Tag: Pell Grant

Scholarship Coach Shanice Miller Shares How She Graduated College with No Debt and a $10,000 Refund

Scholarship Coach and Author Shanice Miller
Republished from the Huffington Post:

In our Money Mic series, we hand over the podium to people with controversial views about money. These are their views, not ours, but we welcome your responses.

Today, one woman shares how she amassed enough scholarships to graduate from college debt-free.

The first time I ever heard about student loan debt was in 2007. I was a high school senior in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and in the midst of applying for colleges.

My cousin, who had graduated with a business degree six months earlier, had come over to visit and was complaining about someone named Sallie Mae. Since getting her degree, she hadn’t been able to find a job — and was struggling to make payments on her $9,000 of student debt.

I wondered: Who in the world is Sallie Mae?

After hearing my cousin’s explanation — that Sallie Mae was a company that gives students money to attend college — I was shocked, worried and confused.

I’d never thought critically about the costs associated with going to college. Everyone — family, teachers, friends and even my guidance counselors — just told me I needed to attend in order to secure a better future, which I could do by choosing the school that offered the best education. But it hadn’t occurred to me that I’d have to pay for that privilege.

My mind started racing: How would I ever be able to afford college? The housing bubble had just burst, and I knew my mom, a real estate agent, wouldn’t be able to contribute. What would happen if I couldn’t come up with the money? Would I still be able to get a good job?

I knew I had to come up with a plan — quick.

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Darren Walker to be Named President of the Ford Foundation

Darren Walker (pictured above)  was born in a charity hospital in Lafayette, La., and grew up in the 1960s in a single-parent household in rural Texas, where his mother worked as a nurse’s aide and he was enrolled in one of the first Head Start programs. He went on to the University of Texas at Austin with help from a Pell grant scholarship, awarded to low-income students based on financial need. He put in a few years at a prestigious Manhattan law firm and a Wall Street investment bank. Then he moved into the nonprofit world, first in Harlem, where, among other things, he worked on the project to build the first full-service supermarket there in a generation.

On Thursday, Mr. Walker, 53, will take the next step in a career that has taken him from Harlem to world-famous foundations five and a half miles away in Midtown Manhattan. He is to be named president of the Ford Foundation, the nation’s second-largest philanthropic organization. He will succeed Luis Ubiñas, who announced in March that he would step down. For Mr. Walker, the new job is a promotion. He has been a vice president at Ford since 2010, when Mr. Ubiñas hired him away from the Rockefeller Foundation, where Mr. Walker had worked for several years, also as a vice president.

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