BABL 078: Paying for School Like a Boss with Jocelyn Pearson, Founder of The Scholarship System

Imagine leaving college, having lived abroad for a semester, studied, played and had as many experiences as you wanted, and owing not one red cent!

Jocelyn Pearson did exactly this. As the oldest of 5 kids, one of the first in her family to pursue a 4 year degree, and knowing that her family didn’t have the money to cover her entire tuition, she set out to find free money in the way of scholarships and grants enough to cover her entire college career.

As a junior in high school, Jocelyn began submitting applications into those bogus scholarship drawings, believing that if she just applied for as many as she could she would eventually win some of them. After an entire year of not winning, she decided to change her strategy and go after the applications that had an essay as a component (having won the ONE essay application she turned in as a junior). That’s when her winning streak began.

As a senior, Jocelyn won a number of smaller awards, and took those winnings to heart by continuing apply all the way through her senior year in college.

Fast forward to graduation, Jocelyn found herself working for a large multi-national company in a leadership rotational program. While she loved the people and the challenges, the work itself left her somewhat uninspired, and the raises had very little to do with her overall productivity. That, in the end, was what made her decide to pull the ripcord and leave the comfort of the corporate plane she had been riding in for the past couple of years. For Jocelyn, the key for her was to find something that allowed her to provide an amazing service, to make money based on her activity, and ultimately control her future.

To make the leap from corporate life to being self-employed, Jocelyn says she minimized her expenses to the minimal level, figured out how much she needed to last for 6 months with no income, and set a plan to replace her income in the first 6 months. After that, it was all about hustling to make it happen. And she has, within the first year, Jocelyn has replaced her income from that corporate job and helped hundreds of families find tens of thousands of dollars in free money.

The big picture for Jocelyn is she’d like to see her program and book The Scholarship System in front of as many students as humanly possible. Parents will often approach Jocelyn at speaking events or on webinars and ask what should they do given that they themselves are still paying off debt and now have students that need co-signers. The challenge, it seems, is growing from one generation to the next.

Around the 21:00 mark, I asked Jocelyn what kind of mindset shift she had to make in order to make the leap from corporate to solo. Her interesting answer included not pursuing her own passion, seeing a structure that no longer promises safety and security, and wanting to get paid for the work she did.

The one book that Jocelyn credits with changing her mindset over all others is The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. On the day she left her job, she pulled out the book and flipped to a page that had the following line highlighted: Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty. Whether it was cosmic or karmic or whatever, Jocelyn said it spoke to her immensely.

Books recommended by Jocelyn:

The Millionaire Messenger by Brendan Burchard

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

The Bible by … oh, you know.

For more information about Jocelyn and her programs, check out: