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Scholarships—Your Best Path to A Debt-Free Education Cost 

Scholarships—Your Best Path to A Debt-Free Education

Unlike student loans, you don’t repay a scholarship. But getting a scholarship isn’t as easy as walking into a bank. You have to apply for and be awarded a scholarship. Some are based purely on need. Others are merit-based and very competitive. The good news is there is a seemingly endless list of scholarships to apply and compete for. The trick is to find scholarships that you qualify for. Ask your school counselor and each school you apply to, and make sure to apply on time.

Think you won’t qualify for any scholarship? Think again. There are unusual scholarships you’d never dream of: scholarships for tall people, gamers and golf caddies, for example. (Find more at There’s even a scholarship for people who apply for lots of scholarships (the Scholarship for Aggressive Scholarship Applicants). 

There are dozens of scholarships for immigrants and first-generation Americans and at least 100 scholarships just for children of members of the military. You can find them at

Here are just a few other
places to look for scholarships:
Cappex, Central Indiana Community Foundation, Chegg,, Scholarship Monkey, and Unigo.

Click here for a list of ways to get free money from the state of Indiana.  

Income Share Agreements 

An ISA is a contract that provides funding for college that you repay based on your future salary. They are not student loans. In general, you’ll start repaying an ISA after you leave school and attain a specific income threshold. How much you pay each month, and overall, is spelled out in the agreement. Most schools don’t offer ISAs, but Purdue University is an exception. Its Back a Boiler program has disbursed more than $18 million to almost 1,000 students since the program’s inception. The average award for the program is more than $10,000, with payment terms ranging from seven to 10 years. Note that there are few regulations governing ISAs, so do your homework before agreeing to one.

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