If you have been following the CheapScholar.org blog for any amount of time, you know that I am consistently bringing to light different ways and approaches in which families and students can make college affordable. However, what if you were one of the lucky ones that didn’t have to worry about paying for college and someone actually paid you to go to class. Seem a little hard to believe? One young man from the University of Alabama recently shared his story of how he profited over $30,000 from his college experience.
Tim Lovorn graduated from U of A and during his four years he received about $4,000 a semester in extra financial aid – or roughly $32,000 (8 semesters x $4,000). The source of this funding was no mystery for Lovorn. He received a tier one scholarship from the University that covered all of his tuition and housing expense AND gave him a stipend of $1,000 each semester to do with as he pleases. The additional funding (to get to the $4,000 a semester surplus figure) came from a National Merit Finalist scholarship.
Lovorn states, “This happened every semester, it was the same process as all refunds. It was put in my account, and I either came down to financial services and requested the refund, or they eventually mailed it to me. Because I had the tier one, it was just extra money.” Lovern did share that a “good chunk” of the money went toward paying for books, food, and other miscellaneous fees associated with his college experience.
How Can This Happen?
In the world of financial aid it is near impossible for a student to get scholarships and grants that exceed the cost of attendance. BUT, as in Lovern’s situation, it is possible to get financial aid in excess of the direct charges billed by the University.
You have to remember that a college’s cost of attendance (COA) includes all the expenses associated with a student attending the school regardless of whether the University bills directly for them. Some of the line items factored into this are: Tuition, Room, Board, Books, Fees, Travel costs to and from the University (varies for in state versus out-of-state students), and other misc expenses.
So… since Lovorn was only getting billed for Tuition and Housing through the University, he was able to pocket the excess monies and divvy it out as he saw fit toward his other expenses associated with attending the University of Alabama.
Is This The Norm?
No – not by a long shot! The situation above is a rarity and no student should hang their hopes on landing a financial windfall similar to Lovorn’s. You may be able to come close but I would categorically define Lovorn’s college funding solution as the “Holy Grail of all Financial Aid Packages”. If you dig one of these up, you surely better take advantage of it – even if that means going to a school that is not your top choice.
Hope you found this article interesting. If it has inspired you to look a little harder for scholarship dollars, please don’t hesitate to use the Scholarship Resource Page on CheapScholar.org.