Surviving College on a Shoestring

By Melody Wolf

College is expensive. Luckily, there are many resources out there to lessen the costs, but you have to be willing to put in the work. Bright Futures is one of the many reasons why families pack up and move to Florida to raise their kids. On top of the many quality colleges scattered throughout the state, there is also a scholarship that covers a decent chunk of that tuition. The best part? The scholarship is available to ALL high school students, no matter your race, income or background.


There are three levels for the scholarship – all with different requirements for core classes, service hours and standardized testing scores (SAT and ACT). You can view those requirements here. For those of you looking to meet the minimum score to gain entry into your college of choice, I highly encourage you to go above and beyond in order to achieve the HIGHEST level of the Bright Futures Scholarship. I took the ACT multiple times, but I was only able to qualify for the middle level – this has been one of my biggest regrets of my high school career.

Bright Futures is only for Florida, but other states offer similar programs. Put in the hours of studying and you will save LOTS of money – take advantage of this opportunity! For those of you who want to come out of college owing NOTHING, take a glance at this case study straight from our book: How to Go to College on a Shoestring:

The higher SAT score you have, the greater chance you will have of receiving scholarship awards from private sources and schools. Plus, the better chance you will have at being accepted into the best schools in the first place. Your SAT scores are the equivalent to all of your years of hard work in high school — they are that important. Not only are SAT scores considered a preview of how a test taker will do in college, they have become a yardstick for measuring life potential. Not necessarily fair, but it is true.


You should start studying as early as possible for the SAT by using review books, but if you feel you need extra help, you should enlist the help of an experienced tutor. It is worth every penny, as the payback for getting more financial aid, and a higher quality education, could be tenfold.

By working with you to maximize your SAT score, you will have the extra edge you may need to get into the school that is first on your list and increase your possibilities to receive more grants and scholarships. Ultimately, that will lower how much you will have to pay back. The more prepared you are for the SAT test and the more comfortable you feel with test-taking, the better you will do on this very important test.

For more on avoiding all college expenses, consider purchasing our book: How To Go To College On A Shoestring!51KV5lg8QrL._SX340_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


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