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Posted: 12:00 a.m. Monday, Jan. 25, 2010

Search for unique scholarships online

Paying for college can be a big hurdle for many families. One option to reduce the expense is to spend the first two years at a community college. You'll typically save up to half the cost of a four-year degree by doing this. Remember, employers only care about where you graduated from -- not where you started your education.

But if you're not about to go to a community college, why not check out some scholarship options? There are a number of bizarro scholarships available, including ones for being tall, being left-handed and even drinking milk. We're not making this stuff up! Visit FastWeb.com for complete details.

The really obscure ones are usually funded by someone who had to overcome some kind of disability in life.

Meanwhile, if you are going to a private college, Clark recommends getting to know the dean, the department head or a senior tenured faculty member. That can dramatically open up paths to grant money, research money and scholarship money that you might not otherwise know about. Note that this typically does not work at state schools.