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Scholarship Alert: $2,500 Nursing Award for U.S. Citizens & Permanent Residents from AfterCollege-AACN Scholarship Fund

AfterCollege-AACN Nursing $2,500 Scholarship Award for uS Citizens & Green Card HoldersThe AfterCollege-American Association of Colleges of Nursing Scholarship Fund (AfterCollege- AACN Scholarship Fund) is offering $10,000 in awards, ($2,500 every quarter), to support current students pursuing a baccalaureate, masters or doctoral degree in nursing at an AACN member institution with special consideration given to applicants currently enrolled in a graduate program with the goal of becoming a nurse educator, an RN-to-BSN or RN-to-MSN program or an accelerated nursing program.

Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible, applicants must be:

  •  Be a current student.
  • Enrolled in a baccalaureate, masters or doctoral degree in nursing at an AACN member institution.
  • Be a legal resident of the United States.

[clickToTweet tweet=”$10,000 in Awards from @AfterCollege-@AACNursing for current #nursing students #Caribbeancollegebound” quote=”$10,000 Scholarship for nursing students from After College & ACCN!” theme=”style2″]

Scholarship Application Deadline

The scholarship application is due quarterly, on the following dates:

  • March 31
  • June 30
  • September 30
  • December 31
Related:  More Scholarships for U.S. & Caribbean Students

Scholarship Application

Scholarship applications can be submitted online at the scholarship announcement page: AfterCollege-AACN Scholarship. 

Good luck!

~ Melisa Boutin

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$3,500 in Scholarships for U.S. Citizens & Green Card Holders from AfterCollege

$3,500 in AfterCollege Scholarships for US Citizens and Green Card HoldersAfterCollege, Inc, an online platform helps students find jobs and internships, is offering a $3,500 in scholarship to current U.S. resident, undergraduate, and graduate students. Seven $500 scholarships for all fields or study, STEM, science, engineering & technology business, nursing, and vocational & trade disciplines.

The scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate professionalism and effective communication on how they will be exemplary candidates in their field.


To be eligible, applicants must be:

  • A U.S. resident;
  • A currently enrolled student; and
  • Meet the specific requirements of each scholarship award opportunity.
AfterColllege Scholarship Requirements

(Each Scholarship Award is $500)


  • Succuro Scholarship
  • Vocational & Trade Study Scholarship
  • Business Student Scholarship
  • Nursing Student Scholarhsip
  • STEM Inclusion Scholarship
  • Science Student Scholarship
  • Engineering & Technology Student Scholarship

Min. GPA

  • &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp2.5/&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp4.0&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
  • &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp2.5/&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp4.0&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
  • &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp3.0/&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp4.0&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
  • &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp3.0/&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp4.0&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
  • &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp3.0/&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp4.0&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
  • &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp3.0/&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp4.0&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
  • &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp3.0/&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp4.0&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp

Enrolled In

  • AA, AS, BA, BS, MA, MS, MFA, PhD, MD, JD, etc in any field
  • Certificate, diploma, AA, or BS degree from a junior college, career, vocational, or trade school
  • AA, AS, BA,BS, MS, PhD degree in a field of business
  • Baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degree in nursing
  • Degree in a field of engineering, science, tech, or math & of an underrepresented group
  • AA, AS, BA,BS, MS, PhD degree in a field of science
  • AA, AS, BA,BS, MS, PhD degree in engineering, technology or math


  • Vocational & Trade Study Scholarship: Fields of study may include (but are not limited to): IT, Web Development Programming, Business Management, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant, Licensed Vocational Nurse, Nurse Assistant, Maintenance Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies
  • Business Student Scholarship: Eligible majors include, Accounting, Advertising, Business Administration, Economics, Finance, Human Resources, International Relations, Management, Political Science, Public Relations)
  • Nursing Student Scholarship: Special consideration will be given to students in a graduate program with the goal of becoming a nurse educator; students completing an RN-to-BSN or RN-to-MSN program, and those enrolled in an accelerated program
  • STEM Inclusion Scholarship: An underrepresented groups may be defined by, gender, race, ethnic background, disability, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, nationality and other non-visible differences.
  • Science Student Scholarship: Science can include (but is not limited to): Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology, Oceanography, Physics, Zoology, etc.
  • Engineering & Technology Student Scholarship: Degree programs can include (but is not limited to): Computer Science, Cybersecurity, etc.

