SCHOLARSHIP: Up to $20,000, Ayn Rand Essay Contests
DESCRIPTION: Read a novel by Ayn Rand. Write about it for a chance to win.
APPLY AT: aynrand.org
HOBBY: Watching TV
SCHOLARSHIP: $1,000, Memorable TV Moment Scholarship
DESCRIPTION: Create art that shares your most memorable TV moment.
APPLY AT: cabletv.com/scholarship
SCHOLARSHIP: $10,000, AICR/C-CAP Super Foods Competition
DESCRIPTION: Create a recipe using cancer-protective foods.
APPLY AT: AICR.org/CCAP
HOBBY: Studying the Bible
SCHOLARSHIP: $250 Common Knowledge Bible Scholarship
DESCRIPTION: Trivia on the Book of Genesis.
APPLY AT: Cksf.org
HOBBY: Recording videos
SCHOLARSHIP: Up to $2,000, Courageous Persuaders Scholarships
DESCRIPTION: Shoot your very own commercial.
APPLY AT: Courageouspersuaders.com
HOBBY: Taking a selfie
SCHOLARSHIP: Up to $3,000, #FutureSelfie Scholarship Contest
DESCRIPTION: Snap a selfie dressed as your future self.
HOBBY: Writing poetry
SCHOLARSHIP: $1,000, Power Poetry Scholarship Slam
DESCRIPTION: Create a powerful poem on a cause.
APPLY AT: Powerpoetry.org
HOBBY: Listening to music
SCHOLARSHIP: $4,000, Shower Songs Scholarship
DESCRIPTION: Share your 5-minute playlist
APPLY AT: DoSomething.org
HOBBY: Water skiing
SCHOLARSHIP: $5,000, Barbara Bolding/ Jim Grew Scholarship
DESCRIPTION: Apply if you’re a member of a water ski organization.
APPLY AT: Usawaterskifoundation.org
HOBBY: Playing video games
SCHOLARSHIP: $10,000, Penny Arcade Scholarship
DESCRIPTION: Demonstrate your potential to positively impact the gaming industry.
APPLY AT: penny-arcade.com/scholarship
The list above is just an example of all the hobbies you can now turn into college cash. Take it one step further and search the web to find even more scholarships that fit the things you already enjoy doing in your spare time. Good luck!
But Wait,There’s More!
CREATIVE WAYS TO PAY
If a “hobby” scholarship isn’t going to work for your teen, check out these traditional and more creative ways to save and pay for college.
529 Plans invest in mutual funds, stocks, bonds and money market accounts. As long as the funds are used for a qualified educational expenses, it is disbursed tax-free. You are able to participate in the Alabama 529 Plan or in another state’s plan, so have a qualified financial planner help you understand the best plan for you.
Roth IRAs were designed for retirement planning but do allow you to use them for college expenses. A benefit to this funding is that it would not penalize a student’s financial aid consideration (whereas 529 Plans do). However, the earnings on this investment will be taxed by both federal and state when used for educational expenses.
Upromise is an online shopping service that gives you 5-15 percent rebates to use toward a college fund. You have to be intentional, but there are tons of advertisers on their site that can contribute to your college fund. You can choose to have it deposited into a high-yield savings account where Upromise will match your earnings at 10 percent, have it deposited into a 529 account or have a check disbursed.
Good to Know
Even if you don’t have a 529 Plan yet, and your student is already in high school, it’s
never too late. Go ahead and start one because any amount you can put into it before you
write that first tuition check is able to be deducted from your Alabama tax return.