Scholarship Mom Alert: $1,000 Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship

Merit-based college scholarship contests. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Merit-based college scholarship contests. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

This week’s scholarship feature shows not all merit-based scholarship contests require a minimum GPA. For the Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship, merit is demonstrated via a short 250 word essay. College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews has some Winning Tips to make your personal statement a compelling eye-catcher for the judging committee.

Monica explains that even if writing essays is not your favorite scholarship activity, students can “use an essay that they have previously submitted for another scholarship application or submit one they have written as a school assignment.” What a time saver!

Just be sure to honor the word count and other directions. I recently wrote “Think of application instructions as the map leading to the award treasure,” in my article The number one winning scholarships tip. So carefully read all scholarship details and Monica’s information to know exactly what to do to increase chances for winning.

Find Monica’s expert scholarship advice in her post:

Gen and Kelly Tanabe College Scholarship 

Good Luck to all applicants!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: 7 pre-college costs that can lead to big savings later

Turning pre-college costs into college savings

Turning pre-college costs into College savings

There is a plethora of articles about college costs and how to pay them but little mention is made about college prep expenses. College financial aid doesn’t cover these and they can sizably pile up. Pre-college expenses can cut into personal financial resources way before a tuition bill arrives and add hundreds, even thousands to the total cost of obtaining a higher education degree. Thinking about pre-college costs now can help families plan where they are most likely to get the best return on their investment and allocate their money accordingly. Here are seven pre-college costs that can lead to big savings during and after college:

1. Standardized tests have fees. The PSAT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests and ACT have set fees and students often take them more than once. The expense is there but so is the chance to get a break on college costs. High scorers may qualify for college scholarships. They also may be offered admission with more generous financial aid packages as compared to their poorer scoring peers. Although the list of test-optional schools is growing, many colleges still have SAT or ACT requirements.

2. AP and IB exams have fees. Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs charge students a fee for taking the exams. High schools often tout these as the most challenging and rigorous courses they offer. Doing well can impress college admissions officers by demonstrating college readiness. At many schools, this can lead to college credit and bypassing introductory college courses, both great college time and money savers.

3. Tutors have fees. Some libraries or high schools may offer free programs for individual subjects or test prep, but many tutors charge a fee for their services. If students need the extra help to pass a class or go to that next level, it may be the difference between getting into their college choice and qualifying for scholarships.

4. College visits can be costly. Depending on their location, visiting campuses can be a huge financial hit when they include lodging, meals and transportation. However, they can be the most influential reason for deciding student-college fit for applying and attending. When students do attend, families are one up on finding local stores offering student discounts, signing up for lodging and transportation loyalty programs, and knowing where to make hard to get reservations for crowded times like move in/out, family and graduation dates.

5. Colleges have application fees. This is where a good and succinct college list can pay off immediately. Weigh this against a longer list of greater possibilities but not necessarily better ones.

6. College consultants, financial aid counselors, and scholarship experts have fees. There is a lot of free information available about choosing colleges, writing essays, preparing for interviews, and filling out admission and aid applications but all this may not assist families with unique or difficult issues. A trusted advisor may be essential for them.

7. Student loans have fees and interest charges. Interest and fees add to the overall cost of the loan but federal and state loan forgiveness programs can turn all or a portion of borrowed cash into money that doesn’t have to be paid back. Check out the qualifications necessary like a certain career, length of time in the position and job location before considering borrowing to use as a powerful planning tool.

Note, there are fee waivers for qualifying low income students. But most will pay full fare so it is important to decide where to invest those valuable pre-college dollars and where to save the cash for college attendance.

Read Suzanne’s post: Scoring FREE Pre-College Costs

READ more:

This high school test means college money 

Getting a student loan? Check out forgiveness programs

How to pass the college affordability test (CAT)

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Scholarship Mom Alert: Donna W. Foss Scholarship

Essay-only scholarships tips. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Essay-only scholarships tips. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Two, that’s TWO different scholarships from one sponsor and there are multiple awards that increase your chances of winning. This week the focus is on the 2015 Donna W. Foss Scholarship Contest. Set your calendar to come back next fall for info about the 2015 Video Scholarship Contest, both courtesy of The Joe Foss Institute Scholarship Program because The Joe Foss Video Scholarship is now closed.

Want more details and ways to increase your chance for winning an award? Like how to address the essay as the only requirement for this scholarship? Do what I do and learn from College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews. She has the answers with her special Winning Tips. Read them all in her post:

Donna W. Foss College Scholarship

Good Luck to all applicants!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: How parents and students can be on the same page

Parents and the college-bound should be on the same page. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Parents and the college-bound should be on the same page. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

“Parents and children often think differently about money. They have differing experiences and points of view. They are at dissimilar life stages.” I said this referring to one of 3 essential parent-student talks before college. The truth is, parents and students are often on different pages on a whole host of issues besides college costs for these same reasons. For example, families may be at loggerheads with college choice and field of study that can determine future life styles including finances, location and opportunities. Disagreements also get magnified because there are so many important decisions to be made during the college process that affect the entire family. That’s where a different dialogue framework can help.

