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June 09, 1989 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-06-09

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Getting Money
For College:
The Hard Facts

Common mythology has it that
thousands of scholarships go
begging because no one
applies for them. And that merit-
based grants can put a student
through college. Read on .. .


he way some people talk, you'd think
that money for college is washing up
on American beaches like so much
medical waste and that all a reasonably
smart kid need do to collect his share is to
show up when the tide rolls in. After all,
everyone from Ann Landers to the Secre-
tary of Education assures us that "Hun-
dreds of scholarships go unawarded every
year, simply because nobody applies for
Baloney. The reason those scholarships
go begging is that nobody qualifies for
them. You won't either, unless you're a one-
eyed, ambidextrous potato farmer of Alba-
nian extraction. Paying for college these
days requires a lot of legwork, a dollop of
street smarts, and a large dose of good
Everyone dreams of a four-year, full-
tuition scholarship with no strings attach-
ed and no embarrassing financial ques-
tions asked. It happens occasionally, just
as people occasionally win their state lot-
teries or find themselves next to an
unguarded Brinks truck with a defective
Otherwise, the dirty little secret of merit-
based scholarships is that they seldom
cover the entire cost of tuition and fees, so
even if you win one, the amount just gets
added to your family assets. Not only will
such a scholarship not reduce the amount
of money you must contribute to your
child's education, it can actually increase


Special to The Jewish News

Art By Barry Fitzgerald

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onto/ II !Mr

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your required outlay if it significantly in-
creases your assets.
Still, for exceptionally talented students,
full or partial scholarships do exist. Near-
ly every college, from Harvard to Liberty
Baptist, makes such outright grants to
gifted students. In addition, private foun-
dations, service and fraternal organiza-
tions, corporations, and labor unions award
competitive scholarships to their members'
children, often for use at any college the
recipient chooses. The Jewish War
Veterans of America, for example, hands
over several thousand dollars a year to
children and grandchildren of its active
and deceased members.
Not surprisingly, the deepest pockets be-
long to Uncle Sam. Certainly the four U.S.
service academies offer the biggest bang
for the buck: four years' free tuition, room,
board, and medical expenses, plus a mon-

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