Archive for the ‘Merit Scholarships’ Category

Ways to Attend College for Free


Full scholarship schools are on the rise, according to the following article from Yahoo. Read below to find ways to attend college for no cost.

Ways to Attend College for Free”, August 6, 2012

Tuition-Free Schools

Recent graduate Greg Serrao saved nearly $150,000 earning his college degree by attending one of the country’s tuition-free universities.

The 23-year-old just finished his degree at Cooper Union in New York City, where tuition is technically listed as $37,500 per year. But for the approximate 8% of applicants who get accepted each year, that cost disappears, thanks to a four-year scholarship…

click here to read the full article

Understand Your Financial Aid Package


Can you truly say you understand your college financial aid package?  Well, if not, you definitely should.  This is not a time to “skim” or overlook the little details because it could cost you and your family big money!

We’ve arrived at a great time at White Picket College when upper middle class (UMC) students receive their acceptances to colleges.  Congrats to all of you!  You may have received your financial aid award letter along with your acceptance, or it’s coming very soon.  Either way, it’s best to read up on what you’re receiving or not receiving.

In honor of all of you, we’ll be giving you straightforward, easy-to-understand and short articles on how navigate through the financial aid award process.  We’re so happy for you if you love your award–it’s full of scholarships and grants–then that’s awesome!  But many of you may be left saying, “Show me the money!”

To those of you, we have a series of articles that discuss everything from how to understand your award to how to negotiate with a financial aid officer to how to receive more money.  So let’s get started.

Our first article is entitled:

A Breakdown of the College Financial Aid Package

It discusses how to understand what you are receiving in regard to scholarships, grants and loans.  Learn what is the best of the best and how to decide if you need to go into negotiations with the college of your dreams.

~ the WPC team

$3.4 Billion in Free Scholarships.

© White Picket College, 2010 – College Funding for the Upper Middle Class

Scholarship Search for 2011


We understand that upper middle class (UMC) parents and students search for non-need based scholarships and non-need based financial aid.  It’s often a search that lasts all year long.  Those who receive the most financial aid start the earliest.  So it’s time to start your search for college scholarship money in January 2011.

White Picket College aids in your search.  We have a whole section entitled Non-Need Based Scholarships.  Simply click on the scholarship name in the pull down list and read about the requirements and deadlines.  No scholarship is under $1000 in award money.  To date, we have 30 scholarships listed and we’re working on more.

College Expenses Piling up

This is a great time to organize for the year and plan for deadlines.  Some scholarships will take a large amount of time, while others only have a few requirements that can be done quickly.  Either way, make sure to check out all the scholarship opportunities listed.

Keep in mind, if you win a few, smaller scholarships, that’s $3000.  No, it won’t pay your tuition, but it is some extra money for spending, books, fees, etc.  So make sure to submit applications to the scholarships you’re interested in.  Take this process seriously and apply when possible.

Don’t forget to continue checking as we add more scholarships.  Join us on Facebook or on Twitter @whitepicketcoll.

Best luck in your search for college scholarship money.

~ the WPC team

College Expenses Piling up

© White Picket College, 2010 – College Funding for the Upper Middle Class

Scholarship Advice, April 1st Deadline


We received invaluable advice from one of our readers last week.  The reader discusses an expensive mistake she made in regard to her child’s education and why April 1st is a magic date.  Please read:

“As a member of the upper middle class and mother of 4 children, 3 of whom will be attending college next year, I want to thank you for the hard work and time you put into this web site. I also want to make you aware of a situation that we experienced that may help others.

My daughter was named a National Merit finalist last year and had applied to 3 schools, an Ivy League school and two private schools. The Ivy League school was her dream school but when it came down to making a financial decision, the private school made more sense because they had offered her a partial scholarship.

This year, when touring this same school with my son, the admissions rep told the group that National Merit finalists receive full tuition. When I got home, I called the financial aid office and questioned why my daughter had not received a full tuition scholarship. I was told it was because she did not inform them of her status by April 1.

