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Taco Bell Wants to Pay Up to $25,000 For You to Go to College

The application period ends January 23, 2020.

College isn't cheap. According to a recent study published by the College Board, in 2019 the average price of attending a public four-year in-state college or university was just under $22,000. While as recently as the '90s, working your way through undergrad was still kind of doable, today, it simply isn't. Just take it from the folks at Forbes, who pointed out that at the current average rate of tuition, you would need to work 2,438 hours every year—the equivalent of a full-time and a part-time job—on top of, presumably, a full course load to live that "put-myself-through-college-with-just-elbow grease" dream. 

If you're looking for a chance at some financial assistance, the folks at the Taco Bell Foundation want to help pay your college tuition with its Live Más Scholarships program. Starting today, Live Más is accepting applications from passionate young students. The program is open to Taco Bell team members and fans between the ages of 16 and 24 across the United States. Awards this year will total $6 million, which represents more than a two-million-dollar increase compared to last year's disbursal. Since the program started in 2015, a total of $17 million in scholarships have been disbursed.

RELATED: Taco Bell Is Testing an Extra Cheesy Grilled Cheese Burrito

The Live Más Scholarships program is different from other scholarship programs in that it assesses applicants based on qualities such as passion and the capacity to inspire, rather than cut-and-dried metrics like essays and test scores. As Jennifer Bradbury, director of the Taco Bell Foundation, explained, Live Más was founded to assist those students who fall through the cracks of traditional scholarship application processes—"amazing students…with really incredible passions who may not necessarily fit into…traditional categories."

And they do so in a non-traditional way: Live Más is partially funded by donations collected through Round Up, Taco Bell's in-purchase donation program, whereby customers can contribute to a donation collection by choosing to round up their bill to the nearest dollar value. This sum then helps fund the Live Más program, which will, in the spring of 2020, award scholarships to numerous students, ranging in value from $5,000 to $25,000. 

Live Más Scholarships help to make incredible things happen. Last year, for example, they put one student through pre-med, another into a biomedical engineering program for the purpose of researching Alzheimers, and another into a business and tech degree that she will use to fight homelessness in Los Angeles. 

Applicants need only submit a two-minute video explaining their passion and how they'll channel it to make a positive difference in the world for a chance to win a scholarship. The application deadline is January 23, 2019. And for more from the chain, Taco Bell Has an Online Holiday Shop With Pajamas, Onesies, and More.

Owen Duff
Owen Duff is a freelance journalist based in Vermont, home of Ben & Jerry’s. Read more about Owen
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