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13 Apr 17:58

Steven Roberts: How to pay for college without student loans

by Jacob Amezcua

Steven Roberts: How to pay for college without student loans

BYU students are missing out on a goldmine of free money because they don’t know where to find it or have no motivation to apply for it. BYU students are eligible for hundreds of scholarships they don’t know about.

On Thursday, April 2, Steven Roberts, author and motivational speaker, addressed BYU students on the topic of how to pay for college without student loans. Roberts unveiled expert advice and techniques on how paying for college can be easier with the help of scholarships and grants.

Roberts explained that he relates to BYU students who are paying for college.

“When I was preparing to go to school, there was just no money, so I had to figure it out,” Roberts said. “It forced me to learn about all kinds of resources to save money.”

He began by recounting a personal story from earlier in his life, which he described as his “biggest mistake.” He said when he was a BYU student studying electrical engineering, an announcement was given to the 800 students in his major about an opportunity for two scholarships that were worth around $15,000 each. He was unmotivated to apply because of the amount of people who were eligible for the scholarship and his demanding amount of homework.

Roberts described his disappointment when he found out that out of the 800 people who were eligible for the scholarship, only three of those students applied, which meant two out of those three students received the $15,000 scholarships.

“Wow, a 66 percent chance of getting $15,000 … what was I doing?” said Roberts.

Out of the three people who received the scholarship, Roberts said, he had the best academic profile; but they deserved the scholarships, because they applied and he did not.

“The biggest mistake you can make is to self-eliminate … to not apply,” Roberts said. “Those who actually take the time to apply will benefit the most.”

Roberts said it is a stereotype that only certain people have the opportunity to obtain a scholarship. He explained three types of scholarships everyone has the ability to apply for:

1. Background-based scholarship

This type of scholarship doesn’t require the recipient to actually do anything. The scholarship is based on the background of the individuals and what they have been born into. This scholarship may include the individuals’ heritage, childhood, school location, living in a certain part of the country, family status, religion, etc.

2. Project-based scholarship

This type of scholarship requires an individual to submit a certain project such as an essay, a video, photography, art, etc. It is based on something that is worked on and submitted to be able to earn the scholarship.

3. Merit-based scholarship

The recipient of this type of scholarship will be decided by an amount of cumulative work performed. An example of a merit-based scholarship would be a scholarship based on the recipient’s GPA.

Roberts said there are a variety of ways to find scholarships that fall into one of these three categories; once students know the type, they can focus in on one of those three points.

The first resource he listed were two websites he has found success with: and He explained how these websites allow students to find out every type of scholarship available for them to apply for. All that is required is for a student to make a profile and answer personal questions about subjects such as GPA, interests, major, etc.

“I made a demo profile on one of these sites and picked random stuff,” Roberts said. “I made a profile of a student with a 2.7 GPA majoring in agriculture and interested in bull-riding. After submitting the information, my demo profile was eligible for 184 different types of scholarships”

In addition to those websites, Roberts suggested that students should look for scholarships through their major’s department head, campus general scholarship advisement and the office of prestigious scholarships.

Roberts reminded students that not everybody applies and that it is worth it to investigate each one of these resources, even the office of prestigious scholarships. He said the amount of time spent looking for scholarships will be worth it.

“Even if you spent 40 hours applying for scholarships and only received $1,000, that’s still $25 an hour,” Roberts said.

He encouraged students to explore other scholarship opportunities like Utah IDA and FAFSA.

Roberts said it is easy to discredit oneself and to generalize when applying for scholarships. He gave an example of when a scholarship required him to write about an act of service he had done. Roberts said he didn’t just write, “I did a service project with my church”; rather, he described in detail how he participated in a 10-person committee that donated more than 20 hours of service to help clean a community center.

Roberts said the difference between a bad essay and a good essay was the description of the results told as a story. He said the presentation of a story as being valuable is what will make a competitive essay for a scholarship.

“If there is someone who can write a fantastic essay, they’re gonna give it to the person with a 2.0 GPA over the 4.0 GPA,” Roberts said.

Another tip Roberts gave for applying for scholarships was to create an Excel spreadsheet with demographic info and previous essays that can be copied and pasted into applications.

“Scholarships ask the same thing over and over again,” Roberts said. “Save time by copying and pasting.”