My point to all of those families out there….be sure to thoroughly investigate all financial aid scholarships for every school your child lists as a potential choice. It was an expensive mistake that we made.”

Thank you so much to this reader for reminding all of us to double-check all scholarships, especially National Merit scholarships.  We advise all parents and students to mark off deadlines on a calendar, or even better to be safe, hand in all scholarship applications early.  Remember that deadlines DO change, so call the financial aid office at the school or call the scholarship institution directly.  One day can make a huge difference in finances as the reader above clearly states.

Please let us know if you have any advice or if we can learn from any mistakes you’ve made.  We welcome any and all advice.

~ the WPC team

$3.4 Billion in Free Scholarships.

© White Picket College, 2010 – College Funding for the Upper Middle Class

Good News, More Merit Scholarships!


More merit scholarships?  Is it true?  Yes, it is absolutely true.

Apparently, private colleges are now giving away more merit aid, as reported by US News & World Report.  Private colleges want to lure the most competitive students to their schools.  To make the schools more attractive and enticing, they dole out money in the form of merit scholarships.

This is a very exciting announcement for upper middle class (UMC) students, who often do not receive college grants and scholarships.  Instead, they are left in the dark with staggering loans and loan interest repayments.

US News and World Report says that in 2003, 31 percent of students who did not qualify as “needy” received free money in the form of grants and scholarships.  In 2008, this number rose to 36 percent.  2008 was the last year the statistics were available to the general public.

In fact, US News‘ 2009 college analysis information reported that colleges give merit aid, or non-need based financial aid, to more than a third of its students.

Why private colleges though?  Why not public colleges?

Public colleges are losing their funding minute by minute.  Take the state of New Jersey for example.  The governor passed a budget that slashed education, from NJ’s elementary schools to its colleges.  NJ in-state college students will most likely see a drop in grants and scholarships given to them by the individual schools.  Rutgers, College of NJ, etc. may turn into an expensive education.

The private colleges pick up where the public colleges cannot.  And they also give the public colleges some stiff competition.  For example, let’s take the state of New York.  State University of New York (SUNY) Binghamtom, the number one state school in NY, offers a student a lucrative financial aid package.  But Fordham University offers this same student an even more lucrative package and Fordham is located in New York City.  The choice becomes a lot harder to make.

On a very positive note, we see this trend continuing.  What it takes to receive a merit scholarship is for the student to work very hard in high school.  Students should not disregard any college that gives them money because that college may be the perfect fit for them.

– the WPC team

© White Picket College, 2010 – College Funding for the Upper Middle Class

Scholarship Reminder!


White Picket College students and parents, do not forget that we are entering the fall season.  That means applications for college scholarship money is just around the corner.  Remember to take a look at our college scholarship list for non-need based scholarships.  So far we have 23 scholarships, 1 link to the best colleges that give non-need based financial aid and Scholarship Tips.  To access all of this information, please read Non-Need Based Scholarships.

Simply scroll down the page and you will see a list.  Click on the titles to be directed to the page of your choice.

Please note that we have to go through hundreds of listings to find these non-financial need scholarships.  It takes a lot of time and energy.  Most scholarships we’ve come across are driven by financial need.  Many times the scholarship is too niche as well.  For example, an Asian woman with an extra toe living in Idaho receives a $2000 scholarship.  Okay, we’re exaggerating a little, but it’s quite hard.

On the bright side, please check out the list above as you ease back into the school year.

Enjoy the last days of summer & Best of luck for the 2010-11 school year!

~ the WPC team

$3.4 Billion in Free Scholarships.

© White Picket College, 2010 – College Funding for the Upper Middle Class

What’s In a Name?


When we started White Picket College a few months ago, one of our big goals was to help upper middle class (UMC) parents and students find college scholarship money for Ivy League schools.  But now that we’ve heard back from many frustrated UMC parents, we may be changing our game plan a bit.

