As a college student in 2001 I was shocked by the prices at the campus store and knew I could do better online. I printed out 10,000 flyers, posted them all over campus, and stood in front of the bookstore shouting "Don't waste your cash in the school store, visit my homepage and save money!" I loved the thrill of finding great deals, and friends and family members starting coming to me to help them make purchases. With so many people interested, I took a semester off, learned to code, and built my own website. I didn't have a business model but realized I could earn commissions by having people buy from other retailers through my site with the Amazon Associates Program. Because my first users were family and friends, I wanted to only post deals that were good enough to share with them - a policy that continues today. I operated my site alone for several years until it grew too large to manage by myself and became the Brad's Deals of today.
Recognizing that my experience was far from unique, Brad's Deals is pleased to announce the third annual Brad's Deals Scholarship Competition (formerly known as the Shop Smart Scholarship) to recognize, encourage and reward students whose college experience is enabled by remarkable frugality, ingenuity, effort and thrift.
The five finalists each will receive a $2,000 scholarship for the 2014-2015 school year.
1) Write a 500 word essay explaining how your college experience is or will be enabled by remarkable frugality, ingenuity, effort or thrift.
Example: one of many other things I did at school was buy a router and wireless cards (they were cutting edge then!) and sell wireless internet access to others in my building.
You can also read about previous scholarship winners for an idea of the sort of smart shopping strategies that our scholarship judges like to see.
Applicants are encouraged to discuss topics such as:
2) Break down your all-in educational costs (tuition, room, board, other) and how they are or will be paid.
Essays will be judged on the creativity of the money saving strategies described, along with the overall remarkableness of the author's experience paying for school in the spirit of thrift.
I wish all applicants the best of luck, and look forward to your entries.
June 15, 2014