TeenLife Blog

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Author: Shannon Vasconcelos

Shannon Vasconcelos is Director of College Finance at College Coach, the nation’s leading provider of education advising, where she delivers workshops and provides individual counseling on the college finance process. Before joining College Coach, Ms. Vasconcelos worked in financial aid at Boston University and Tufts University. She has a BA in Economics from the University of Massachusetts and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.

Posted Dec. 9, 2018, 8 a.m. by Shannon Vasconcelos | View Comments
young woman seated at a desk working on applications

By far, the most lucrative source of scholarship funding for college is the colleges themselves. Having said that, however, there are thousands of scholarships available from organizations outside of the colleges that may be worth pursuing. We generally call these funds “private scholarships” or “outside scholarships,” and they can certainly make a sizable dent in your college costs. In order to cash in on the wealth of outside scholarship funding that is out there, follow these 10 tips: Use the web. I start here because most students do. There are some great scholarship searches on websites like www.scholarships.com, www.bigfuture.org, and ...

Posted Oct. 27, 2018, 8 a.m. by Shannon Vasconcelos | View Comments
Parent filling out financial aid forms.

Asking for money is not fun. Some of us would rather liquidate our retirement accounts, or consider selling a kidney before asking for help in paying our bills. But when the bill we’re talking about is the tuition bill and the ask in question is applying for need-based financial aid, it’s a really smart move to make. There is $200 billion dollars in financial aid available to college students, and all you have to do to tap into that deep well of funding is ask for it (and qualify, of course). With that in mind, please consider these top 10 ...

Posted Aug. 27, 2018, 8:49 a.m. by Shannon Vasconcelos | View Comments
Graphic on grey background of college building, money, mortar board and other items associated with scholarship money.

One way to win scholarships is to go online to a scholarship search site and apply for every scholarship under the sun. But while an online scholarship search is often a worthwhile endeavor, there’s a far more lucrative source of college funding: the colleges themselves. Colleges have a lot of money to give away, and you can approach your college search process strategically to maximize your chances of getting some. What Are Merit Scholarships? In order to win college merit scholarships, you first need to understand what they are – specifically, what they are to the colleges that award them. ...

Posted June 12, 2018, 8 a.m. by Shannon Vasconcelos | View Comments
Pile of coins with a miniature graduation cap on top.

College is expensive. Yes, really expensive. Even families who don’t qualify for financial aid can often struggle to pull together the funds to pay a $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000 bill in one fell swoop. Borrowing college loans has, therefore, become much more common, with nearly three-quarters of college students graduating with some type of debt, according to The Federal Reserve. And that’s just students. The amount of debt taken on by parents to finance their children’s college education is much harder to pinpoint, due to the variety of types of financing available to parents, but the numbers are certainly substantial. ...