I have a student in Louisiana , planning to go to LSU for Biological Engineering. He has a 4.55 GPA and is as sharp as a tack. He has applied himself, pushed himself and now, he is ready to go to college; he will be the first in his immediate family to graduate from college. His dad works long hours to support a family of 6, and he has done that for nearly 20 years. Tonight he sounded despondent, I asked why he was so discouraged, he said that he was so disappointed about scholarships. This young man’s future may hinge on the ability to get scholarships because his dad makes just over $80k per year. This salary was just enough to make it through the years, put a roof over his kids head, and now his son has a chance at graduating from college, and it may be just out of reach.
I want to offer just a few pieces of advice from ScholarshipHelp.org
- You must to be able to organize and prioritize
- You must be able to write about a variety of topics that may or may not be exciting to you in a fluid and thoughtful way, demonstrating that you are a scholar or would like to be a scholar.This may be the most difficult part about becoming a successful scholarship winner. However, we know that with some help, you can do it.
- You must understand yourself well enough to create a compelling portrait of who you are. You must understand your audience well enough to be able to position your skills and strengths as deserving of their support.
Knowing yourself takes more work than writing down a list of extracurricular activities. But it can start there! You might find that with some help, and some of your own introspection, you will be able to find and apply for some of the best scholarships out there, and get them!
A few more tips from CollegeLifePlanning.com are:
- Start with local searches: Foundations are often looking for worthy candidates for scholarships int heir own backyard, you may find some great scholarship help from businesses and organizations in your area- start there!
- When you are doing a Google (or Bing) search, get specific. If you type in the word, “Scholarships” you get “About 61,400,000 results [in] (0.11 seconds) “. If you some specifying words like, “lsu scholarships for biological engineering” you’ll find “About 18,700 results [in] (0.09 seconds)” This will help narrow your search significantly. You can clarify further by putting [“”] around specific text. For example, “scholarships for Louisiana students” will find you “About 3,990 results [in] (0.20 seconds)” At the end of this, you might actually apply for all 3,990 of those!
- Don’t give up!
- Find similar scholarship contests in similar areas and write essays that can be “grouped”. This doesn’t mean turning in the same essay for each one, but you can write “themed” essays that can be slightly modified for specific scholarship contests (or projects) and submit them for multiple scholarship opportunities.
- Have someone else read through your scholarships! Finding grammatical errors can be an instant turn off, and I am the WORST at this. I am a horrible speller, and I don’t slow down to check my work either- having someone else to read over and check for errors could be a huge asset for you!
These are just a few tips that you can learn from, and hopefully it will EARN YOU MONEY FOR COLLEGE! Let me know if I can do anything to help you in your quest to be debt free and pursuing your college dreams!
We released the first CAP workshop to a group of great teens this past month, they paid between $20 and $30 for this first release course and they helped us to work through some of the bugs and concerns and questions that we had about the course. College Admissions Prep is an online, 4-week college prep course that students direct themselves through to learn about how to prepare for college. It is cheap, and an easy way for parents and students to get ready for college admissions!
But was it a success?
Well, yes and no. Every student I talked to said they loved the content, what they read and how they read it was funny and easy to read. They even said they learned something they didn’t know before about planning for college. They liked the videos, they liked the discussion posts, and they felt that they learned something valuable as a result of taking this course.
On the other hand… Only about 35% of the enrolled students participated in the discussions, and only 1 in 14 completed the final assignment, a short essay, geared at helping students get ready for the college admissions essay. She wrote an excellent essay by the way and, with some minor tweaking, will be a great college admissions essay!
So what’s the problem?
It’s a question of motivation. Why would a group of kids complete an online course helping them get ready for college? That’s an excellent question, one that I haven’t effectually answered in full. However, I know it is a multifaceted issue. First, parents must be willing to help motivate their kids. One student actually suggested that if I raised the price, parents are much more inclined to care about it and thus provide that parental motivation teens often need. For example, “I paid [insert expensive amount here] for that college prep course and you’re going to do it whether you like it or not!” Adding an explicative or two might depend on the family you come from.
Truly, many students are genuinely busy, so another route I am researching is a way to get teachers on board by offering extra credit or some other external motivation that may help increase student involvement. Do you think that would help?
Lastly, we are and will continue to offer fun drawings for iTunes gift cards, and increasingly more expensive tech toys like iPads to help motivate students that may not have the intrinsic drive to succeed.
So, which is it?
It was a huge success in my book, one that I have learned from. One that I am growing from and have already made huge improvements and set some more realistic goals. If you were waiting to find out what would happen with this release, there you go. For what it’s worth, I’d like you to take a risk and have your kids sign up for the course, there is a 110% money back guarantee if you don’t like it, and really- you will probably learn as much as your kids will; so make the investment and start preparing for college NOW!
For the Top 10 Tips to College Planning, enter your information here:
College Admissions Prep (CAP) The price goes up on Tuesday, 2/22/11, register NOW!
CAP is a 4-week Online College Admissions Prep Workshop that will present the key pillars of the college admissions process- With just 90 minutes per week (30 minutes three times per week) you will learn the full scope of the college admission process through interactive discussion forums with other students & CLP advisors, lessons, video presentations, (short) quizzes, and essays. In this class you will actually apply for specific scholarships, and learn how to write essays you’ll find on the Common Application.
The “college admissions resume”—often called a “brag sheet”—lets you show colleges what you’ve been doing during high school. Additionally, the resume also serves as a valuable resource for the people writing your recommendations. You should include a resume with your application if a college requests one, or if the application itself doesn’t offer enough room to describe all your involvements.
To create a resume, follow the basic recipe below. After your “Heading” and “Education,” feel free to rearrange, rename, combine, or omit categories so that they make the most sense with your unique background. For example, you can leave out “Special Projects” if you have none, or create two categories from “Experience” into “Work Experience” and “Volunteer Experience” if you have a lot of both.
At the top of your “brag sheet”, include your name, address, phone number, and email address (professional email only). Include any tracking numbers (i.e. SSN, Student ID number etc) that the college may have requested be placed on all incoming documents as well.
List your high school(s), including location and years attended. Consider specifying your GPA and class rank (only if you rank in the upper 3/4 of your class. You should include academic awards here too.
Think about everything you’re involved in: clubs, sports, art, music, drama, journalism, religious groups, and so on. Then list these extracurriculars, with the most significant or most recent at the top. (If this list seems overwhelming, consider grouping it into sub-categories like “Music” or “Sports” first.)
For each item on your list, do the following:
- Briefly describe
- Specify the time of involvement (e.g., Fall 2009) and the amount of time spent (e.g., 4 hours per week).
- Mention any leadership roles. You can also include awards here, or list them in a separate “Awards” section.
- Put your achievements in perspective whenever possible. For example, write, “This team is ranked in the top 10 for California” or “Only three students at Liberty High School received this award.”
This category is optional and gives you a way to include one-time activities, like a science fair project or a weekend working for Habitat for Humanity.
Describe both work and volunteer experience. Don’t forget non-traditional work- and don’t be afraid to think outside the box, such as babysitting or helping out with the family business your mom tried to start in 2nd grade but it didn’t go anywhere. For each item, include:
- job title
- name of organization
- and your job description.
You are free to mention any special skills (Ham Radio Operator), trips (mission trip with church for philanthropic support), interests (17th century art), or hobbies (surfing) that are important to you.
- Keep the resume to one page if at all possible- less is more.
- Don’t include activities from before high school unless you’re still doing them or you have received exceptional recognition.
- Ask your parentals if you’ve forgotten anything- they know you better than anyone.
- Be sure to include a professional email address.