Scholarship Mom Alert: Hungry to Lead College Scholarship & 2 others

One scholarship application can be lead to more than one chance to win. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

One scholarship application can be lead to more than one chance to win. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Some scholarships offer multiple awards like a race with first, second and third place winners. One example is The Amana Leadership Scholarship ($2,500), The Hungry To Lead Scholarship ($2,500) and Leadership Recognition Award ($500). One application is an entry to all three.

College Scholarship Expert Monica L. Matthews has studied the eligibility and application requirements and is offering her special Winning Tips to those students interested in the food service or hospitality fields. Before applying, read her article:

Hungry to Lead College Scholarship

Good Luck to all applicants!!!

The Political Side of Student Loans

Warning sign to keep up with student loan law changes. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Warning sign to keep up with student loan law changes. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Please welcome the return of special guest Jenny L. Maxey, blogger and author about financing higher education with minimal debt and maximum opportunities. Read Jenny’s important post about how to keep up with the frequent changes in student loan laws and get involved beyond staying informed:

Summer seems to be the designated time of year to get down to student loan business on Capitol Hill, attempting to beat whatever impending change will go into effect on July 1st. In 2013, a new law was passed tying Federal Direct Loans and PLUS loans to the rates of the Treasury plus a fixed rate based on the type of loan. These rates are determined in the spring and then are fixed for the life of that loan. This summer, the U.S. Department of Education has made a regulatory change to help those in default calculate a repayment plan similar to those not in default using the Income Based Repayment plan, allowing some to have repayments as low as $5. Further, President Obama signed an executive order to go into effect December of 2015 that alters repayment plans to extend repayment in order to become more manageable, especially for older borrowers.

The changes come from all over – legislative, executive, administrative. How are you or your college-bound student expected to keep up with it all? Can you? Here are a few levels of activity to help you keep informed about the political side of student loans.

LEVEL ONE:  Maybe you and your college-bound student have better things to do than follow the ever-changing squabbles on Capitol Hill. However, it is important to be informed about the influence those changes can have on the debt you and/or college-bound student are taking on. Here are a few easy ways to keep up-to-date.

  • Before you sign the terms, make sure you understand what is in them. You’ll need to do this every year, but it’s only once a year.
  • If you don’t understand the terms, visit to get the most up-to-date information on government loans.
  • Speak with your Financial Aid office for additional help in understanding any changes.

LEVEL TWO:  If you have an opportunity to dig a little deeper, try these steps in addition to Level One.

  • Add a Google Alert. You can put in keywords such as “student loans” or “federal loans” and receive daily, weekly or monthly updates on what changes are being ensued. Learn how to set up a Google Alert HERE.
  • Do some bill tracking. While this only follows the changes made legislatively, you can follow the debates and where your elected representatives are hoping to steer the conversation. You can track bills HERE.

LEVEL THREE:  Do you want to do more than just stay informed? Get active!  Have an effect on the outcome. After all, it’s you and/or your college-bound student who are taking on this debt. Now that you know the news and are tracking legislation, you can email or call your state and local representatives and ask them where they stand and give your opinion on the matter. Your effort might make the difference in how the issue is amended or voted upon.


Jenny L. Maxey is the author of Barrister on a Budget: Investing in Law School…without Breaking the Bank. Jenny earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a J.D., and is licensed to practice law in Ohio. Although her book is geared toward pre-law and law students, most of the information can be easily applied to any level of higher education. Barrister on a Budget is available on and Barnes & Noble Nook. You can find more information and follow her blog on

How Academic Performance Affects Children’s Confidence

Confidence. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Confidence. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Part of raising independent, self-supporting children is making sure they have the confidence to thrive on their own, know who to count on and ask for help when needed. Alexandra Berube shares some keen insights about how education influences student self-esteem starting with kindergarten in her guest post. Well said Alexandra.


In my years as an educator, I have commonly found that students at all ages are good at hiding what they don’t know. It’s a basic human emotion to want to fit in with your peers and not let anyone see that you’re falling behind. I remember times myself in middle school and high school when I was too embarrassed to ask a question in front of the class and would just plod along, hoping to figure out the concepts on my own at some point. I remember in particular that I didn’t understand most of what was going on in my Pre-Calculus class, and I’m sure if you asked many adults, they would tell you the same; everyone remembers some class that completely baffled them, but their pride kept them from asking for help.

