The good news is that scholarships are easier than ever to find and apply for thanks to online tools that can connect students to billions of dollars' worth of funds. How to win scholarshipsBut the larger question for families remains where to find the money.
Ray Martin has been a practicing financial advisor since 1986, providing financial guidance and advice to individuals. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions News provided by The Associated Press.
Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Get advice for managing credit cards, building your credit history and improving your credit score. Airbnb is a new lodging option for travelers — and a new way to make extra money if you have some spare space in your home.
The company began in San Francisco when roommates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia couldn’t afford the rent on their loft. Several years later, Airbnb has more than half a million active listings in more than 190 countries, and has completed 15 million bookings. Do you have an extra bedroom or in-law suite you could rent out, or a second home that often goes unused? My wife and I own a two-family home in the Boston area, and rent out the extra apartment as a fully furnished vacation unit. If you’re renting out your personal space, is there a room or closet where you can lock up valuables or personal items? When we decided to turn our rental unit into an Airbnb apartment after our longtime tenants bought their own home, we set a deadline for ourselves — it would have to be ready to rent in time for the long Columbus Day weekend. Airbnb also gives a temporary search-results boost to new hosts to help them gain their first customers. You can set whatever price you want for your listing, and charge different rates for weekends or different seasons. Marriott opened a 460-room hotel in our city a few years ago, and they regularly charge $169-$249 a night. Communicating with guests: You’ll have booking requests and inquiries you need to respond to, within 24 hours if you want to keep on Airbnb’s good side (you’ll be penalized in search results if you fail to answer within a day).
Updating the calendar: Your calendar will update automatically when someone books a reservation, but you need to update your personal availability yourself. Airbnb allows hosts to charge a cleaning fee, charged on a per-stay (not per-night) basis; this rewards longer-term stays. Airbnb members have more than 550,000 properties to choose from, so simply listing your place may not be enough to attract visitors. Be friendly and responsive: For starters, be cordial and quick to reply in your communication with guests. Personal touches: Finally, any unexpected extras you can offer can go a long way toward giving someone a stay to remember. If you have an entire apartment or house to rent out, there’s nothing stopping you from listing it on other vacation rental sites as well, such as HomeAway, VRBO, or FlipKey.
As the company started growing exponentially in 2012, some hosts encountered problems with guests. Airbnb has since introduced a $1 million guarantee to hosts to cover damage caused by guests (which the company maintains is rare). As a host, you are never obligated to accept someone’s reservation request — if you check out their profile and get an uh-oh vibe, simply decline it.
The company and its hosts have also been subject to some legal challenges, largely based on the fact that hosts don’t pay hotel taxes to their city. Plenty of people rent out their homes on Airbnb despite improper zoning or lease restrictions, but they’re taking a big risk.
If you still want to make some extra money, but you’re more comfortable letting strangers into your car than your home, why not try driving for Uber?
For instance, using a service offered by SallieMae, students can find over 3 million scholarships worth over $16 billion dollars.

