Apply to These 3 College Financing Opportunities

by Zena Smith

Because we’re in the “student success business,” we often feel we owe it to our parents and students to keep an ear out for helpful college financing opportunities. We know that getting into college is difficult enough in its own right, but paying the bill once you’re there can become a nightmare. We’ve been there ourselves. That’s why we make a point of gathering the good news when it comes across our desk and sharing with the families who we know will put it to good use.

This month we’re particularly excited to share some new ways to pay for college while you’re in school AND to help you pay back what you owe once you’ve graduated.


Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce Scholarship

College scholarships in the amount of four (4) $1,000 and one (1) $2,000 will be awarded to high school students from the 2015 graduating class who has demonstrated academic excellence as well as participation in extra-curricular and community service activities.

Eligibility Requirements

CSCOCQualifying students will:

How to Apply

Interested students should fill out the official application, attach official transcripts indicating grade point average, college acceptance letter, copy of ACT and/or SAT scores, a short essay, one (1) letter of recommendation and send it to:

Scholarship Committee / Scholarship Foundation
Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce
920 West 175th Street, Suite 3
Homewood, IL 60430

If you have any further questions, please contact the Chamber office at (708) 957-6950.

Application Deadline

The deadline for returning the complete application is Friday, May 15, 2015.

Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 10.41.13 PMThe Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund (SCSF) was founded on the belief that any motivated individual in need should have the opportunity to further his or her education.The SCSF provides individual grants, paid directly to the educational institution, to every student who qualifies and reapplies yearly, from admission to graduation. The grant can be used to cover tuition expenses and related supplemental educational expenses such as books, lab fees, travel and select costs of living. All Shawn Carter Scholars are required to “give back” by conducting community service and by serving as mentors to younger, aspiring Shawn Carter Scholars.

Eligibility Requirements

Qualifying students will be:

  • High school seniors, students with GED diplomas, undergraduate (2 year or 4 year) college students, and students at vocational or trade schools
  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • 25 years old or younger
  • GPA of 2.0 or higher

How to Apply

Complete and return the online application by the deadline.

Application Deadline

The deadline for the application is April 30th, 2015 (11:59 PM EST). Please note that incomplete and late applications are not eligible.


Citizens Financial Education Refinance Loan

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 10.57.39 PMFor those who have finished college but still feel the effects of the tuition burden, things may have just gotten easier. Citizens Financial has just launched a refinance loan that could help you secure a lower interest rate, get a more affordable monthly payment, or even have your cosigner released from your loan terms. All of those are good things in our book!

The even better news is that the new Citizens Financial program applies to virtually all student loans—federal and private. So now matter how you financed your college years, you’ll have the same chance to spend those monthly loan repayment dollars elsewhere.

Unlike the scholarship opportunities we posted, Citizen Financial’s refinance loan is ongoing, so you can sign up as soon as you’re ready. Visit the Education Refinance Loan page for more details on benefits and how to enroll!

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