Even though parents and students can have different ideas and mindsets (teen brains are still developing), they can start on the same page. They both want the goal of student success. They can think as one by agreeing to the process and procedures for airing issues, too.

Have a formal agenda including old and new business, a routine time and place to meet, and a way to allot speaking time for participants. Mix business with pleasure by bringing a joke or playing a game before or after the parent-student conference to add some family fun.

Forming a parent-student team to address college prep issues in a business-like manner tempers emotions. It sets the stage for transition from parent-child discourse to parent-adult child communication. It won’t make family members agree all the time but it will create a habit of listening to each other’s position and understanding the reasons for each other’s views.

Gaining perspective and bonding from a fair hearing goes a long way and may even change varying opinions to being on the same page. Until the next topic comes up.

Read Suzanne’s post

READ more:

Prioritizing through the college maze

Wednesday’s Parent: Best ways to manage college prep time

Survey finds parent-child communication changes in college

Parents and college-bound emergency plan

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scholarship Mom Alert: The A&F Scholarship

Key is motivation. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Key is motivation. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Attention motivated students, take a close look at the A&F Scholarship. College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews explains, the scholarship sponsor “Abbott and Fenner want to award the scholarship money to students who ‘have the desire and ambition to succeed.’”

There are ways parents can help motivate their teens or give them the skills to self-motivate. Check out Wednesday’s Parent’s 5 rule-breaking ways to encourage and Using irony and a proverb as self-motivation for your teen.

High school juniors, seniors and current college students are eligible to apply for the A&F Scholarship $1,000 award. Monica details the other application requirements. Note, GPA is not one of them!

For all the info and Monica’s special Winning Tips, read her post:

Abbott and Fenner College Scholarship

Good Luck to all applicants!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: Sense and cents for college and retirement saving

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Developing dollars and cents saving sense. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

We all know when it comes to saving, it’s never too early to start. But life has a way of moving on with or without plans for college and or retirement savings. No matter where you are in the college process or your financial circumstances, beginning now or reevaluating an existing method makes great sense and cents. That’s because chances are costs have risen more than you expected. It’s also a warning to prepare children with the life skill of saving.

Forbes’ article, How To Save For Both College And Retirement, outlined recent surveys for parent perspectives about saving for both. Many think this is an an oxymoron. About half are saving less than past peers, plan to delay retirement, or use retirement savings for college. The goal of the latter is to avoid students becoming college loan victims like those trapped in the student debt crisis. But parents and students must remember there is no loan for retirement.

Forbes gives eight tips for how to manage savings for both college and retirement. This is something many millennials who watched their families suffer through the recession are doing.

Need more motivation to save? Below is an interesting Infographic about the cost of financial procrastination from Financial Engines, America’s largest independent investment advisor. “Our survey polled a nationally representative sample of adults ages 55 or older. The categories of household income of the respondents span from less than $35,000 to over $100,000,” according to a Financial Engines representative. Check out the dollar difference delaying can make and get started now. Time literally is money.

Read Suzanne’s post: Saving for College

Saving for College

READ more:

How to pass the college affordability test (CAT)

Wednesday’s Parent: Cost and loan, fearsome four letter college words

Too many lack this essential college-bound skill

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound. 

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

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Cost of financial procrastination Source: Financial Engines

Scholarship Mom Alert: Social media scholarship

Scholarship Mom Alert: Social media scholarship. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Scholarship Mom Alert: Social media scholarship. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

If your student is going to spend a whole lot of effort applying for scholarships, it makes great sense to find the ones that increase his chance of winning. That’s the premise College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews is working with when she recommends brand new scholarships. One example is The Marketing Certified Students Leading Social Media Scholarship. Chances for getting this award are increased because “this is a new scholarship, so there will be less competition right from the start,” Monica advises.

As always, Monica supplies the contest’s requirements along with her don’t miss Winning Tips. For this info and more, read her post:

Social Media College Scholarship

Good Luck to all applicants!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: 3 step plan to make deadlines an asset

3 step plan to make deadlines a plus. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

3 step plan to make deadlines a plus. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Deadlines are like a black cloud hanging over my head ready to rain on my parade. They cause me stress and anxiety. Missed deadlines in the college process can mean much worse, like loss of admission and funds to help pay for college. Using my fave phrase, making lemonade from lemons, I’ve come up with a way to make deadlines an asset instead of a liability.

