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.

Scholarship Mom Alert: Dave Ramsey’s Financial Literacy Challenge

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I absolutely love double benefits and this scholarship is a win/win for the college-bound. What better way for encouraging mastery of the essential skill of financial literacy than a chance to win college financing? Dave Ramsey’s Financial Literacy Challenge does both.

I wrote Too many lack this essential college-bound skill because financially illiterate college students are taking out student loans and the student debt crisis is impacting college graduates’ ability to buy homes and establish a desired lifestyle. The article includes my tips for taking action and how parents can help.

Financial literacy will help students when they apply for the Dave Ramsey’s Financial Literacy College Scholarship Challenge. College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews is highlighting this scholarship contest in her post:

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Literacy College Scholarship Challenge

Monica’s Winning Tips will also give students an edge to win one of the many prizes including a $36,000 college scholarship.

Good Luck to all applicants!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: Beating the double whammy of taxes and college costs

Double whammy of taxes and college costs. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Double whammy of taxes and college costs. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

The double whammy is hitting many college-bound families who are filing their federal and state taxes while dealing with the college bill. Both taxes and college costs are hard to figure out. Estimates can be way off and opportunities to get money back are often missed. Reuters and Money explain how this happens with tax credits and deductions and I’ll point out other pitfalls impacting college costs so you can be prepared to beat the double whammy.

The bottom line concern is many don’t receive what they are entitled to. Often that’s because parents and students don’t know the tax benefits exist, make incorrect choices, or wrongly don’t believe they are eligible. Still, it’s shocking that so many are letting money fly out the window.

“Only 42 percent of those polled in a Sallie Mae survey, ‘How America Pays for College 2014,’ said they used available tax breaks to help reduce college costs,” according to Reuters.

Read the full article and IRS Publication 970 to see if you qualify now or may in the future for the

  • American Opportunity Credit
  • Lifetime Learning Credit
  • Tuition and fees deduction
  • Student loan interest deduction

Beware some college-related expenses may not be counted in the above credits or deductions. Also, some things may raise income or affect the ability to get the maximum tax benefits like

  • Forgiven/cancelled loan
  • Scholarships

Read my Getting a student loan? Check out forgiveness programs which mentions the forgiven/cancelled loan amount might be considered income for tax purposes. Scholarships are usually tax-free if used for tuition and fees but what about if they pay for books and living expenses? Read Money to find out how to maximize the tax benefits when receiving a generous financial aid award, have low tuition, have a 529 plan, and when taking out large loans.

Doing the research is time-consuming but knowing your efforts may be well rewarded makes it worthwhile.

Read Suzanne’s post: Tax Filing Tips for Parents

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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.

Wednesday’s Parent: 6 key online learning questions

Online learning. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Online learning. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

I don’t have a crystal ball to foresee the future shape of education, but if I did, it would probably be a virtual one. That’s because online learning is increasingly permeating daily life from the home to the office to the classroom. It doesn’t take a seer to know families need to get comfortable with their choices to help in both college prep and choosing a college. Here are six questions about online learning answered:

What is a basic integration of online learning? Students may go to a specific online site to read or watch supplemental materials to a traditional classroom or tutoring experience. Access may be free, require signing up, or paying a fee. There is little or no personal interaction during the time online.

Can online learning provide personal interaction? Chat rooms, discussion forums and social media can provide correspondence in real time. Video presentations can add that live lecture vibe especially if the instruction is done via a live online session. However, unlike in a traditional classroom, each individual learner may be independent and out of sight.

What are MOOCs? The term MOOCs is an acronym for Massive Open Online Courses where thousands of students can attend “class” via their access to a computer. Students set and achieve their own learning goals. There may or may not be assignments and tests. They may be free or for a fee if taken for college credit. The degree of technical support may vary along with privacy and confidentiality.

What’s next in online learning? The college-bound can expect to have more online learning experiences in brick and mortar colleges as schools integrate this cheaper educational model to hold down costs. Many online for profit and non-profit schools exist already but the University of the People is “the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited, online university,” according to Forbes. Since there is no such thing as a free lunch, students pay for their exams, so a degree would cost a more affordable $4000, the article explains. Compare that to the highest higher education total cost of attendance for the single 2015-2016 school year which is on it’s way to exceed $70,000.

What are the major online learning pitfalls? Because of less or no face-to-face in-person interactions, students have to be more independent and self-motivated learners or they may drop out. They must find other ways to hone their social and soft skills colleges and employers crave. Participating in extracurricular activities, joining professional groups and working in internships can help fill the social gap to develop communication, leadership and teamwork abilities. The pressure is on to keep social media and other online interaction noses clean. The commercial value to students and their completion rate of online learning courses and degrees are unproven compared to traditionally earned diplomas in the business and education marketplace.

What are the major online learning advantages? Students who take MOOCs in high school and do well may stand out as proving they are college ready. They also have the opportunity of learning from a wide selection of interests with an instructor that may otherwise be prohibitive based on cost and location. Students will likely see more businesses like Starbucks and Walmart that will pay all or part of the costs for their employees to take courses toward a certain degree online only from a particular college.

Read Suzanne’s post: Should Your Student Consider Online Learning?