[clickToTweet tweet=”.@Aftercollege scholarships for #US Citizens & #GreenCard Holders #Caribbeancollegebound” quote=”$3,500 in scholarships for U.S. Citizens & Green Card Holders!” theme=”style2″]

Application Deadlines

The scholarship application, for each award, is due quarterly, on the following dates:

  • March 31
  • June 30
  • September 30
  • December 31
Related:  More Scholarships for U.S. & Caribbean Students

Where To Apply

The online application submittal process will involve following the instructions on the respective scholarship announcement pages and the creation or update of your AfterCollege profile, which will serve as the scholarship application.

Good luck!

~ Melisa Boutin

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15 Personal Finance Experts In The Caribbean & Diaspora You Should Know

Caribbean and Diaspora Personal Finance Experts

When I started on my own journey to pay off debt, save and invest, I binge read many personal finance books, and blogs by mostly American-born and bred experts.

Although the financial principles they shared were usually universal, there’s nothing like getting personal finance knowledge from people who share your cultural background and have overcome obstacles like supporting extended family, while tackling a mountain of student debt, navigating the permanent residency and  F1 Visa immigration processes or building wealth in Caribbean countries where practical personal finance information on investing and increasing your net worth is hard to find.

To that end, I’m happy to share these 15 personal finance experts in the Caribbean and the Caribbean American Diaspora you should know.

Melinda Belle

Barbados, West Indies

Melinda Belle Astrape Finance

Melinda is a Barbadian with more than a decade of experience in the field of accounting and founded Astrape Finance to bring transformation to your money and life through education sound planning and advice.

On top of personal and business finance consulting, Melinda created the Lampy the Lighthouse: Earning & Spending educational series and coloring book for children, authored My Money & Me and hosts Money Matters with Melinda broadcast to discuss educational personal finance tips.

Learn how to improve your money life over at

Abena Cannady

St. Lucian Heritage, USA

Abena CannadyAbena Cannady was determined to graduate from college debt free and worked full-time during her undergraduate studies in economics.

Not only did she graduate student loan free, but with a jump start on investing and well positioned to seize the opportunity to start her first business.

Abena views personal finances as a construction project and founded Finances Under Construction to provide practical and implementable tools, tips and resources on managing money, dumping debt and entrepreneurship for young adults.

Learn all about creating a blueprint for your money over at

Felicia Blaise

Haitian Heritage, USA

Felicia Blaise is the resource plug for Millennials who want to spend less and travel more.

As a new graduate living on her own, she found juggling her living expenses, settling into a new city and student loan payments all at once, a major challenge.

Through creating her own money management system, Felicia was able to pay off $7,000 of credit card debt in 7 months, save up a financial cushion and put money towards the thing she loves the most: traveling.

For the real-life cheat code to spending less and traveling more, check out her money management tips and savvy travel hacks at

Yanely Espinal

Dominican Heritage, USA

Yanely Es[inalYanely Espinal grew up in a family of 9 siblings and immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic, with very little money.

By working hard in school, she won a full ride to Brown University but still ended up finishing college with more than $10,000 in student loan and credit card debt.

She taught herself about credit and money management, is now completely debt free and saves half of her income.

Learn about savvy money hacks, plus credit and spending tips from Yanely’s video posts on her website

Jamila Souffrant

Jamaican in the USA

Jamila SouffrantJamila leveraged her money saving habits and financial savvy to purchase her first investment property, as a recent college graduate, in what is now one of Brooklyn’s most popular neighborhoods: DUMBO, New York.

Using that same money saving mindset, she was able to save $85,000 of her household income in one year and now, Jamila and her family are on the journey to financial freedom in 7 years or less.

For inspiration and tools to launch your own journey to financial freedom visit

Kara Stevens

Antiguan Heritage, USA

Kara Stevens

After Kara Stevens clawed her way out of $65,000 of debt ($40,000 of which she paid off in two years), she founded The Frugal Feminista to use what she learned about herself and money to help black women manage emotional health, build wealth and live a juicy life.

Kara prides herself on providing authentic, kind and thoughtful content on her blog, that tells the truth about how brown girls can strengthen their relationships with themselves and their money.

Learn how you can be happy, wealthy and brave over at

Claudia Russell

Jamaican Heritage, USA

Claudia RussellClaudia Russell believes that personal finance doesn’t have to be complicated, confusing or risky and is passionate about addressing the pressing problem of the lack of financial literacy affecting this generation’s communities of color.

