Saturday, January 28, 2017

Smart Way to Get More Free $ for College

Colleges tell you what they want, but often students don’t hear what they are saying. Let me translate for you. They want you to take the hardest classes offered at your school and do well in them. Of course, not everyone is talented in many different courses of study; so this may seem impossible. It isn’t. Here’s how to look great to college admission and scholarship personnel.

Figure out your strengths. Perhaps math comes easy to you, or maybe it’s foreign languages. You might love science or find writing is your talent. Look at your grades. They will tip you off. If it's routine for you to get an “A” in a specific subject, then that’s your strength. If you don’t mind studying for a particular class, if it doesn’t feel like work to you, then this too may be in your wheelhouse.

Take the hardest classes in those subjects that administration will allow you to take. Enroll in extra classes in these areas, even if that means summer school. They will not overwhelm you, because for you they come easy. Here’s an example from my own life. I started French in ninth grade. In the tenth grade I continued with French, and added German. I continued both in the eleventh grade, and added Spanish. I made room for these electives by taking required subjects I didn’t especially like, but which were not tough for me, in the summer. I aced all of the foreign language classes and the others I took in summer school.

Why? Because I enjoyed the languages and didn’t mind studying. The summer classes were easy because I didn’t have anything else to study. You may not choose extra foreign language classes, but pick something you both like and don’t find difficult. Because I had taken and aced many foreign language classes, college personnel were so impressed; they didn’t notice I only took the required number of math classes.

Find your strength, talent or interest. Take as many classes as you can in these subjects, as far as you can and settle for nothing less than an “A” as your final grade. There are always creative ways to make more classes fit into your schedule. Find them. Do more of what colleges want and become the ideal college scholarship and grant applicant.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Avoid College Loans and the Pay Gap

In the past few weeks two news articles related to higher education caught my eye. The first revealed that the pay gap between college graduates and non-college graduates is at an all-time high. The second, given the information in the first, was horrifying. The UC Board of Regents has voted to raise tuition 5% per year for the next 5 years.

The disparity in pay between those with a college degree and those without one is causing more than just frustration. Families are falling behind in many areas of life. Home ownership, having children and even getting married have fallen victim to these lower wages. New jobs since the Great Recession have gone mostly to those with college degrees. The Economic Policy Institute reports that college grads earn 56% more than non-college grads. While the college-educated have seen an increase of 21% in employment since the Recession, employment of the non-college educated has dropped 8%.

At the same time, the cost of attending a four-year college has continued to increase. It hit a record high in 2016. In the last five years, public college tuition has increased 10%, and tuition in private colleges has increased 12%. Over this period, incomes of American families have dropped 7%. How are families going to put their children through college with dropping incomes and increasing costs? Take out more college loans? Not necessary.

There are millions of dollars in college scholarships and grants waiting for those who qualify. But, it takes more than just fulfilling the A – G requirements, having a high GPA and great SAT scores. Individual students must differentiate themselves from all the others who have completed college entrance requirements. They have to do more to become more, so they will earn more free cash for college. 

This is why I did a study of high school seniors who earned college scholarships. I determined the factors that went into some of them becoming ideal college scholarship and grant applicants. I’ve included their strategies in my book, Free College Awareness. It should be available later this month. You can check this link to see when and where to obtain the book. This way, you can avoid both problems described in this article.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

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