What affected me the most was my work with kindergarteners, because there is such a large range between skill levels at that age. Some students come in reading chapter books fluently, and some come in without knowing all of their letters. The ones that are behind immediately see what their peers can do that they can’t, and it makes them become more quiet and isolated. They often find opportunities to hide in the crowd so that no one can see their weaknesses. It is so sad and troubling as an educator to see the confidence of a child at such a young age already start down the path of self-doubt.

When I work with middle-schoolers, they know what their strengths and weaknesses are, and they know what they are “bad at.” There is no reason that an eleven-year-old should already have decided that they are bad at an academic subject. Of course there will always be concepts that are more difficult than others in each subject area, but at some point children internalize that they are just not going to succeed in certain areas, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They learn to compensate for their weaknesses by focusing on their strengths, but as a result, their weaknesses grow and grow from underuse. How many adults do you know that say they are terrible at writing, or terrible at spelling, or terrible at math? Ask any of these adults when they decided these facts about themselves, and I’m sure many of them will tell you that those roots lie very deep in their educational history.

It is so important to encourage children at every single stage of development that no matter how difficult a task or concept might appear to be, they can master it. Yes, some children will develop to be brilliant mathematicians, and some will demonstrate a natural talent for expressive writing, but there is no reason for any child to grow up feeling like they are impeded in some way, and that they can never move past this break in confidence to be successful in their future.


Alexandra Berube started Boston Tutoring Services, LLC., in January, 2010, while teaching her second year of Kindergarten in a small, inclusive classroom. Her background experience in test preparation, including ISEE/SSAT/ACT/SAT, led her to focus on these services in addition to academic subject tutoring. Personal attention and individualized instruction are the cornerstone of Boston Tutoring Services, and she seeks to guide and fully support every family through the process of working with her tutors. She only hires the highest quality tutors with educational degrees, teacher certification, and a superior level of expertise in test preparation. As a former teacher herself, with an M.Ed. from Lesley University, she believes that having a personal connection with parents is crucial to a child’s success, and understanding the value of an individualized approach makes all the difference.

Wednesday’s Parent: Must-know tricks and tips for successful college visits

Campus this way. Pjhoto by Wendy David-Gaines

Campus this way. Pjhoto by Wendy David-Gaines

Successful college visits don’t just happen, they are planned. That’s why this Wednesday’s Parent revisits the topic of visiting those institutions of higher learning to decide if they belong on the college-bound’s short list.

I gathered together six of my writings about college visits so families may know before they go:

Parent role in college visits

Visiting a college is a great way to evaluate a “good on paper” school but students and parents have different roles.

Taking a collegecation

If you enjoy mixing business with pleasure then you are going to love visiting colleges. It’s the best way to check student-college fit and get a vacation. I call the trip a collegecation (family vacay + college visit).

Top 10 questions to ask on college visits: Part 1

Parents and the college bound are ready to visit colleges but aren’t sure what to ask when they get there. Attending a college information session and tour are part of good college prep, but these school introductions are designed to market the campus and show off its perks…There are 10 top questions to ask and they reflect parent and student chief concerns for academic/nonacademic best fit. Here, in Part 1 of this article are the top five questions parents should ask on college visits.

Top 10 questions to ask on college visits: Part 2

While a college application is all about the student showing what he can do for the school, college visits should be about finding out what the college can do for the student. As parents and students set foot on campus, a million thoughts are churning in their heads but what are the most important questions to ask?…here are the top 5 for students:

Top 10 nonacademic reasons why parents and students visit colleges: Part 1

Counselors and colleges urge prospective students to schedule college visits as part of college prep to help them form a college list. Although both students and parents want to find the best educational fit, there are key nonacademic factors that can drop a college off the list…Here, in Part 1 of this article are the top five reasons for parents to visit…

Top 10 nonacademic reasons why parents and students visit colleges: Part 2

“Go visit colleges,” say counselors urging college bound students to get busy with their college prep. “It will help you decide if the school is a good fit.” Counselors are not just talking academics. They know there are nonacademic factors that can drop a college off a student’s college list faster than than their thumbs can text…here is Part 2 for students.

Read Suzanne’s post: College Visits and the Illogical.


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 to and vice versa.