She created Ms. Engineered Wealth to provide financial education that equips young professionals of color to increase their financial IQ and leverage their college degrees and high paying jobs to invest and build wealth for their own families and communities.

Get empowered, educated and informed over at

Kenishia S. Mais

Jamaica, West Indies

Kenishia S. Mais is a Jamaican entrepreneur and financial educator who is passionate about personal finance.

In 2013, after Kenishia’s entire financial life collapsed, she regained her financial footing and got her money back on track.

Out of that experience, she founded Thriving Dollars – a Jamaican-based digital community empowering 20- to 30-somethings to create their ideal financial lives.

Kenishia is convinced that with the right tools and resources, everyone can live a life they are proud of.

Find out more about the Thriving Dollars community at

Kara Perez

Dominican Heritage, USA

Kara Perez

Kara realized that her lack of financial education was crippling her when she found herself broke, unemployed and saddled with student loan debt.

She then made the decision to tackle her largest financial challenge: her student loans.

Kara became obsessed with increasing her financial literacy, and figured out how to pay off just over $25,000 in student loan debt on a $30,000 salary.

With the financial knowledge she gained and the empowering experience of paying off her student loans, Kara founded Bravely, a community that provides financial tools to help women bridge the gap between their dreams and their realities.

Learn how you can live your best life as a self-identified woman over at

Steven M. Hughes

Jamaican Heritage, USA

Steven M Huges After spending several years educating himself about money and turning around his own personal finances, Steven M. Hughes founded Know Money, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to creating money-savvy youth and young adults across South Carolina.

Know Money, Inc fulfills it’s mission through strategic partnerships, program development, financial events and workshops to build the foundation for self-sufficiency and generational wealth.

Steven is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and was named a Best & Brightest 35 and Under by Columbia Business Monthly and 2015 Global Shaper by The World Economic Forum.

Read up more about Steven and Know Money, Inc. at

Patrice C. Washington

Belizean Heritage, USA

Patrice C Washington lost her successful 7-figure business in 2008, then rebuilt her financial life by reconnecting to her purpose and reinventing herself.

She is one who believes in straightforward personal finance and founded Real Money Answers to provide tools and resources to help move the masses from debt management to money mastery.

On top of the tools and resources she offers on her website, Patrice is a best-selling author of three books and a featured money expert on the Steve Harvey Morning Show.

Start mastering your money over at

Cherryl Hanson Simpson

Jamaica, West Indies

Cheryl Hanson Simpson

While working at a leading financial institution in Jamaica, Cherryl Hanson Simpson started a personal journey to discover money success.

By learning positive financial principles, she transformed from a carefree spender to an avid saver and successful entrepreneur.

In 2008, Cherryl founded Financial Smart Services out of her desire to empower others towards personal and financial enrichment.

She has been featured as a personal finance columnist for the Jamaica Observer Online and is the author of The 3 M’s of Money: How To Manage Multiply and Maintain Your Money a guide on creating financial and entrepreneurial success.

Get into Cherryl’s smart money gems at

Natasha M. Campbell

Jamaican Heritage, USA

Natasha M Campbell

Natasha M. Campbell learned about the importance of money when she decided to strike out on her own at the age of 17.

Although she took the time to map out her financial needs, separating her wants from her needs became a serious challenge.

When her daughter was born, prematurely, at 27 weeks, Natasha realized she did not want her financial mess of maxed out credit cards, a non-existent budget and zero dollars in savings to be part of her daughter’s story. So she got to work, together with her husband, to pay off $18,000 in debt, save $16,000, improve credit scores and purchase a home, by their daughter’s 1st birthday.

Motivated by her own journey, Natasha created to empower mothers to live happier, financially healthy and fulfilled lives.

Wilson Muscadin

Haitian Heritage, USA

Wilson M

From an early age, Wilson learned valuable financial lessons from his father and built a solid foundation for financial decision making from the personal finance books that were required reading in his home.

Once he got to college, though, he quickly realized that many of his peers never learned or discussed how to manage money.

This fact was reinforced further throughout his 13 years in the financial services industry: the gap in financial education for young professionals continued to persist. To fill that gap Wilson created a forum for young professionals to learn and discuss money topics in simple language.

Join the discussion and “Reject The Status Quo” over at

Sandy Smith

Jamaican in the USA

Sandy SmithSandy Smith was in $121,000 of debt from her closed retail business, personal and student loans and owned absolutely nothing.

