Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Trade Free Summer Time for Free Money for College

A long time ago, when a semester of college cost about the same as a week’s worth of groceries for a family of four, students didn’t spend much time applying for scholarships. They didn’t need to, even college textbooks were inexpensive. Those days are gone. Students and their families need to start looking for scholarships and grants and applying for them much earlier. Some college scholarships are even awarded to children in elementary and middle school.

So if you’re in high school, and you haven’t applied for free money yet, just know someone else has. If you don’t get started now, free money will be harder to find. But don’t panic quite yet, (unless you’re a high school senior). The calendar is trying to help you out.

At the present time, most of US schools are on summer vacation. Thousands of students are home, since their schools are closed. I’m sure many of them are playing video games, watching movies or texting friends. The sharpest ones, however, are using this free time to find free money. Those are the students who see free time as an opportunity, and use it to find and apply for college scholarships.

Each high school has at least one counselor or clerk who is the most knowledgeable when it comes to everything college. Make friends with this person and find out as much as possible about scholarships and grants. You might even find he/she is still at school right now. If you want help making a list of scholarships, call. Use your free time (weekends, holidays, summer vacation, etc.) to apply for any scholarships that look good.

Creating a plan will allow you to take advantage of found time. While others are bored, you’re looking for gold. While they’re hanging out at the mall, you’re finding free money for college. Find and apply for as many local scholarships as you can. Apply for those offered by your colleges of choice too, of course. Quickly apply for any huge scholarships you find offered by foundations and companies.

Use any source available to you. There are many scholarships listed online. Go to my Twitter feed, @ElizaWallace27, and you’ll find several scholarships I’ve come across. Follow the links to the Twitter accounts of people who focus on scholarships to find even more. Be sure to check out any scholarship you find before applying. Make sure it’s real, still available and will cost you nothing but time. Then, go for it. Repeat this process over and over until you’ve graduated from college debt free. 

To learn more, you'll want my new book, Free College, on Amazon (Click Here to Buy). It will help you avoid needing college loans; it's for families of Pre-K through High School students.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer Scholarship Strategies

Earlier I wrote about the most important thing to do over the summer to help students earn lots of scholarship money for college. It’s to take college enrichment courses. To read that article, Click Here. Students who win the most scholarships have taken many such classes.

But there’s another thing high school students and graduates need to do this summer. I’ll use my grandsons to illustrate. Last week my oldest grandson, Michael, graduated from high school. He’s already been accepted at a college nearby. He picked this college for three important reasons. It’s accredited. It offers coursework in the major he wishes to pursue. It’s the least expensive option open to him. There’s a bonus, however. It’s super close to home, which will allow him to continue sleeping in his own bed and eating his parents’ food.

This summer, he’ll work at a local restaurant and saving this money. He’s also continuing to apply for college scholarships. His minimum number is three per week. This morning I shared four with him. I found them on Twitter. I follow several people who routinely post links to scholarships. Since I don’t want him to need college loans, I send him the ones for which I believe he'll qualify.

I also gave him a tip. Scholarships for large sums of money are great, but attractive to many. Although I continue to send these to him, I suggested for every large one, he apply for two smaller ones. They're easier to win. When I was with him last week, he confessed he had made a mistake. After he was accepted at his target university, he slowed down applying for scholarships. Yikes.

I explained being accepted for college was like having food in the shopping cart at the supermarket. Very soon he would be at the checkout, and someone would ask him to pay. He’ll need the money. He understood the analogy and promised to get back to applying for at least three each week.

 A couple of days later, I cornered his younger brother, Nicolas. I asked him if he had figured out what he wants to do after high school yet. He’s still undecided. He loves drama and art, but is excellent in math. I reminded him no matter which way he goes, he’ll need education or training after high school. He told me he thought it would be smart to start collecting money to pay for it. Right.

I suggested he apply for college scholarships. Whether he decides to be an accountant or an actor, he'll need the money. He requested I send him scholarships I find online. I agreed as long as he promised to apply for at least one each week. After a few weeks, I’ll hint it would be smart to up that to two each week. Once he’s seen how easy it is, I’m sure he will.

