Thursday, November 29, 2018

How Students Can Be Happy for the Rest of Their Lives

Parents and school counselors often encourage students to take advanced classes in every subject. This might look like good on a transcript, but how does it make students feel? Are they overwhelmed, or inspired? Be careful to avoid the first emotion while boosting the second.

I’m a perfect example. In my case, I have loved words and grammar since I was little. Numbers, however, seem to slip through the cracks in my mind, especially zeroes. I don’t know why, perhaps it's cultural. When I grew up, girls were told they were bad in math and good in storytelling. I guess I fulfilled this prophesy. 

In the ninth grade we were told to pick a foreign language class. I chose French and continued studying it through college. In the tenth grade I was instructed to select an advanced math class, since I had completed the required courses already. My reply was, “Can I take another language instead?” Lucky for me, the answer was yes. I added German to my schedule and continued studying it happily through college. 

I kept adding languages and avoiding courses I did not enjoy. The result was happiness. I liked my classes, even when they became complex, and competition from foreign students grew intense. I graduated college with a degree in German, French and English, and taught them for over 40 years. If I had been forced to take advanced math instead of the extra languages, what would have been the result? I’m sure it wouldn’t have been a successful career teaching languages. There were times where my abilities in multiple languages even granted me a job over someone with fewer language skills.

Apply my example to any student. Take the required classes in every subject, but push harder in courses you enjoy. Go to summer school or the local community college to eliminate required subjects of lower interest. Then, there will be room for more classes in your strength. Not everyone is into words. Some students love music, math or science. Whatever the strength, talent or interest, feed it, and watch it grow. Imagine having a career in something you love. As they say, it won’t feel like work. 

Picking the right courses will help students be happier and more successful in secondary school and earn far more scholarship money for college. For more information on college planning and scholarships, you’ll want my new book, Free College. It’s for families of Pre-K through High School students.  Buy it now from Amazon,

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Gift Ideas to Help Students Be Successful and Win More Scholarships

Often when meeting parents at Back to School Night, they asked me what books they could give their children for Christmas, Hanukkah or on their birthdays to help them be more successful. I loved this question, and created a list of gift ideas. Here’s the list and the appropriate age for each book:

1.   Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey – Age 13
2.   Personality Plus by Florence Littauer – Age 14
3.   The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz – Age 15
4.   Free $ for College for Dummies by David Rosen and Caryn Mladen – Age 16
5.   The Blue Zones of Happiness by Dan Buettner – Age 17
6.   The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley – Age 18

Of course, it would be unethical to suggest families buy my own book, Free College, if I was still in the classroom, but I’m not. You should buy a copy if you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle of a Pre-K through high school student (college bound or not). It contains a proven step-by-step guide to help your kids earn more scholarships and grants. Buy it now from Amazon,

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Photo credit: Google Images

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Thanksgiving Holiday Scholarship Challenge

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 upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. For most students, this means four days. For others, it may be five days. 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 one per day, better yet would be to double or triple that number.

You’ll still have time for visiting with family and friends, watching football or the Twilight Zone Marathon, and eating lots of turkey or ham. 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 ten hours of the 120 over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday if doing so might result in being awarded thousands of dollars for college? Go ahead and do it. I dare you. 

For more helpful scholarship information, you’ll want my new book, Free College. Buy it now on Amazon, Great for families of Preschool through High School students.

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Photo credit: Google Images

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How to Improve Your Child's Scholarship Chances

I've created a short video to explain how you can help your children earn more free cash for college. 

If you'd like to buy a copy of my book,  Free College , it's on Amazon. 
Click HERE.