On CollegeNet Site, Student Blog For Scholarship Money
Destiny Watson is an undergraduate student of psychology at the University of Central Florida, where in-state tuition (Watson is from Pensicola) around $15,000 per year. While looking online for scholarships to help defray the cost of her studies, she stumbled upon CollegeNET, a website where current and future students blog competitively for scholarship money. Watson began blogging about topics like the First Amendment, sports, raising money to pay for college, and body image–whatever interested her. She kept it up, blogging every day.
Eventually, Watson won $1000 for being on a “top ten” list for ten weeks straight. Then, in March, she was voted by her peers on the site as the top blogger of the week, and won almost $4,000. Watson will use that money for tuition and books for her classes.
“You can talk about whatever you like, which is really cool, and get responses, and learn through the site. I definitely recommend it to people who need money to pay for college. If you’re consistent, you’ll win,” said Watson.
With student loan debt now above one trillion dollars–surpassing consumer debt for the first time in American history–the need to make college more affordable is greater than ever. CollegeNet is based in Portland, Oregon. It was founded in 1977 with its flagship product, Schedule 25, a software algorithm created by CollegeNet’s founder and president, Jim Wolfston. The company recently awarded their millionth dollar in scholarship money through their blogging contest.
Rosin Atidepe, originally from the West African country of Togo, is a master’s student in clinical psychology at the University of Houston. She learned about CollegeNET on TV, and began blogging frequently. In February, she won $1000 because she was in CollegeNET’s top ten contributors list for ten weeks.
“I’ll use it to pay off loans from undergraduate,” Atidepe told Dowser–she has around $12,000 left out of original $18,000 loan.
CollegeNet is funded by a combination of advertising revenue and corporate support.