Firstly, it’s time to analyze, what’s in a name?  Really, what does an Ivy League name say to people?  Let’s face the facts, saying you went to Harvard will impress friends, family, colleagues and those you meet at random parties.  But what about the value of education at a particular Ivy League institution, and what about other institutions that rank higher than the Ivies, such as Stanford and MIT that aren’t Ivies?

I’ll share my personal experience with everyone.  I went to a prestigious undergraduate school and another equally prestigious school for my Master’s degree.  In between, I took a couple graduate classes at Harvard.  They were good.  I learned a good amount.  The professors were good, including one I still stay in touch with from time to time.  I believe he wrote me a recommendation for my Master’s if I’m not mistaken.  I was happy with the overall experience.

However, to this day, I will tell anyone who asks my prestigious undergraduate school was much more challenging than Harvard.  The professors were much tougher–they demanded and expected more.  The assignments were more challenging as well.

In comparison to the school where I received my Master’s, Harvard was about equal.

I spent a lot of money on two classes at Harvard, and quite frankly, I really wasn’t blown away.  Was I satisfied?  Yes.  Could I have gone to Boston University, Boston College or Wellesley College for half the price and received an identical or better experience?  Yes.

The reason I’m telling you this is not to put down Harvard.  It is a good institution, but I’m not sure if it’s the best.  And I’m certainly not sure it’s the best value for a challenging education.  And that includes the entire Ivy League.

We’ve also heard responses from frustrated parents telling us that Harvard is unwilling to give UMC admitted applicants any money.  We’ve heard this complaint a lot,  since April 2010.  One parent even reported the financial aid officer at Harvard flat-out said they only give merit scholarships or college grant money to low-income students or lower income middle class students–and charge everyone else full price.  So, the intelligent and gifted UMC students are left behind, and must choose their second or third choice college.

The main problem with this is Harvard’s competitiveness will eventually fall.  If the school accepts high-achieving low income to middle class income students, that’s fine.  But then you mix this small number of students with upper class students who are not as talented or as gifted, the school will eventually began to decline in the rankings.

This is why I believe that second and third choice schools may start to become first choice schools over the next ten years.  There’s a reason why state schools are now graduating some of the smartest kids in the nation.  There’s a reason why schools like Swarthmore and Rice University are on the best value colleges list.

The bottom line is schools that do not give substantial college financial aid to UMC students are missing out on a huge pool of gifted young men and women.  These young adults are the future, and will become the next leaders in the US.  We need these graduates to compete against China, Russia, India and other world leaders … but the great thing is they don’t need a Harvard degree to do this.

Keep watching and listening.  You will see the state schools getting extremely competitive.  And you will see those second and third choice schools pumping out the leaders for future generations to come.

~ the WPC team

© White Picket College, 2010 – College Funding for the Upper Middle Class

Best Non-Need Based Colleges List


July 12, 2010:  Sometimes you come across a rare gem, and here at White Picket College, we present that gem to you.  We found a highly coveted list that we’re sure you’ll appreciate.  Do yourself a favor and print out this list of schools so you can read it on the beach this summer, poolside or in the comfort of your air-conditioned home.

Please click on the below link to find a list of:

Best Colleges 2010 for Non-Need Based Financial Aid

On this list, you will find the top 100 schools that give out merit scholarships as educational financial aid to their students.  In the right hand column, you will see the percentage of students who receive non-need based aid at that particular college.  Finlandia University in Hancock, Michigan comes in first, since they give 100 percent of merit aid.  Well-done, Finlandia.

Some prestigious colleges that stand out on the list are Cooper Union, University of Colorado, Seton Hall University, University of Florida, Tulane University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Southern Methodist University, Baylor University and University of Rochester.  So definitely check out these colleges.

It’s not all gloom and doom here at White Picket College.  Great colleges can offer great financial aid packages for the upper middle class (UMC).  You just have to find out where to look.

Many thanks to U.S. News & World Report for providing such a great list.

~ the WPC team

© White Picket College, 2010