By Joe Edelheit Ross (@citizenross) 

Joe Edelheit Ross CRUNCH NETWORK CONTRIBUTOR Joe Edelheit Ross is the president and COO of Schoold and vice president of the San Mateo County Board of Education.

How to join the network One million dollars. A student will earn that much more in life with a four-year college degree as opposed to just a high school diploma. That’s according to a recent study from Georgetown University, which offers just such a degree for a grand total of $200,000 in tuition, room and board paid over four years.

Unless there are rich parents in the picture (or maybe a rich uncle), a student will likely need financial aid to pay all that. And when it comes to financial aid, there are basically two kinds: the kind you pay back (i.e. student loans) and the kind you want.

You want a scholarship.

No wonder a bevy of edtech companies are purporting to make it easier for you to find one. “Millions of scholarships,” they claim, are going unused.

But are they really helping? Put aside the Catch-22 inherent in a company successfully directing millions of applicants to “unused” scholarships. Here’s a bigger problem: It turns out the vast bulk of scholarship money — 93 percent of roughly $50 billion in grants — comes from the colleges themselves, not from private “outside” sources.

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