By establishing S.M.A.R.T. debt payoff goals, haggling directly with credit card companies, negotiating her own debt consolidation and leveraging a side hustle as an Amazon seller, Sandy was able to pay off $50,000 of her debt in less than two years, while being unemployed.

Throughout her debt payoff journey, she has used unorthodox methods, like opting out of Christmas gifts for her family and investing in rental properties with money from her 401k, to pay down her debt fast.

Sandy is on a mission to get herself out of debt and help others do the same, faster than they think is possible.

You can jump on board over at her website,

Who are some other Personal Finance experts in the Caribbean and Diaspora people should know?

~Melisa Boutin

The Student Loan Debt to Salary Ratio – What It Is & How It Works

The Student Loan Debt to Salary Ratio What It Is & How It Works

Using student loans to fund your education can be a worthy investment. After all, The George Washington University Center On Education and The Workforce found that a bachelor’s degree graduate earns an average of 84% more than a high school graduate, over a lifetime.

Still, when pursuing a higher education to take advantage this potential earning premium, there is a limit to how much student loan debt you take on.

This concept was totally lost on me when I was navigating the complicated process of financial aid and ended up graduating with massive student loan debt.

At the time, I thought any amount of money I borrowed would be worth the investment, but I have now learned that it’s not the case.

To avoid graduating with too much debt, the student loan debt-to-starting salary ratio is a good rule to thumb to use. In this post, I’ll explain what the student loan debt-to-starting salary ratio is and how to use it to estimate the maximum amount student loans you should borrow and how to improve your student loan debt-to-income ratio.

Student Loan Debt-To-Salary Ratio

The interest rate on your student loan is the amount charged on the loan, expressed as an annual percentage of the loan principal balance. You can determine the annual interest rate for your student loan from your loan promissory note.

The Student Loan Debt-To-Salary ratio is a measure of the amount of student loan borrowed for a college education divided by the expected starting salary after graduation.

The student loan debt borrowed should include all the loan funds used for your education. This means Federal and private student loans you and your family financed.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Use the student loan debt-to-salary ratio as a guide to borrower for your education wisely” quote=”Use the student loan debt-to-salary ratio to avoid excessive education debt” theme=”style2″]

Limiting Your Student Loan Debt-to-Salary Ratio

As a rule of thumb, you should limit your student loan debt-to-starting salary ratio to no more than a value of 1.

  • Student Loan Debt
  • _________________
  • Salary

  • 1

This assumes that you will repay your student loan in ten years with payments that make up from 12 to 15 percent of your income and the average of your student loan annual interest rate is no more than 9%.

How to Apply the Ratio To Your Major

If you are preparing for college or you are a current college student you can estimate the starting salary you can expect earn by using tools like the George Washington University Center On Education and The Workforce Economic Value of College Majors Tool or Comparably’s Salary Database.

Once you have an idea of your earning after graduation, then limit the amount you borrow for your education to that starting salary amount

The table below summarizes what the borrowing limit should be, based on the starting salaries for different majors, with data taken from The Economic Value of College Majors. George Washington University Center On Education and The Workforce, 2015.

College Majors, Average Starting Salary and Student Loan Borrowing Limit Based On Debt-to-Salary Ratio = 1


  • STEM
  • Health
  • Business
  • Social Sciences
  • Teaching/Serving
  • Career-Focused
  • Liberal/Arts, Humanities



  • $43,000
  • $41,000
  • $37,000
  • $33,000
  • $30,000
  • $30,000
  • $29,000



  • $43,000
  • $41,000
  • $37,000
  • $33,000
  • $30,000
  • $30,000
  • $29,000


Note. The starting salary amounts are listed in 2013 Dollars. Career-focused majors include, industrial arts, consumer services, recreation, communications, journalism, law and public policy, agriculture, and natural resources, per the George Washington University Center On Education and The Workforce, study.

How To Reduce Your Ratio

A student loan debt-to- salary of more than 1 indicates that the earnings, you can expect to make, is out of balance with the amount of debt you took on.

If this is the case, you can improve your student loan debt-to-salary ratio (i.e. decrease the ratio to no more than 1), in at least three ways:

1. Reduce the amount you borrow;
2. Secure a higher salary; or
3. Both 1. And 2.

Related: Apply these steps to conquer your student loan debt

While Option 1 one is only applicable for prospective and current students, increasing your salary (or side income) to improve your student loan debt-to-salary ratio and pay down student loan debt, faster is an option you can use even you’ve taken more student loan debt than you earn in a year.

