Gwen Thomas, a single mom-turned-entrepreneur, helped her son generate nearly a half-million dollars in scholarships, enabling him to also study abroad in more than 30 countries. In her book, The Parent’s Smart Guide to Sending Your Kids to College Without Going Broke, Thomas shares invaluable tips on how to successfully navigate through the once intimidating process.
The author, better known as the “Scholarship Mom,” details vital money-saving strategies used to finance her son’s education from kindergarten through graduate school. The book outlines differing school models – urban and suburban – whether private, charter or traditional day, and costs associated with those institutions. Thomas also discusses crucial conversations that families must have about debt and the increasing costs of tuition. Additionally, she provides an extensive list of scholarship and fellowship resources freely available to students in undergraduate through doctoral programs.
“College tuition is one of the largest expenditures a person will make aside from purchasing a home,” says the author. “My goal is to help families realize that there are alternative ways like scholarships to fund education and reduce college debt, whether they have zero income or a six-figure salary.”
For added support, Thomas created Fresh Perspectives Seminars, a non-profit think tank dedicated to college readiness and workforce development for students with diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Her book serves as a companion guide for the series of seminars, workshops and webinars that focus on closing the achievement gap, parenting and financial literacy.
Thomas has helped thousands of high-school and college students across the country get on the scholarship track and avoid student loans, effectively reducing college debt for themselves and their families. She also travels globally speaking to high-schools, colleges, churches and organizations, including Canada and countries in Asia and the Caribbean. Thomas works out of offices in Detroit and Washington, DC.