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That’s helpful. A couple of people asked about how to find the $3,000,000,000 in scholarships.

Well, one of the questions was about the billions of dollars in scholarship money that supposedly goes unclaimed. That’s an urban myth. The number of unused scholarships is actually quite small.

Yes, there are billions of dollars in scholarships out there for the taking. Start at fafsa.gov, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s grant money the federal government will give you if you meet certain income qualifications.

Next try blackstudents.com, a free scholarship search geared for African American students. Fastweb.com is currently the largest scholarship search engine on the internet. Its database contains 1.3 million scholarships worth over $3 billion, so you can’t afford to NOT look here. Scholarships.com, collegeboard.com and collegeanswer.com are also great resources.

As you search, you should be sure to look in your own community at churches, synagogues, and even parents’ employers who might sponsor college scholarships. This is one of those times when all that community service can pay off—Sponsors like students who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to volunteering.

“Are there scholarships for grad school?”

There are! Scholarships for graduate students aren’t as common, and most of them are a lot more specific, concentrating on specific industries and/or students who meet certain criteria, but with some perseverance, aspiring graduate students can find opportunities. Start with your alma mater, then talk to the financial aid office at the school you’d like to attend. Next look into career-specific scholarships—from nursing to architecture, there’s someone out there who wants to help. Professional organizations you belong to could also help. And there are unique grant opportunities for women, the military and minorities.

Many grad students rely heavily on research fellowships or assistantships. Finally, if you’re employed, check with your employer to see what kind of financial assistance your company may offer employees who want to pursue an advanced degree. Some firms will cover up to 1oo% of tuition fees.

Mellody is President of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based money management firm that serves individual investors and retirement plans through its no-load mutual funds and separate accounts.  Additionally, she is a regular financial contributor and analyst for CBS News.

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8 thoughts on “Mellody Hobson Answers Your Student Loan Questions

  1. hey there and thanks on your info ? I have certainly picked up anything new from proper here. I did alternatively expertise several technical points the use of this web site, since I experienced to reload the website a lot of times prior to I could get it to load properly. I were wondering in case your hosting is OK? Now not that I’m complaining, however slow loading circumstances occasions will very frequently have an effect on your placement in google and could harm your quality ranking if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am including this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective intriguing content. Ensure that you update this once more very soon..

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  3. CAROLYN WILSON-CARR on said:

    MY DAUGHTER IS A FRESHMAN IN COLLEGE I WOULD LIKE TO NO HOW SHE CAN GET MORE MONEY SHE GET THE STAFFORD LOAN AND PELL GRANT SHE MORE MONEY FOR ROOM AND BOARD I CAN’T KEEP TAKING A LOAN OUT FOR HER, WHAT DO I DO THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY.

    PLEASE TELL ME
    CAROLYN WILSON-CARR

  4. Discharging student loans in bankruptcy, recent successful examples:

    1. Michael Eric HEDLUND v. The Educational Resources Institute Inc. et al., case number 12-35258, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (May 22, 2013);

    2. In re Robert Jacob SCOTT and Sarah Jane Scott, Debtors. Robert Jacob Scott and Sarah Jane Scott, Plaintiffs v. U.S. Department of Education; Educap, Inc., The Education Resources Institute (TERI), et. al, Defendants. Bankruptcy No. 07-14317. Adversary No. 07-01367. United States Bankruptcy Court, W.D. Washington, at Seattle. September 25, 2009;

    3. Christian D. MENDOZA, Chapter 7, Debtor. Christian D. Mendoza, Plaintiff, Educational Credit Management Corporation; Hemar Insurance Corporation of America, Defendants. Case No.-01-53238-MM. Adversary No. 01-5283. United States Bankruptcy Court, N.D. California. June 20, 2007;
    4. In re Lorna Kaye NYS, Debtor, Educational Credit Management Corporation, Appellant, v. Lorna Kaye Nys, Appellee. No. 04-16007. United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. Argued and Submitted February 15, 2006. Filed April 26, 2006. 446 F.3d 938; and

    5. Krieger v. Educ. Credit Mgmt. Corp., No. 12-3592 (7th Cir. Apr. 10, 2013).

    The Hedlund case in 2013 and Scott case in 2009 are significant. These two cases clearly expand the law in favor of student loan debtors who reside in the nine western states. Both Hedlund and Scott were in their 30s, healthy, well educated and employed, and they successfully discharged most of their student loan debt in bankruptcy.

    This is a trend that the mainstream media has not picked up on.

    Also, see the excellent law review article by Jason Iuliano, Ph.D., “An Empirical Assessment of Student Loan Discharges…”, American Bankruptcy Law Journal, September 2012. He makes the case that millions of debtors could successfully discharge their student loan debt if they merely tried.

    Finally, the excellent book Bankrupt Your Student Loans and Other Discharge Strategies, 3rd Edition (2009), by Chuck Stewart, Ph.D., publisher Stewart Education Services. This book makes the case that the Department of Education will significantly reduce a debtor’s student loan debt, in an out of court settlement, if the matter is brought to bankruptcy court. Dr. Stewart’s own case can be found at California Central Bankruptcy Court case LA04-19681ER, filed August 2004.

  5. Shelia Cooper on said:

    Hi, Mrs. Mellody, I am a Grandmother, of 2 wonderful, grandchildren, that, are attending, different, colleges. My daughter, is a single, Mom…struggling, to find, help, to continue, to support, her son and daughter, to stay, in their, chosen, professions(in college) with student loans. I thank you for the Scholarship information, that, you gave to our listening, audience, on the Tom Joyner show, on Monday morning. I listen, to you every Monday, because, of your, expert knowledge, to help, in your field, of Money questions, from Tom Joyner. I will pray, that, my grandchildren, will be able to benefit, from the Billions of dollars, in Scholarship, money that is out there….unclaimed. I will tell my daughter, knowing, she will be so happy, to know, there is hope(I pray)that, will help solve, the college tuition, of my grandchildren. Mrs, Mellody, “thanks”, again, for the wonderful, job, that, you have with CBS and sharing, your expert, knowledge…to so many listeners, like me.

  6. Hi miss mellody my name is lloyd I reside in new
    Orleans la i want to ask a question its not about student loans but this is about government loans my wife is a immigration from Jamaica we trying to see about going to get a immigration government loan any help on questions thank
    Lloyd

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