I’ve timed this post in conjunction with the May 1 ubiquitous college decision day for admitted students but the plan applies for all students and their parents. Accepted students have to let colleges know if they are accepting admission offers or not, send in housing deposits, take college placement tests, and be ready for Move-In Day, Family Visit Days, etc. College-bound families have admission, financial aid, scholarship, and standardized test registration and test deadlines. Whatever stage in the college process you are, here is my three step plan to make deadlines an asset:

First, know your deadlines. Take out a calendar and plot them all. Add school, extracurricular and personal activities and events. Don’t get overwhelmed with a full calendar yet. It’s good to know the facts now than be unpleasantly surprised later. Besides, you are just getting started.

Second, prioritize needs over wants. Knowing the difference is essential when choosing between conflicting events and helps time manage preparation plans for what is left on the to-do list. Maybe it’s because I hate stress, but I believe it’s a benefit to be realistic about what can get done from the start than spread myself too thin so circumstances, not me, determine what is and isn’t finished. When extra time pops up, a crossed out event can always be added later.

Third, go back to the calendar and back track. Take each deadline, not event, and rewrite the deadline a few days ahead of schedule. That way you are planning on finishing before the actual due date and providing a just in case advantage buffer. Break each task down into smaller steps and block out time in your schedule to work on them. The earlier you start, the more flexibility you give yourself.

The revised list can be used as both a motivator and a reason to celebrate when an item is completed. Deadlines become the best assets when they have passed successfully. Reward yourself with some fun after meeting each one. You deserve it!!!

Read Suzanne’s post: Deadlines and College Prep

READ more:

Scholarship Mom Alert: Meet May deadlines for these scholarships

Here’s the dish on college deadlines

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Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.

Scholarship Mom Alert: Meet May deadlines for these scholarships

May scholarship deadlines. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

May scholarship deadlines. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

You are a super busy parent or college-bound student who is juggling a huge to do list with loads of deadlines. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone helped you out to sort priorities by putting together a list of upcoming due dates for scholarship applications? Go ahead and thank College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews for bringing ten scholarships with May deadlines to your attention. Read Monica’s post:

College Scholarships With May Deadlines 

She has made it easy to check May deadline scholarships out. Mark your calendars so you don’t miss out!

Good Luck to all applicants!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: Ins and outs for standardized tests

Ins and outs for standardized tests. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Ins and outs for standardized tests. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Standardized tests are under close scrutiny as parents, students, teachers, governments and colleges question which ones to take or avoid. Across the country, parents are forming opt out movements for Common Core testing in primary and secondary schools. More colleges are providing SAT and ACT test optional admission applications. However, standardized tests are being used as a ubiquitous measurement of academic performance. Money and preferential admission offers may be attached when colleges seek to reward high scorers and entice them to attend. Scholarship dollars and bragging rights go to PSAT merit scholars. College credit may be earned from AP and IB tests.

Criticism surrounds the frequency, length, and effectiveness of standardized tests. Parents worry about the stress they put on their children. Teachers are concerned with testing influencing classroom teaching. Many people wonder if tests accurately measure what they set out to do.

Bottom line, a lot is riding on test outcomes. When students take them, they should be well prepared to do their best. Reducing stress by familiarity with how the test is graded and what it is used for is helpful. So is training for stamina by taking past tests. On test day, students can enter well rested, fed and stocked with necessary supplies, leaving most of their anxiety behind.

Parents can help with test prep by finding study materials, creating a quiet work space, and making sure routine time is blocked out for study. Sometimes, tutors are the way to go. Test-taking is a skill that children will find useful throughout life when they take a driving test, college placement test, and employment exam. For motivation, explain the benefits of a job well done.

Add some family fun into test prep. For example, make a game out of using vocabulary words and enjoy meal time conversations. Be sure to celebrate accomplishments and have something to look forward to after the test!

Read Suzanne’s post: Test Prep-The Key to the College Kingdom

READ MORE:

This high school test means college money

Wednesday’s Parent: 7 standardized test survival tips

RECAP: 

Don’t worry if you missed any great insights from Claire Griffiths and the #campuschat crew. Tips were coming fast about how to decide which test to take (SAT vs ACT), the differences in the test, and some great info about the new SAT coming this October! Go to #CampusChat Recap 4/22: SAT vs ACT with Claire Griffith and if you have more questions, tweet them using #campuschat.

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Tonight is Wednesday’s Parent night (the fourth Wednesday of each month) on #CampusChat, Wednesday, April 22, 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will talk with Claire Griffith, manager and administrator of the Direct Hits PSAT, SAT, and ACT courses at DirectHitsEducation.com. Parents and students can also check out the fun to read Direct Hits Core and Toughest Vocabulary books. Please join @SuzanneShaffer and me-@pocsmom with our guest @directhitsfan and bring your questions and comments.

Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com/ and vice versa.