Did You Graduate With A Student Loan Debt-To-Salary Ratio of More than One?

~ Melisa Boutin

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7 Personal Finance Books By Authors in the Caribbean & the Diaspora

7 Personal Finance Books by Authors In the Caribbean & Diaspra

Reading personal finance books is one of the key ways I increased my financial knowledge about saving, investing and paying off debt fast.

I was always able to learn new money concepts and money management strategies, from the perspectives, approaches and experiences different authors shared, on the topic personal finance, although it was never easy to find one from a Caribbean author.

Thankfully, that is no longer the case and I am happy to share 7 personal finance books by authors in the Caribbean and the Diaspora you should read.

Smart Money Rules: How To Secure Your Financial Future In A New Economy

By: Marie Deary, Grenadian Heritage, USA

Smart Money Rules Book Marie DearyIn her book Smart Money Rules: How To Secure Your Financial Future In A New Economy, Marie Deary helps you navigate the intimidating waters of personal finance in the new economy. This personal finance read is a “powerful, must-have manifesto” on how to budget to save, save to invest and investing the right way.

Add Smart Money Rules to your reading list to learn how to build the financial security you want for your life.

Stock Market Investing Mini Lessons for Beginners: A Starter Guide for Beginner Investors

By: Mabel Nunez, Dominican Heritage, USA

Stock Market Investing Mini Lessons for Beginners Book Mabel Nunez

Mabel Nunez found her passion for stocks and investing as a junior in college and wrote Stock Market Investing Mini Lessons for Beginners: A Starter Guide for Beginner Investors to teach others how to understand the stock market and start investing.

Learn how the stock market & individual stock investing works in an easily digestible and straight to the point way, with Mabel’s book.


Unmasking The Strong Black Woman: 16 Essays on How To Manage Your Emotional Health, Build Your Wealth, and Live a Juicy Life

By: Kara Stevens, Antiguan Heritage, USA

Unmasking the Strong Black Woman Book Kara Stevens

Kara Stevens is on a mission to help black women be healthy, wealthy and brave and wrote Unmasking The Strong Black Woman: 16 Essays on How To Manage Your Emotional Health, Build Your Wealth, and Live a Juicy Life as a resource that converges personal finance, feminism and self-help.

Make a change in your mental health, self-care, family relationships, finances and redefine strength, with the help of Kara’s book.

Life, Liberty N’ Property: A Guide To Successful Real Estate Investing

By: John Delia, Haitian Heritage, USA

Life Liberty n' Property Book John DeliaJohn Delia raised, managed and exited a $300,000+ real estate investment fund by the time he was 25 years old and shares his knowledge and experience as a millennial real estate investor in his book Life, Liberty N’ Property: A Guide To Successful Real Estate Investing.

Get the knowledge you need about real estate investing and a roadmap to your first income-producing real estate, here.

RELATED: 15 Personal Finance Experts In The Caribbean & Diaspora You Should Know

The 3 Ms of Money: How To Manage Multiply & Maintain Your Money

By: Cherryl Hanson Simpson, Jamaica, West Indies

3 Ms of Money Book Cherryl Hanson Simpson

 After taking her own journey to financial success, Cherryl Hanson Simpson, shares how she managed, multiplied and maintains her money. Find out how to overcome financial failure, and learn the steps to win in the game of money with  Cherryl’s book, The 3 Ms of Money: How To Manage Multiply & Maintain Your Money.




Student Loan Answers: A 7-Step Guide To Understanding Your Caribbean Student Loan

By: Melisa Boutin, Kittitian in the USA

Student Loan Answers Book Melisa Boutin

In my book, Student Loan Answers: A 7-Step Guide To Understanding Your Caribbean Student Loan, I share my first-hand experience with tackling my Caribbean student loan, and how Caribbean students can navigate the muddled college financing process, avoid lender mishaps and slash the high-interest cost of Caribbean student loans. Learn how to reap the benefits of your investment in higher education with Student Loan Answers



My Money & Me

By: Melinda Belle, Barbados, West Indies 

My Money and Me Book Melinda Belle

 Melinda Belle, knows firsthand how your mindset, emotions, and financial behavior can negatively affect your money. In her e-book, My Money & Me, Melinda helps you examine how your own behavior keeps your money from growing and how to set your finances on the right path. Start transforming your finances with a copy of Melinda’s book, here.  

What are other personal finance books by authors in the Caribbean and Diaspora to read?

~Melisa Boutin

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