24 December 2011

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US: How To Go To College For Free

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Right now, protesters are camped out in front of banks, financial institutions and universities to draw attention to a broken system. One of the points in their plan the fix the economy is forgiveness of student loan debt. Rather than continuing to make things easier for big banks through deregulation and tax cuts, we can stimulate the economy by giving that money to struggling college graduates who entered the workforce with massive debts at a time when good jobs are scarce. Tuition costs have steadily risen as the economy has gotten worse, and as a result the average student is now graduating college with $20,000 in student loan debt, and many have no way to pay it off.

If you don't want this to happen to you, there are still a few ways to get through college without having to take out any student loans.

1. Be Awesome: Merit-based scholarships will continue to exist for as long as universities continue to compete for top talent. And with limited resources, universities are only getting more competitive.

2. Play Football: Football turns colleges into money-making machines. With the decline in public funding, universities are turning more and more to the donations of generous alumni. And nothing makes alumni feel more generous than a winning football season. For that reason, football programs will always be well funded. These days it seems like they are even better funded than the educational programs. Get good enough at football, and universities will be paying you to get an education.

3. Join the Military: Even as education funding gets slashed left and right, defense spending is still going up and up. If you join the military, this could be good news for you. Air Force tuition assistance can potentially cover all of your education costs. The New GI Bill, or the Post-9/11 GI Bill, provides eligible members of our armed forces with all of the financial resources they need to get a top-notch education. And no one deserves it more than our armed forces. With so many veterans coming home to a depressed economy, programs like this are more important than ever.

4. Be a Good Golf Caddie: The Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship offers full tuition and housing payment for individuals with good grades, character, financial need and a "strong caddie record."

5. Be named Gatling (or Gatlin): The John Gatling Scholarship will give a full ride to North Carolina State University to anyone sharing the name of the famous Gatling gun.

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