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Money For College

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NOTE: Be sure to check out the end of this article for your California Student Housing $500 Columbia College Store Contest code.

There are tons of options for help with financing college. It’s almost overwhelming. But having so many choices is a good thing. KNow where and how to look for help with paying for college is what this brief article is about. A common misconception is that there are few resources for students attending community college. However, there are ample resources for getting help with college expenses.

UPDATE: This January, the California Community Colleges launched new ads in its “I Can Afford College” campaign which have recently begun recirculating. Featuring a comprehensive website as information clearinghouse and a way though the maze of college affordability processes, it’s a great resource for students and families seeking assistance on how to pay for community college. Visit the I Can Afford College site for everything from planners to info to lists forms and ways to get help figuring all out.

The College Savings Plan That Earns More Money

Parents may be familiar with college savings plans. Top among these is the 529 Plan, a tax-free college savings plan that helps save more money over time. As the money in the plan grows and earns more money, the IRS doesn’t tax that money or the earnings. In California, the ScholarShare program is the state-sponsored college savings plan. Check them out for all the info and how to get started. www.scholarshare.com 

Industry-Specific and Demographic-Specific Scholarships Are A Great Resource

There are tons of industry-specific resources, too. Technology is California’s leading industry and every major company has at least one fund and/or sponsors scholarship funds administered through other organizations and programs. These can be very broad, or they can be tailored to a specific demographic based on are, peace or gender. A notable one of these is Oracle’s Corporate Scholarship Program, a $10,000 scholarship administered by the United Negro College Fund for a Summer internship at Oracle headquarters. This scholarship includes support to African American students majoring in one of the Computer Science disciplines, Mathematics, Human Resoures, Marketing, or Business. Lots of tech companies sponsor great scholarships and grants. Many have really good internship programs for students, too.

California’s second largest industry is Agriculture, and it’s absolutely massive, averaging nearly $50 billion in annual revenue with exports valued at about $15 billion dollars annually. For students seeking courses of study in agriculture, Future Farmers of America (FFA) is one of many ag-focused college funding programs, and they also produce an annual directory of available agriculture scholarships from companies all over the country. Visit FFA’s scholarship section or more info and be sure to look on the sidebar of that section for the directory.

A Tip On Narrowing Your Google Search

Thousands of tech industry-centric resource are out there. A good way to limit the glut of information when searching for these is to use qualifiers to narrow the search. A Google search for “STEM scholarships in California”, will yield results on where to find scholarships and grand grants related to funding courses of study specific to STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (or Medicine). Click here to see this STEM-specifc scholarship search in action.

Lastly, Unigo has a great section dedicated to the broad body of available vocational and career college scholarships. Here’s a link to that section of their site.

CSH $500 School Store Contest

California Student Housing is running a contest for students attending Columbia College who apply for housing at CSH. Simply use code CSH BLOG and you’ll be automatically entered to win $500 in store credit at the Columbia College Store. Click the Apply Now button at the top of the righthand side of this page to get started.

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