In addition to applying for scholarships, Roberts explained that some student jobs can act like scholarships. He gave a personal example that when he had downtime on his job working as a student, he would take advantage of his time by doing homework. Roberts stated that he essentially got paid to do homework, because he leveraged his time while he worked.

“If I’m gonna do my homework, I want someone to pay me,” Roberts said. “On campus there are so many jobs where you can do the same thing — parking supervisor, TA, janitorial worker … find somewhere you can spend your time wisely. Don’t just assume it’s OK, though; go check to see if that will be a resource.”

Roberts explained that it is OK to be rejected when applying for scholarships and that the key is to just continue applying.

“No matter how many times you’re rejected, it only takes one to change your life,” he said.

18 Dec 17:00

Still looking for gift ideas? Here are 30 Christmas gifts that keep on giving

18 Feb 13:00

Keep Your Kids Out of the Entitlement Trap

by Josh Baron and Rob Lachenauer

Want to know what keeps the owners of the most successful family businesses up at night? The dread that their kids will grow up to be entitled.

This is the concern of most parents, but among the very wealthy, the anxiety can be sometimes paralyzing:  Will their children and grandchildren end up lazy, good-for-nothings, who are not contributing to society?  In other words, “trust fund babies,” the kind whose scandalous antics fill the pages of the New York Post.

That’s not paranoia; the fear is grounded in reality. In business families, it’s quite common for the next generation to grow up in a much wealthier environment than the current generation.  The problem is not limited to them.  A study of over 3,000 families found that when wealth is passed from one generation to the next, a whopping 70% of it is squandered. Speaking generally, wealth is a very difficult thing to manage well.

That said, in reality, money turns out to be a less important factor than one might think in the development of entitlement. Some very rich kids turn out to be highly motivated and engaged – we see this in our work every day. Our experience also suggests, however, that kids don’t mysteriously end up entitled; there are some common choices parents – all parents – make to a greater or lesser degree that substantially increase the odds that kids end up feeling that the world owes them a living. These choices are often made with the best of intentions, but they work against the long-term interest of our children.

How do you avoid the entitlement trap?  There are no pat answers. What we learned from our work with family businesses is that you can start by asking yourselves questions.  This is not a scientific formula, but the more “no” answers that are scored, the greater the likelihood that you are putting your children on the path to entitlement:

  • Do they hold down jobs?  Kids that have jobs – even part-time or volunteer jobs – are more successful, both personally and professionally, than those who don’t. In an informal study of what people shared who made it to the C-Suite, one major American bank singled out height and summer jobs. There’s not much you can do about height, but work brings enormous discipline and learning. Jobs are also tremendously grounding, psychologically: they keep kids from being bored, one of life’s great vices. What we also see with glaring clarity in our work is that parents are blind to the strengths and vulnerabilities of their children. It’s hard to be objective. Jobs give your child the chance not only to gain experience, but als0 to get honest feedback. Reality is one of the best ways to combat a false sense of entitlement.
  • Can they build careers? Sometimes the next generation just can’t get traction, and they’re not entirely to blame. Alarmingly, in about a quarter of the client situations we work in, we see adult children being set up to fail. Owners sometimes give members of the next generation hopeless assignments – for example, they are asked to turn around a losing business that has no chance of becoming profitable.  Typically, this is done out of a desire to have the adult children understand, even relive, the experiences of the parents, who have almost always had to overcome tremendous challenges in order to succeed. The same thing can happen outside a family business, when adult children are forced into careers and professions in which they have no interest, and often no talent. Not surprisingly, they often don’t do well. Paradoxically, too much disappointment can also lead to entitlement. When even our best efforts are not good enough, it often seems better to just sit back and wait for life to be delivered to us on a silver platter.
  • Are they allowed to suffer? Life is like the stock market: it’s up and down, and there is risk involved. Don’t set your kids up to fail, but don’t shelter them from fate’s hard knocks. Let your children feel the pain – it builds resilience. Indeed, research shows increasingly that resilience flourishes in an environment of tough love. But don’t make your kids suffer too much either.  The best way we’ve seen wealthy family business owners help out their grown children without creating a sense of entitlement has been to provide assistance with education and housing. The owners of a very successful family business we work with hold back dividends but have a large educational fund that pays everyone’s schooling. They also help out with “reasonable” housing costs.  After that, everything else is the adult child’s responsibility. This discipline wonderfully concentrates everyone’s mind on the vital difference between wants and needs, and nips entitlement in the bud.
  • Are they grateful?  Recent studies show that there’s an inverse relation between materialism and gratitude. This poses obvious challenges for families that enjoy great wealth.  In her pioneering work on the subject, British psychoanalyst Melanie Klein wrote that, without gratitude, there can never be any personal satisfaction; envy creeps in and desecrates everything. We all have something to be envious about, even the very rich – sometimes especially the very rich – but envy is a toxic emotion.  Gratitude can soften it, and Klein thought that gratitude was inborn. But new findings on gratitude show that it can also be taught. The key is that parents must model gratitude before kids can develop it. That takes work. Practice gratitude yourselves, and chances are that your children will end up thanking you for it.  That’s the first step out of the entitlement trap.

