How Your Teen Can Win a College Scholarship Like These Students

4 Minute Read

A simple online quiz scored 19-year-old Ben Sayles a free semester of college.

Ben was one of the winners who participated in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Literacy Challenge last year. One of Ben’s high school teachers encouraged his financial management class to take the 20-question personal finance quiz last April. 

And Ben’s glad he did.

The prize—a $5,000 scholarship—was enough to pay for a full semester at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Ben says he picked the school thanks in part to the principles he learned from Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance curriculum.

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“It was between Grand Valley and [another school], and I chose Grand Valley because it was significantly cheaper and I felt the curriculum was very comparable,” he says. “I didn’t want to graduate college $40,000 in debt.”

Along with choosing an affordable in-state university, Ben also saved big by living at home and picking a money-smart major.

“With the engineering program, you go to school year-round, but you go to classes one semester and then you get to work one semester,” he says. “Right now, if I keep on track, I should graduate almost debt-free.”

Way to go, Ben! We have absolutely no doubt you will.

A Scholarship Worth Celebrating

When another student, Jordan Geyer, found out she’d won one of the Dave Ramsey $5,000 college scholarships, she and her mother broke down in tears.

“It was two days before I graduated high school, and I got a call from my principal,” she said. “I was freaking out because I thought I had forgotten to do something for graduation.”

Jordan’s principal then asked to talk to her mom. “Are you sitting down?” he asked. “Then he told us that I had won the Dave Ramsey scholarship, and I couldn’t believe it! Both my mom and I started crying because we were so excited.” Jordan got the news just hours before her graduation party, making the day that much more special.

Jordan’s mom is an avid listener to The Dave Ramsey Show. “She’s been very good at helping me stay on track with my money,” Jordan said. “She keeps me grounded.” Their favorite part of the show is hearing the “I’m debt-free!” calls.

When Jordan’s mom heard about the scholarship contest last spring, she encouraged Jordan to enter. Little did they know that Jordan would actually be one of the winners out of thousands of entrants!

The Geyers stretched out the scholarship money to help pay for Jordan’s first year at Missouri State University, and her parents were able to put some of the money they had saved away for her second year.

As a pre-med student, Jordan is excited about her future. She wants to eventually go to medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon. “I’ve been volunteering and shadowing at some hospitals, trying to get as much knowledge as I can,” she said.

She said the scholarship has “affected her life greatly,” and it’s played a part in starting her college education off on the right foot.

Once again, congratulations to Jordan!  

How Your Teen Can Enter

Dave Ramsey’s $53,000 Financial Literacy Challenge, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, runs April 7–24. High school seniors can enter for a chance to win one of three college scholarships, including one worth $36,000!

Underclassmen can enter for a chance to win one of three Chromebook 2 laptops. In addition, the high schools of each of the six winners will receive a set of Foundations in Personal Finance curriculum. So make sure your teen enters today at 53schools.com. The six lucky winners will be announced in May.

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