The Ten-Step Guide to College Financial Aid By Zachary Freeman

Parents: Scholarships Are Your “Escape Goat”

Greetings!:  Today, we unveil a new section from the second edition of Zachary Freeman’s Free Money Please!: The Ten-Step Guide to College Financial Aid, entitled Scholarships Are Your “Escape Goat”, releasing this summer.

For parents:

In the immoral words of Michael Scott (of NBC’s The Office©), scholarships are your “escape goat”.  In fact, requiring your student to apply for scholarships is a quick, silent, and over-their-head way telling of them that you have a hunch that they might fritter away their education and waste your money.  Think of college making an investment in your child, just as a venture capital firm would invest in a new business.  No good venture firm is going to invest in someone who has gone bankrupt four times to start an organic cat food business!  They are going to pump money into someone who they see potential in, with those intangible qualities for success – just as scholarship committees do.

As a parent, you are the scholarship committee for your own money – The Mom and Dad Possible Offerers of Payment (or MADPOOP, for short).  Societal pressures tell parents that they are obligated to pay for their student’s education, but in my opinion, there is no reason why any parent should give their hard earned cash to a known failure. Some parents are bold (aka smart) enough to set up a personal interview with their student, as if they are a legitimate scholarship committee.

Answers that should win your money:

  • I want to graduate college with no debt
  • I’m currently living under a bridge
  • I can’t afford to eat

Answers that should get a rejection stamp:

  • I will need money to spend on partying/vacations
  • I need a brand new car
  • My wardrobe is outdated

It is important to manage the risk of investing in your student, just like you would manage the risk involved with an IRA, mutual fund, or any other investment.  Sadly, tough love is sometimes necessary.  “I’m sorry, MADPOOP will not be awarding you a scholarship this year, better luck next year.”

By the way, if you haven’t “liked” Free Money Please on Facebook, click here.  Or follow on Twitter @freemoneyplease



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