His brother also promised to share any scholarships I send him with Nick. I let him know not to share ones he’s applying for, since his younger brother has more time than he does.

Summer is for fun, but there are enough hours in the day, days in the week, and weeks in the vacation to peel off a few hours here and there to insure financial freedom after college. More than forty million Americans owe student loans. I don’t want my grandsons to be two of them. They’re applying for college scholarships this summer. How about your kids and grandkids?

To learn more, you'll want my new book, Free College, on Amazon (Click Here to Buy). How to avoid needing college loans; for families of Pre-K through High School students.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Summer Scholarship Challenge for High School Students

Although many students want to go to college, few have the financial resources to do so without scholarships, grants or loans. I’m completely against loans, since they have a tendency to destroy a graduate’s future. That leaves grants and scholarships, but they don’t magically appear. Someone has to apply for them.

When writing my book, Free College, I realized I didn’t complete many chapters without having a specific goal, with a time limit. Once I set this up, the chapters almost seemed to write themselves. This could be true for scholarship and grant applications too. I suggest setting up a routine for finding, filling out, and submitting college scholarship and grant forms.

To this end, I propose a challenge over the summer. For most students, this means eight weeks. For others, it may be more. Whichever is the case for you, pick the number of applications you wish to submit during this time. They will all be completed online, of course, so you don’t have to worry about offices being closed. My suggestion is a minimum of three per week, better yet, set your goal at four or five.

You’ll still have time for visiting with family and friends, watching baseball or going to the movies, and eating lots of hotdogs or pizza. Discuss your family’s travel plans with your parents in advance. Block this time out on a calendar (you can print templates online for free). Then block out your sleep schedule. You’ll do a terrible job if you’re sleep deprived.

You now know when you have free time for meeting this scholarship/grant application challenge. Use a red pen to outline the times you are allotting to find, complete and submit your applications. If you have already filed at least one, you know how much time you’ll need for each. The average student takes about an hour, after the first one.

Sure, vacations should be fun, but wouldn’t you dedicate a few hours of the 1344+ you have over your summer vacation if doing so might result in being awarded thousands of dollars for college? Go ahead and do it. I dare you.

To learn more, you'll want my new book, Free College, on Amazon (Click Here to Buy). How to avoid needing college loans; for families of Pre-K through High School students.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

How to Stand Out When Applying for College Scholarships

Only 20% of U.S. students are enrolled in foreign language classes at the present time. In four states, California, Texas, Florida and New York, more than 600K students are studying a second language. In just eight, Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Georgia, between 300K and 450K are enrolled. This is alarming for many reasons.

For students who want to earn more scholarship money for college, however, it’s good news. In order to rise above the other students applying for college and/or college scholarships, applicants need to do more and become more. The following strategies create a simple way to make this happen.

The first year your school allows you to take a foreign language class sign up. Pick a language that's not spoken in your home. This will show college evaluators that you are not taking the “easy way”. Continue studying this language through high school. In your sophomore year add another foreign language to your class schedule. If you speak a second language at home, this is a good time to make it official. You might even be able to test into a higher level, rather than starting at first year.

The first foreign language you study should be one that could help you in your future career. Do some research to find out which language offered by your school is most likely to be required in college for someone with your career goals. The second language (if not a home language) could be another related to your area of interest or perhaps a hobby. If you love food, then add French. If you enjoy science, study German. But remember to continue studying both languages until you have completed at least three years (at the high school level) in each.

Few students of the 66% of high school graduates who try for college do this. Most take the minimum suggested. If you take a few required classes in summer school, you’ll have plenty of room for extra language courses in your class schedule each year. This is an easy way to get noticed by scholarship committees and earn more free cash for college.

To learn more, you'll want my new book, Free College, on Amazon (Click Here to Buy). How to avoid needing college loans; for families of Pre-K through High School students.

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