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Private Scholarships - The Billion Dollar Rip-off

Towards the end of every school year, most non-profit organizations hold their Awards Banquets where worthy students are honored with various scholarships. Often, the names of recipients appear in the newspapers as an acknowledgment of all their hard work and dedication. Since the awarding organization is primarily giving the money to be used for the students education, they simply ask the family where the student will be attending, and parents, unaware of the pitfall, tell them. Virtually all such organizations are responsible for the fatal error of making the check payable to the student AND the college. So sets the stage for the billion dollar scholarship rip-off.No, congratulations are not in order. In fact, pity the poor student who dedicated several years of blood, sweat and tears to the Red Cross, YMCA, Kiwanis, Rotary, or other such non-profit organization, only to see all of their well deserved scholarship money evaporate into thin air and wind up in the scholarship fund of their college of choice instead of their own financial aid packages.Most schools send out their financial aid offers between January and April, with a May 1st decision date. As most colleges consider private scholarship awards a resource to help pay for a students education, they reduce their share of the students financial aid package dollar for dollar, and this is where the problem lies.What a kick in the teeth it is for a family to read a revised award letter showing that the schools portion of the financial aid was reduced by the amount of the private scholarship the student earned! The bad news is usually listed on the award letter as private scholarship, outside aid, or very often as other. Heres a typical before and after scenario:Before Receiving a Private Scholarship$45,000 - Cost of Attendance (COA = tuition, fees, room

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