ATLANTA - College tuition is skyrocketing in the United States, but Channel 2’s Consumer Adviser Clark Howard said there are ways to keep the cost down.
One website aims to help students pay for school with scholarships.
Seventeen-year-old Jacob will be the first child Harmon and Shelly Lewis send off to college.
“It feels like it's crept up on us even though we knew it was coming,” Harmon said.
And even though they budget for most things in life, they found themselves six months out and not ready.
The website ScholarshipInformer.com aims to help families like the Lewis’.
It's the brain child of Gabrielle McCormick, who thought basketball would pay for her college education.
“I thought I was going to go to school on an athletic scholarship,” McCormick said.
But when a torn Achilles side-lined her recruitment dreams, she needed to find another way. She began researching scholarships and found out there is one for everything.
“Literally everything! Red hair, short hair, contacts, glasses, for playing video games like Minecraft,” McCormick said.
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All told, she has earned over $150,000 in scholarship money.
Now, her goal is to help others. Scholarship Informer walks you through the scholarship process from start to finish.
“You have to look at what is realistic for me, what is realistic based on the time the effort and the types of scholarships that I am actually applying for,” McCormick said.
There's even a scholarship calculator. The site also offers paid services like an organizer and planner, as well as coaches to help with essays.
“You have to be committed,” McCormick said. “Commitment is the key word here. you have to be committed because you will hear more ‘no’s’ than you hear ‘yes.’”
Gabrielle intends to give back a percentage of the fees in the form of scholarship money.
One of her biggest pieces of advice is to not give up.
“A lot of people get discouraged and they think before they even apply that I am not going to win or I can't win, and if you have that type of thinking it can immediately destroy your scholarship plans and process,” McCormick said.
Clark said McCormick is so right and the competition for these smaller scholarships, not that great because most people won't put in the effort, won't dig around.
One website you might look at-fastweb.com, which is a catalog of so many obscure tiny focused scholarships.
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