Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to Use Summer Vacation to Find Scholarships

Although I fully believe students, teachers and parents need time off to destress and have a little fun over the summer, high school students would be wise to set aside some time during the next two months to look for scholarships. Depending upon the age of the student, thirty minutes to an hour each day could be devoted to doing this research. Doing so while other teenagers are goofing off will pay large dividends when it’s time to apply.

It’s helpful to create a routine. I find getting tasks out of the way early in the day is best. This leaves the rest of the day free for swimming, going to the movies or hanging out with family or friends. Students will want to create a journal or folder of scholarships they find. They should list the name of the scholarship, contact details, how much is being awarded and the requirements. If an application is provided, students could keep a copy in a file or on their computer.

Many scholarships are out there, but they won’t all be well suited for each student. Be sure to read the fine print. Avoid any scholarships or grants that contain loans of any kind. Work-study grants or scholarships will take away free time, but they won’t saddle graduates with decades of debt. The goal is free college; that means debt free. No loans. Don’t pay for information. Reputable colleges, universities and institutions do not charge a fee for information. Also, refrain from giving out your contact information at this point. You don’t want to be inundated with ads. Just search for scholarships and take notes about those that look promising.

You can start searching by looking at the websites of colleges you're interested in attending. You can also find information by searching the field you're interested in pursuing. Type in “scholarships and grants for students studying…..” Or, “scholarships and grants for future……. (engineers, doctors, lawyers, architects, software designers, teachers, dancers, artists, etc.)" in your search engine. But there’s another way to do this. You can use the efforts of other people. My Twitter account (@elizawallace27) focuses on free college. In addition to publishing tips on how to raise children who could qualify for massive scholarships, I retweet information I think will be helpful. I include tweets that announce scholarships or people who collect lists of scholarships. Looking through my twitter feed, therefore, could save time.

I haven't checked out these scholarships or grants in detail. I just want to make families aware of them in order to save time, and hopefully, money. If you find something of interest, record everything and do a little research to be sure the scholarships are real. Remember, those who do more, end up with more. While most teenagers won't start looking for scholarships until they're seniors in high school, those who start early will have an advantage. Play the game to win.

For more information, you'll want my new book, Free College Awareness, coming soon from Griffin Publishing and Watering Seeds. How to avoid needing college loans; available soon to families of Pre-K through High School students.

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