I know what it's like to graduate with student loan debt. When I left a life changing experience at Carnegie Mellon University, armed with a fistful of degrees and an optimistic outlook on life, I also carried over $30,000 in student loan debt.
I was one of the fortunate ones.
I graduated into a terrible job environment (the dot com busted just a few short months earlier), I had a degree in Computer Science from a prestigious university. I secured a great job with a defense contractor (Northrop Grumman).
With a solid income, and after starting a side business, I was able to pay off my student loans in a few short years.
But not everyone is as fortunate. Student loan debt is one of the biggest financial weights on young people today. It's something that needs a solution.
I've been fortunate in my life that I've avoided financial catastrophe, made some good decisions (and fewer bad ones), and leaned on a support structure that enabled me to be successful.
Today, I'm financially free and I would like to pay it forward.
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About Wallet Hacks
Wallet Hacks is a personal finance blog that shares the money hacks, shortcuts, and cheat codes to getting ahead financially and in life.
Financial freedom means different things to different people. It takes on many forms.
For some, it looks like endless rounds of golf on a sunny day with no wind. For others, it's sitting on a beach with a good book. To others, it's being able to volunteer for a cause.
At its core is the idea that your time is yours. You are free to do with it what you please.
I want to help you get one step closer.
2017 was the first year of the Wallet Hacks Financial Freedom Scholarship. We hope to do this annually but since this was the inaugural year, we only have one winner to share with you!
The winner of the 2017 Wallet Hacks Financial Freedom Scholarship was Aaliyah R., a second year student at NYU Tisch school of the Arts for drama. She is in the Atlantic Acting school within Tisch.
“I'm extremely honored to have won this award and look forward to striving towards a financially free future so, I may create art that can be a catalyst for positive change.”
All applicants must be actively enrolled at an accredited two or four year college or university in the United States or Canada on a full-time basis for the 2017-2018 academic year.
For the 2017-2018 academic year:
- Submissions Accepted starting February 1st, 2017
- Submissions Deadline is August 1st, 2017, 11:59 PM ET
- Winner notification: September 1st, 2017
How to Apply
To enter, please submit an essay of at least 1,000 words but no more than 2,000 words, in English, answering the following questions:
- What does financial freedom mean to you?
- Why is financial freedom important to you?
- How will you achieve financial freedom?
Please also include your major, anticipated graduate date (month/year), and mailing address.
Please use the form below to submit your entry. (upon submission, look for an email reply confirming receipt)
Enter your .edu address in the From field. If you are a graduating high school senior who does not yet have a .edu address, use your email address and then reply to the confirmation with proof of enrollment such as a letter from your college stating you have been accepted to attend school for the next semester. (a photo of the letter is sufficient)
We are no longer accepting entries for 2017.
The scholarship committee will select one winner for the $1,000 scholarship – which will be awarded in the form of a check made out to the winner's college or university.
The scholarship is taxable. You'll be asked to submit a Form W-9 and a 1099 will be issued to you in early 2018.
No purchase necessary. The WalletHacks $1,000 Financial Freedom Scholarship is open to any citizen and/or resident of the United States (and its territories and possessions) and Canada who will be enrolled at an accredited institution of higher learning full-time for Fall Semester 2017. All other entries will be disqualified.
Each student may only submit one entry. If it is determined that a participant has entered with more than one entry, all of the participant’s submissions will be disqualified.
Application period starts on February 1st, 2017 at 8 a.m. ET. Winners will be notified via email by September 1st. Scholarship award will be awarded no later than October 1st.
All portions of the application must be answered, attaching all requested documents.
Failure to fully answer the essay question or provide all documentation could deem an application ineligible.
Once submitted, a confirmation email will be sent to the applicant and any other requests related to the application will not guarantee a response from WalletHacks.com.
No notification will be sent to non-winning applicants.
The essay must have a title and be written in English.
Essays must be original and factually accurate, and they must not be in the public domain. The submission of false information will result in automatic disqualification. By submitting an essay to the WalletHacks $1,000 Financial Freedom Scholarship, each student acknowledges his or her understanding of and compliance with these rules. WalletHacks.com reserves the right to disqualify any entry deemed inappropriate for publication per the company's discretion.
All entries must be received no later than August 1st, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET to be eligible for the contest.
Scholarship awards are non-transferable. Competition is void where prohibited or restricted by law. Winners will be solely responsible for any federal, state or local taxes. Winners must provide a valid street address to which WalletHacks.com can mail the winners their scholarship check, a publicity release, and complete a W-9 for tax purposes in order to qualify for receipt of the scholarship award in the amount of $1,000.
**All essays and all rights to their publication become the property of WalletHacks.com, which may use, edit and excerpt these entries for purposes promotional or otherwise, including placing them online without compensation, additional or otherwise. WalletHacks.com reserves the right to use winners’ names and other basic information in any advertising or promotional materials relating to this competition without further notification, permission, or compensation to the winners, except where prohibited by law.
If you have any additional questions, please use our contact form or call (931) 546-9264.