The most widely used resource, scholarship search websites, was used by 60 percent of families. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.
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And it’s never been easier for average people to get a share of it, thanks to a disruptive startup called Airbnb that has rewritten the guidebook for travelers. Members can list and rent out their apartment, or even just a spare bed, to other members on a short-term basis. They decided to take advantage of their high-rent location by turning it into a makeshift bed and breakfast.
So they set up three air mattresses in their loft, designed a simple website with photos of the space, and listed each airbed for $80 a night, including a free, home-cooked breakfast. The company was valued at about $10 billion earlier this year — more than Hyatt Hotels. Or would you consider renting out your own home, or a portion of it, while you’re on vacation to help cover the cost of your trip? In that case, there’s likely a steady stream of both tourists and business travelers who need a place to stay. But some people rent out just an extra bedroom in their home, or their own home when they’re away on vacation themselves. We have friends who rent out their two-bedroom apartment when they’re on vacation, but they list it as a one-bedroom, locking up anything of value or personal significance in the other bedroom.
Airbnb walks you through the steps it recommends to improve your listing and profile; here are some tips to keep in mind. Sum up what you have to offer in one compelling line — this is what people will see when they perform a search in your area. Explain what’s available to guests, including the number of bedrooms and what types of beds they are, whether they’ll have access to a kitchen, a deck, a private bathroom, a place to park, cable TV, air conditioning, Wi-Fi — anything you can think of. Airbnb keeps your full name, phone number, address, and email address hidden until a guest completes a booking.
You can choose a variety of cancellation policies and price structures, and you can also set your own house rules, such as no smoking, no additional overnight guests, or please feed the cats. Between the fall foliage and events at local colleges, October is a popular time to visit Boston. However, once that window expires, your ranking will be decided by your reviews, price, and location.
If you’re just starting out, knock off $20 or more per night until you get some positive reviews under your belt; given the choice, people are going to book a place with good reviews over one without them unless there’s a big savings to be had.
If you can offer an entire apartment for the same price or less than a standard hotel room nearby, you should be able to attract visitors. You’ll also need to communicate with guests about how to find your place, where to park, and how you’ll exchange keys. Meanwhile, depending on how nice your photos are, guests may be expecting something better than the Marriott. You can send and receive messages through email, the Airbnb app, and via text message, and the faster you respond to someone looking to firm up their vacation plans, the more likely they’ll book your place. And better reviews instill confidence in future guests and can help your listing rank higher in search results, driving more bookings and more revenue. In fact, you may find these sites offer more potential guests, and a clientele who are willing to pay a higher fee. You don’t need a second home or apartment unit to rent out; you can list a spare bedroom, or even just an extra bed or air mattress in a shared room. Unlike most other vacation rental sites, guests pay Airbnb in advance, not you, and the money is held in escrow until 24 hours after check-in, assuming the guest doesn’t file a complaint.

One host’s home was trashed beyond repair; another came home to a disaster littered with meth pipes. Other problems have occurred when hosts rent a space that isn’t zoned for such a use, or when renters violate their lease by subletting their apartment.
Make sure you’re on the right side of the law in your city and that your lease permits it — otherwise you may get slapped with a big fine or even get evicted. Grants and scholarships paid for 34 percent of costs for students attending two-year public colleges and 22 percent of costs for students attending four-year public colleges. Set aside time to follow up on the latest matches from scholarship search engines, fill out forms or work on essays. Check out alumni clubs, community groups and religious organizations, which are all potential sources for what's known as backyard scholarships. If you go that route, consider whether there’s adequate privacy for guests — for example, will they have their own bathroom?
Just don’t make claims you can’t deliver on: If a guest is expecting to do work on your Wi-Fi connection, but your router is broken, they have every right to file a complaint and you may not get paid. In many areas, Airbnb will send a professional photographer to your home free of charge, as they’ve found that quality photos increase bookings considerably. But you should create a full profile with a photo of yourself, ID verifications, and a bio. And the following weekend would be the Head of the Charles Regatta, which draws visitors from all over the world.
Now that we have a few glowing reviews, we’ve raised our rates a bit for next year’s busy season (April-October), but it’s still a pretty great deal compared to a hotel.
Funds are released to the host 24 hours after check-in as long as the guest doesn’t report any problems.
This means more people can list their spaces, and budget travelers can find a potentially nice place to crash for very cheap — about the same price as a bunk bed in a hostel.
Likewise, as a host you have 24 hours after check-out to file a complaint through the resolution center, and Airbnb will get involved if necessary. If someone were to break the TV or ruin the sofa, we would lodge a complaint through the resolution center and keep part or all of the security deposit (or negotiate directly with the guest as necessary).
While these scholarships have smaller prizes, they are often the easiest to win and add up quickly. You might be able to rent your space for homecoming weekends, college tours, reunions, and graduation. If your apartment is on a busy street downtown, make a note of it — some people may be turned off by noise, but others may be enticed by a bustling location. This eliminates potentially awkward scenarios or misunderstandings when money changes hands, and offers both sides a sense of reassurance. The listings can be homier and more comfortable, with a lived-in feel and food stocked in the pantry. You shouldn't pay more than a postage stamp since legitimate scholarship programs do not require an upfront fee.
Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused. If you live in the mountains or near the ocean, demand for your place may be more seasonal. Or offer to pick up a guest from the train station or airport if it’s raining and you’re not too busy. At the same time, they may be more cluttered, and personalized with a stranger’s stuff, compared to the blank slate of a vacation rental unit. We do not permit the inclusion of hyperlinks in comments and may remove any comment that includes a hyperlink. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission monitor and prosecute scholarship and financial aid fraud.

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