. This could be the nudge you need to learn how to cook!

Finally, I recommend taking advantage of any opportunities to get free food! This varies from campus to campus but there are usually plenty of chances to get free food if you look for them. (At UNL, for example, many of the less-popular sports offer free food to students for attending.) Other opportunities could be handouts from your campus rec center or from your RA at dorm floor meetings. As a college student, you'll quickly learn to take advantage of anything that's free!

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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Why Students Should Use Scholarship Websites

Jul 15, 2015

by Genevieve Grant

Why should you use scholarship websites? How should you use them? And what are the chances of you actually getting scholarships off of these sites? I had the opportunity to interview Scholarships.com VP Kevin Ladd and here's what I found.

Scholarships.com is a space for scholarship providers to manage their own submissions, so what you see is what you get. The scholarships offered on this site are then more up to date than some of the other sites out there. Some tips for using this site included using it frequently, constantly looking for new postings and maintaining your profile so your information is current. Also a pro tip from Kevin: "If you can use a single essay for more than one scholarship application, DO IT. Just make sure that you are still following the instructions and not cutting corners."

Timing and organization are also important. Sort your scholarship results based on the time of year with larger dollar amounts at the top of the list in the fall and by deadline date in the spring so you don't miss applying for anything. Though this is not to say that there is any one "good" time to apply for scholarships; rather, you should continuously apply for as many as you can throughout the year, regardless if you're in your junior year of high school or your senior year of college.

I also asked about the kinks. What are people put off by when using the site? The two biggest drawbacks are users having too many results and not knowing where to start, and also the profile to some, is asking for too much detail. In response to that, Kevin stated that users "will get even better results by spending a bit more time and providing a bit more information." That being said, it's okay to brag about what you do! Give them the entire list of all the activities, sports and clubs you participate in, all the details about awards you've received, internships, research you've done, even where you've worked. It'll pay off!

If it isn't easy enough, I'll make it easier. You're already at the leading site for scholarships so just click Scholarhips.com to fill out your free profile now. Don't waste another second and let someone take away the money you deserve.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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Obama Modern Day Robin Hood? Steal from the Hardworking, Give to the Poor

Jul 10, 2015

by Chris Bernardi

Under the Obama administration, the motto “work hard, play harder” is continually being redefined to “work hard, pay harder”. According to The Wall Street Journal, a new plan is being finalized that will allow millions of low-income Americans to slash their monthly student-debt bills, in turn raising taxpayer costs for the government’s mushrooming student-loan portfolio. This week the Education Department proposed to expand eligibility for the Pay As You Earn program, which sets borrowers’ monthly payments as a small share of their income.

Education Department officials report that six million more Americans will become eligible this autumn for PAYE. The program caps monthly loan payments at 10 percent of discretionary income, defined as the amount above 150 percent of the poverty level. Well-paid graduates and those working minimum-wage jobs will be paying equivalent proportions of their income towards their student debt. While low-income borrowers who have incurred an unusually large federal debt reap the benefits of the revised program, a majority of college graduates and taxpayers will continue to suffer.

With a current outstanding student debt of $1.2 trillion, the White House continues to give people an economic incentive not to repay a loan. Because these loans are issued regardless of the borrower’s ability to repay, opponents of PAYE say the loans fund basic living expenses with tens of thousands of borrowers consuming aid even when they’re not enrolled for courses. Universities have also taken advantage of the flawed program, offering to pay student’s monthly bills under PAYE while simultaneously raising tuitions. The loans are turning into six-figure grants, debts the taxpayers incur.

Is the Obama Administration setting a double standard, promoting income equality, yet essentially paying young people not to pursue higher incomes? Is PAYE a program that allows those enrolled to take advantage of the system, while punishing those who work hard for their money?

