Friday, August 29, 2014

The Bucks Start Here

Now that most of us have had time to jump back into the new school year, it's time to start doing the school work that really pays off--hunting for scholarships!

I've talked with several high school seniors in the last week about college applications and plans for obtaining funds (aka "other people's money") to pay for higher education.  They are on the ball--are you?

Seniors:  This week ...
  • Work on completing your resume.  Keep it one page and be sure to list community service/volunteer hours.  Continue to update it as needed.  Make several copies.  
  • Ask five adults--boss, teacher, coach, pastor, friend, band director--to write a recommendation letter extolling your virtues and excellent character qualities.  Ask them to keep the letter generic enough that you can reuse it as needed (say "your organization" instead of "State University" or "Rotary Club").
  • Request two current official transcripts from your high school counselor's office. Make 10 copies and keep them in a safe place, preferably the Scholarship Notebook that you are compiling.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Easy Scholarship Drawings

Here are a few random but easy scholarship drawings you may want to try for.  Some of these may require registering with an email address. No high GPA or application essays required; just enter to win!

Monthly drawings; applicants should be eligible to receive 
federal student aid (Title IV) funding

Friday, June 20, 2014

Find Money In Your Family Tree

Here's an interesting scholarship I ran across.  It's sponsored by the National Genealogy Society and offers $500 for winning family historians.  The competition is divided into junior high and senior high age groups.  Preparing a genealogy for this Rubincam Youth Award would make a great summertime family project or homeschool study unit.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Spend Summer Days on Scholarship Essays

If your student just finished 9th, 10th, or 11th grade, they should spend their summer days wisely by hunting for scholarships.  Now is the time to update the resume with school activities, GPAs, and community service from the past school year.  Spend a few hours per week working with your teen preparing for the college and scholarship hunt.  Make them write essays--pay them if you have to!  To get you started, here's an essay competition from that changes topics each month.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Scholarship for Future Business Leaders is offering college students interested in business careers a $2,000 scholarship.  Write a short essay about a personal customer service experience.  Deadline is June 30.  For more information, visit 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easy Scholarship Application for Marketing Students

The deadline for the Marketing EDGE scholarship is fast approaching:  May 9.  This simple application is open to current undergraduate and grad students pursuing Marketing and requires a short statement declaring your interest or experience in marketing.  Minimum 3.0 GPA (transcript required). Multiple awards are available. Link: Marketing EDGE Scholarships.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

When There's More College Left at the End of the Scholarship Money

Sometimes the best-laid plans go awry and sometimes we just change our minds.  College Planning Partnership reported on a 2011 study which found that 60% of college students do not graduate in 4 years.  This means that a student's college education will probably last longer than the scholarship money does.  Nearly all institutional awards cover 4 years or 8 semesters, providing GPA and course load requirements are met.  The only exceptions I've seen are for architecture or engineering programs, which can run 5 years.   Even recurring private scholarships have similar time limits.

We are experiencing this in our family. Studying Marketing, our daughter decided halfway through her junior year that she wanted to pursue Physical Therapy.  She was too far into her Business courses at that point to change, but she had to add on several pre-requisite classes required by PT programs.  Consequently, she will continue through the Fall semester and graduate in December instead of finishing next month.   

Fortunately, we had a Plan B in place to help offset these costs.  And that's my message for all the families out there budgeting for college--you've got to plan for majors to change, for classes to not make, for schedules to be rearranged.  That's a real part of college and it costs real money, so look ahead and be prepared!

Monday, April 14, 2014

B. Davis Scholarship Ending Soon

Here's an end-of-season scholarship opportunity open for high school juniors and seniors and also for current college students.  The B. Davis requires an essay on a controversial issue facing high school or college campuses. Award amount is $1,000.  Deadline is May 26. Link: B. Davis Scholarship.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

You Don't Win Them All

The scholarship rush is quickly winding down.  I hope you have found success hunting for scholarships.  We have been scurrying around trying to find money for our son's summer trip to England where he will be studying at Oxford University. It's pretty pricey so we have applied for several scholarships. We were disappointed when he didn't win one we felt very confident about.

Then we got to read the comments from the judges: three judges with different opinions, but two ultimately voted no. Even though this proud mom didn't agree with some of the criticisms, it was beneficial to get such a rare backstage glimpse. Using their comments, we can strengthen his resume and his essay for future applications.

A week later he won another study abroad award, and this week we are mailing off one more application.  So the moral of the story is that you won't win them all, but keep trying. You certainly won't win any that you don't apply for.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Practicing What I Preach

Hello, neglected followers!  Hope you're enjoying all this wonderful cold weather, which I will greatly miss when hot August rolls around.  There are a few reasons I haven't written lately.  We were out of town 15 days over Christmas break, then I jumped back into teaching 5 college classes at two universities.  The last few weeks I've been juggling study abroad, grad school, and scholarship applications for my own kids, so I've been too busy to hunt for you.  So sorry.

I also updated our FAFSA applications.  PLEASE do this as soon as possible.

Scholarship season for Fall 2014 is beginning to wind down.  Most of the large corporate deadlines have already passed.  A few solid opportunities are ending soon:  DAR (check local and state chapters as well as national) and Jimmy Rane Foundation awards close next week.  Check with your prospective universities to see about scholarship applications. Today was the deadline for my daughter's chance to qualify for special awards available for graduate students at her university.

Happy hunting!