READ more: Parents may help their college-bound kids hone the top soft skills 

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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: ESA Foundation Scholarship Program

Avocation leading to colllege scholarship money for vocation. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Avocation leading to colllege scholarship money for vocation. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Turning an avocation into a vocation is a dream of many. Here’s an example of a scholarship that can help students who love playing video games pursue degrees leading to careers in Computer & Video Game Arts. The ESA Foundation is sponsoring thirty awards for qualifying women and minority students according to College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews.

Monica suggests several ways students can increase their chances for winning in her post: 

ESA Foundation College Scholarship Program

Read then reread her Winning Tips before applying! 

Good Luck to all applicants!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: How a joke helps no fooling college prep

How a joke helps no fooling college prep. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

How a joke helps no fooling college prep. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

College prep is no joke but sometimes all it takes is a joke to to better prepare for college. That’s because it is easier to figure things out when the mind is free of stress and more receptive to learning. Researchers have found that even a smile can help improve a bad mood. Think how helpful an aerobic guffaw can be!

The trick is to include a chuckle as part of an everyday routine. That way parents and students have a daily lifeline to perspective before making critical decisions about college.

Funny is all over if you know where to look. Here are nine ways to find your funny bone:

  1. Joke book
  2. TV Sitcom
  3. Movie comedy
  4. Funny video
  5. Relative or friend who tells funny stories
  6. Hilarious photos
  7. Pet/animal antics
  8. Funny quotes
  9. Online search

Enjoy your hearty ha-ha and be energized to find the best fit colleges and scholarships, improve student qualifications, and make good decisions.

Read Suzanne’s post: Don’t Be Fooled

READ more: Finding your happy in college prep 

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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: ScholarshipRed for Redheads

Scholarship for Redheads. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Scholarship for Redheads. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Some college scholarships are based on physical attributes beyond brain power. College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews is showcasing a great example. If your college-bound high school junior or senior has natural red hair, take a close look at ScholarshipRed. Monica describes the other qualifications along with her special Winning Tips in her post:

ScholarshipRed: The College Scholarship for Redheads

Monica uses her expertise and experience to analyze the best strategy for winning. Students will want to pay careful attention to her advice.

Good Luck to all applicants!!!

Wednesday’s Parent: Enrollment management and college admission

Enrollment Management and college admissions. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Enrollment Management and college admissions. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

While students are busy beefing up their qualifications to increase their chances for college admission, colleges are strategizing to find the most attractive candidates to send acceptance letters. That’s what enrollment management is all about.

“Enrollment Management (EM) is a strategy used to recruit and retain the best-fit and right amount of students to a college,” Enrollment Strategist Karen Full (see Twitter chat guest info below) explains. To do this, institutions of higher learning integrate data from several departments including “Admissions, Financial Aid, and Records, with Marketing and University Relations, Enrollment and Marketing Research, Career Services, and Employer Relations,” David Kalsbeek, vice president for Enrollment Management at DePaul University said. Colleges invest a lot of time, money and expertise to get students to apply and select those to attend who will raise the school’s status and keep it financially healthy.

Students don’t have the same resources to find colleges that will best help them achieve personal and professional goals. However, they can use some published data and statistics to help form a good college list. The college-bound can check out the graduation rate to see how long it takes the average student to earn a diploma. The longer it takes, the more time for college costs to accumulate. The retention rate will show the percentage of students that return the following year. Students can also investigate how many students go on to graduate school or find employment within six months of graduation.

Perhaps the savviest thing students can do is to be a smart higher education consumer when faced with slick advertising and marketing. Compare a college’s admission requirements with student qualifications to be realistic about admission chances. Visit good on paper colleges to see if they live up to expectations. Make the college choice about finding the most logical place for the next phase of education based on academics, programs, extracurriculars, finances and location. Then match the fave picks with the degree of connection felt on campus and in the surrounding area. Students are more likely to do their best when they are motivated and invested in the college they attend.

Read Suzanne’s post: Colleges Want YOU!

READ MORE:

Is college a love match or a consumer purchase?

Two necessary steps before searching for colleges

Learn how to participate in Wednesday’s Parent Night on #CampusChat!

RECAP:

Don’t worry if you missed any great insights about Enrollment Management and College Admissions from our chat. We have a transcript of #CampusChat Recap 3/25: Enrollment Management with Karen Full on storify

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Tonight is Wednesday’s Parent night (the fourth Wednesday of each month) on #CampusChat, Wednesday, March 25, 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will talk with Karen Full, former college admissions director, now enrollment strategist with Longmire & Company, about enrollment management and college admissions. Karen has counseled many students and families on choosing a college. Please join @SuzanneShaffer and me-@pocsmom with our guest @KarenAFull and bring your questions and comments.

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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!

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 http://www.pocsmom.com to http://www.parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com and vice versa.

Scholarship Mom Alert: Dr. Seuss’ Kid You’ll Move Mountains Scholarship

Soar to new heights and move mountains! Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Soar to new heights and move mountains! Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Dr. Seuss books spark the imagination of many a parent and young child and now the Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. is sponsoring a college scholarship with extra benefits. College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews explains there are three money prizes but the grand prize winner also is awarded a ride on the Goodyear Blimp and a Universal Orlando Resort vacation for four!

Monica also explains how students as young as five years old and STEAMing ahead (excelling in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, or Math) have a chance to win. Read her don’t miss Winning Tips in her post:

Dr. Seuss’s Kid You’ll Move Mountains College Scholarship 

Good Luck to all applicants!!!