Working after high school IS NOT getting you a financial jump on your college peers. You are instead creating self-inflicted wounds to your livelihood when you could be one of the six million new applicants prospering from Obama Hoods thievery. It makes absolutely no sense not to apply for financial aid with curriculums that allow you to maintain a job, programs that ease (or even lift) the burden of financial debt, and give you the opportunity to earn a degree to fulfill your childhood dreams! No individuals of any race, age, gender, or income class have an excuse to not get their degree, seeing expert assistance is as quick as completing your Scholarship.com profile.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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Easy Scholarships Often Offer Quick Results

Jul 6, 2015

by Susan Dutca

If you are feeling financially pressed for deadlines as the upcoming academic year approaches, easy scholarships require well, not much more than highlighting your individuality and what you can bring to the table. Do you simply not have enough time to complete long scholarship applications but depend on scholarships to help support your academic pursuit? What can be more simple and satisfactory than being rewarded for your uniqueness? Look no further, as you are in luck with many options for quick and easy scholarships:

  1. Build off your existing skills and experiences with scholarships that appeal to your personality, character, and abilities. Whether you enjoy video blogging for contests, possess excellent writing skills, or are athletically-inclined, there are plenty of scholarships for you. Past achievements are a plus, and should be considered when applying for new scholarships, as you have already been recognized for your achievements.
  2. Short and sweet - Easy scholarship applications do not all require essay-writing or providing materials and in fact, can be as simple as entering Scholarship Contests and Sweepstakes. These do not require personal standardized test scores or listing academic achievements- simply complete online forums. Quick search engines can help narrow down your search based on personal information and interests.
  3. Assessing individuality through easy scholarships is as simple as narrowing demographic information such as: majors, race, gender, sexuality, location, religious affiliations, extracurricular background, and a wide range of factors that cater to individuality. Some non-Academic College Scholarships even reward you without zeroing in on academics. Be rewarded for ingenuity and talent with art scholarship, unusual scholarships, or even for creating prom attire completely made out of duct tape. No two people are the same, and odds are, you possess qualities and attributes that are worth the investment.

Easy scholarships, in turn, require little effort when it comes to applying and its prerequisites. The only extra mile needed to get the free, easy money you deserve is by simply applying to scholarships that are your best fit, which are readily at your convenience through online search engines. Getting paid for being you? What could be more quick and easy than that?

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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Enrolling at a Branch Campus vs. a Main Campus

Jul 1, 2015

by Ashley Grego

When most people hear Penn State, they think of the college town located in State College famous for Beaver Stadium and football. It's less likely that people think of the other Penn States - the branch campuses. Technically, they are the same university...but perception is different.

Although main campuses may offer more activities, different classes and a completely different lifestyle than branch campuses, it doesn't necessarily mean one is better than the other. In fact, there are benefits of branch campuses that students should consider before attending the main campus.

First, branches are smaller and offer students a closer experience with professors and students. If students prefer one-on-one connections with their professors and classmates where everybody knows each other's names, branches can offer this. This can also make for an easier transition for students coming from smaller high schools.

Second, some branches are completely different from the main. Some branches specialize in specific majors – a benefit for students in those majors. (For example, UConn's Avery Point campus in Groton offers specialization for marine sciences.) Another example of this is branch campuses outside of the country. Unlike study abroad, the student will not be attending a different college and earning transfer credits toward their university: They will be attending their school branched overseas, like Carnegie Mellon's branch in Qatar. Another benefit? Experiencing college abroad can be cheaper than study abroad!

Third, regardless of attending a branch or main, all of the diplomas (at least at most schools) will say the same thing. Even though I attend UPJ, my diploma will read "graduate of the University of Pittsburgh." This can provide an automatic boost to students who may think attending the branch will negate the rest of their resume.

The last benefit of attending a branch campus is even if students do not plan to attend the branch campus for all four years, transferring credits will be easier. By staying within the same university system, students are less likely lose any credits because most classes at a branch campus are at the main campus.

Although branch campuses are not for every student, they are certainly something to consider!

And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

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