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Wait, What? Scholarships Are Taxable?

Oct 22, 2018

by Matt Konrad

Everyone knows what a scholarship is. It’s free, no-strings-attached money to help a student pay for their higher education.


Usually. But not always.

In some cases, there are significant strings attached—including a few situations in which scholarship funds may be treated as taxable income. While it’s unusual, it’s also important for both students and scholarship providers to know how this can happen, and how it can be avoided.

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Financial Stress Prevents College Students from Graduating. What Can We Do?

Aug 21, 2018

There’s an old piece of wisdom that “being rich means you don’t have to think about money.” The source of that quote is long lost, but it remains as true as ever—and for too many students and families, the opposite is equally true. If you’re struggling with finances, money is never far from your mind. Higher education is a way out; unfortunately, the very financial stress students are trying to escape can make it harder to earn a degree. Can scholarships and support services help students...

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Financial Aid Displacement: What Families and Scholarship Providers Should Know

Mar 13, 2018

Students and their families are often surprised to realize some colleges reduce their financial aid packages when the student earns private scholarship dollars—a practice called financial aid displacement or award displacement. Colleges that practice displacement say it helps free up more funds for more students; students and families say it unfairly punishes those making the effort to earn scholarships. Whatever your perspective, it’s a complicated issue without easy answers.

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Do’s and Don’ts for Your Scholarship Search: Part 2

Aug 11, 2017

In Part 1 of this series, Scholarship America program designer Cheryl Amundson (a former professor, and mom of three college grads) walked you through two things any scholarship seeker needs to do: get organized before you have to, and start a wide search as early as you can.

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Do’s and Don’ts for Your Scholarship Search: Part 1

Aug 04, 2017

It’s no surprise a college degree -- whether two-year, four-year or postgraduate -- can lead to a brighter future. It’s also not news that getting a degree can be expensive, or that student loan debt can hamper the future finances of graduates. So where should students turn if they want to make ends meet without adding a huge loan bill to their degree?

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Here’s How Federal Aid, Tuition Assistance and Private Scholarships Work Together

May 19, 2017

As anyone who’s gotten a financial aid award letter knows, the world of college funding is complex. There are grants, loans, work-study funds and scholarships to think about; education assistance can come from private funders, institutions, state governments and Uncle Sam. The FAFSA provides a common starting point, but every college and every state has its own method for calculating aid once it’s filed.

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College Decision Time: What You Need to Know to Make an Informed Decision

Mar 29, 2017

May 1st seems like a long way off, but it’s creeping up faster than you think.  For those who are applying to college, it’s also a day you’ve probably marked on calendars: at most colleges and universities, May 1 is the deadline to confirm or decline your attendance. Choosing a postsecondary institution and study program are big decisions, especially considering the financial commitment they require.

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Five Things Families Need to Know About Filing the FAFSA

Feb 17, 2017
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Financial Aid Displacement and Your Scholarship Program

Jan 25, 2017

Scholarship award season is exciting for everyone involved. Student recipients have to worry a little less about paying for college; parents can breathe a sigh of relief about the upcoming semester; and scholarship providers know that they’ve made a tangible, financial impact on a student’s future.

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Why “Higher Education” Means More Than Just Four-Year College

Oct 19, 2016

This week, President Obama announced some extremely encouraging news: in 2016, the high school graduation rate in the United States hit another record high, with more than 83 percent of students earning diplomas. That graduation rate means more than 2 million students entered the world of higher education this year.

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