A Good Education is Hard to Find

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A good education is hard to find, and even harder to fund.

Once upon a time, the best education came from walking alongside a learned man and cost only as much as a new fair of sandals. Now, new school shoes are the least of your school-year worries. Tuition, books, housing–help! It’s hard enough worrying about the entrance exams without thinking about the cost of entering college.

Goodwill Hunting
Financial aid out there, if you know where to find it. Your guidance counselor’s office is good place to start, but don’t stop the search there. Foreign colleges often send scholarship information only to the well-known schools because they may not know your tiny provincial institution exists! Government scholarships and funds from non-profit organizations are also not widely advertised. Check out websites, or go straight to their offices for hidden tuition treasures for promising (and resourceful) students.

Be a Good Investment
From the smallest NGO to the corporate financier to your old, rich Aunt Mildred, people put their money on the promising pay-off. A few thousand pesos a semester is cheap change if it means having a doctor in the family, a savvy entrepreneur in the making, or the next woman president in line. Show you’re scholarship worthy. Support a cause you care about, make the grade, excel in your extracurricular activities (yup, they matter to the admissions committee), and be ready to answer the age-old application essay question, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” Invest in your future, and others will want to invest in you.

It’s Not Where You Go, It’s What You Know
Attending a well-known college may get you an extra nod of approval at job interviews—but “Schools” is only one line in you resume`. If you’ve got the hire-me skills companies are looking for, where you parked your book bag for four years will only really matter during UAAP season and alumni gatherings. No matter where you go to college, unleash your inner geek, and learn everything you can—in and out of the classroom. You never know if extracurricular degree in party planning, people skills, or dorm-room feng shui could end up to be more valuable than your expertise in molecular biology.

Get Booked
Behind every good education is a good book. Before there were Harvards, Cambridges, The UPs’ there were men and women flipping through borrowed pages by candlelight. Want to belong to a first-class center for learning? Apply for a library card.

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