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Nitro Knowledge. Your Guide to Paying for College.


True or false: You need to be an athlete or a brainiac to get a scholarship to college.

Did you answer “true?”

You know that annoying buzzer sound that happens when people answer incorrectly on TV game shows? Imagine us making that sound at you right now, because you are W-R-O-N-G. (Sorry.)

But hey, that’s good news in this case. Why? Because it means that there are tons of scholarships out there for all kinds of people who have all kinds of interesting interests or characteristics.

Don’t believe us? Why are you so skeptical all the time? Allow us to submit the following weird and unusual scholarships for your consideration. (Note that most of these scholarships are offered annually. If the due date for this year has already past, create a calendar reminder to check back in a few months.)

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Did you know your college ID or email address could be worth money in your pocket? It’s true.

Flashing your student ID or ponying up an email address with .edu at the end could land you some pretty amazing discounts, online or in-person.

Taking advantage of those savings could mean that you’ll have more money to put toward your education, so you can avoid borrowing more than you really need.

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When it comes to student loans, it's often a question of whether you should pay more now or later. If you pay more now, you'll be out of debt faster and pay less in interest. If you opt to pay less now in favor of having a more-comfortable monthly payment, you'll end up paying more interest over the life of loan. 

But there may be a way to have your cake and eat it, too. Get this: 
Refinancing rates are incredibly low right now (like do-not-miss-this-low), which means you may have an opportunity to score manageable monthly payments and save a good chunk of money at the same time. Let's look at three examples of how this can play out. 

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If you're drowning in scholarship essays, let us toss you a life raft: Here are five scholarships that don’t require you to pen any long prose.

Some do require you to submit some information about yourself and, in some instances, answer some questions or complete a few easy tasks. The key to success with these – and all scholarship applications – is to follow instructions and make the deadlines.

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When you get your financial aid award letter, your eyes may automatically scroll down to the bottom line—but that is a mistake. 

Why? Because most financial aid award letters fail to give you the complete picture. 

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If you're stressed about paying for college, help may be closer than you think. In fact, it may be right around the corner at your local shopping center.  By working part-time at one of these well-known restaurant or retail chains, you can get a serious assist on paying your college tuition. 

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