Much more can be said on many fronts, and we look forward to your comments on this issue.  But one last word:  in our experience, the way that the most successful business families curb the next generation’s sense of entitlement is by staying involved in their kids’ lives.  If they fail to get some quality time, your children turn to money as the next best substitute. That sounds trivial, trite, perhaps even a platitude.  But every child is entitled to love. The rest is gravy.

23 Sep 05:14

5 Ways To Save On Your Cable Bill

by Alexis Caffrey

When you’re living on your own on an entry-level salary, the cable bill can be one of your largest monthly expenses. Add in premium channels, a DVR box, and on-demand rentals, and you’re easily looking at $100+ dollars a month.

Fear not: if you’re looking to save on your cable bill, you don’t need cut the cord completely or replace your TV altogether with streaming options. There are a few tricks you can use to keep your monthly costs low, while keeping your entertainment level high.

1. Bundles

One of the biggest ways to save, no matter where you live, is bundling. Bundling with one provider means streamlining your services. Instead of paying one cable bill, one Internet bill and another separate home phone bill, you can save by combining them into a bundle.

You can choose to bundle what you want , so you eliminate the cost of the things you don’t. According to providers’ sites like, if you combine all three – TV, phone and Internet—you save the most dinero. With some providers you can even bundle your security system to save on literally all your home services.

Keep in mind:

  • Don’t pay for faster internet than you need. Internet speeds vary, and are affected by both your location and what you do online. The more you download, the more speed you need. If you don’t download much, then you don’t need to pay for the fastest plan.
  • Don’t pay for calling features you won’t use. Yes, it’s smart to bundle to save, but don’t get a plan with features that you know you won’t use – like long distance or international calling. If you know you won’t call internationally, don’t bother paying to have the option.

2. Movies

If you have premium cable channels, ask yourself if you get enough use out of them.

It can cost an extra $20 to $50 monthly to get a few movie channels (think HBO, Showtime, Starz) for your TV service– that money adds up. If you still want access to movies but don’t want to pay extra for premium channels, consider going with an online streaming site like Netflix, RedBox Instant or Hulu Plus. Each of those online streaming services costs $8 a month. Each offers movies, current TV shows and TV shows that are off the air.

3. Tablets

Using your tablet might not be a money saving tactic, but it’s a great way to actually take advantage of all the apps and features you get with your cable TV subscription.

There are apps available that take your TV watching to the next level – so if you’re already paying for the channels, you might as well make use of the TV provider’s corresponding app. You may be able to save yourself the monthly expense of a DVR box in your bedroom, for instance, if you can use an app to watch your shows from another DVR in the house on your tablet.

4. Antennas

Depending on how extreme you want to go with your saving, you can cut out cable entirely and buy a set of antennas (they run about $30 to $50). That will give you basic cable for news, weather, and sports—then you can catch up on your shows by subscribing to services like Hulu and Amazon Prime. It’s not ideal, and the picture won’t be hi-def, but it’s worth considering if you’re trying to drastically cut your bill.

5. Call Your Provider

If you’re determined to keep your TV subscription top-of-the-line, call your service provider and explain the situation. Often times they can help move you to a limited-time promotion to save some money, or give you some premium channels for free for a couple of months. If you’re having technical trouble with your DVR box or connection, many providers will throw in a few months of Showtime or HBO for free, simply to compensate for the inconvenience. It’s worth a shot.

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