By tamaraAre you worried that the cost of college has become too much or that a college education isn’t worth it anymore? It’s understandable when you see stories about this year’s college graduates leaving with an average of $33,000 in student loan debt. Ouch! That’s enough to make anyone think twice about enrolling. But, what you may neglect to consider is the benefits package you will receive by earning a degree. Yes, we know that there are people who have been successful without a college diploma (Bill Gates for one), but in general, your earning potential drops considerably without that little piece of paper. There are other benefits, too. For example, college is a place where you can be exposed (in more ways than one!) to other cultures and new ways of thinking. It will challenge your view of the world and even yourself. You’ll also have the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, and you may find a new career or life path. Some would even argue that what you gain in knowledge and life experiences at college is priceless. Of course, we’ve always felt that a college education matters, but there’s also a way to get one without breaking the bank or drowning in student loan debt. There’s this wonderful thing called a scholarship, and it can help you reduce the cost of your college expenses. In fact, we believe in the pursuit of higher education so much that we’re putting our money where our mouth is and offering a fat $5,000 scholarship this month. It’s called (you guessed it) the Education Matters Scholarship. Applying is super easy. First, make sure you meet our eligibility criteria: 13 years or older, legal U.S. resident, enrolled or planning to enroll in college by 2020, and complete an online scholarship search profile at ScholarshipExperts.com. Next, check out some of the past winners’ essays. And finally, write an awesome response (250 words or less) to the following prompt: “What would you say to someone who thinks education doesn’t matter, or that college is a waste of time and money?” Once your essay has been reviewed for grammatical errors and you’re sure it meets the word count guidelines, you’ll be ready to submit your online application. Just be sure you get it in before 11:59 p.m. EST on November 30, 2014. We know Thanksgiving break is coming up and all that turkey tends to make you sleepy, so if you put it off until after grandma’s holiday feast, you could potentially miss the deadline. In any case, set a reminder and be sure you don’t miss this opportunity. Oh, and in case you are still wondering…yes, a college education is definitely still worth it!