Tag Education

Finding money for college

search for scholarships transparent and cropped

You may have thought you were done with writing essays and sending applications, but not quite yet.  Now is the time to look for scholarships.  And don’t get discouraged.  In this case, one more essay or scholarship application could mean a big pay-off for you.  A few more hours of your time could turn into hundreds or even thousands of dollars!   

 

College scholarships typically come from three sources: 

  1. The colleges to which you have been accepted. 
  2. Local community organizations 
  3. National or larger regional organizations 

 

At your College 

Most scholarships come from the schools that have admitted you.    See the scholarship tab in GuidedPath for your schools.  It lists academic scholarships offered to 8 or more students. 

 

Start Locally  

Local organizations are the hidden gems of scholarship money.  Although the awards are typically smaller in dollar amount, you also don’t have as much competition.  Many local scholarships are actually looking for applicants!  Churches, service organizations (like the VFW, or the Junior League), local charitable funds, even your parent’s employer may have scholarship opportunities.  The key is finding the information – who, what, when, where, why and how to apply!    

 

Check with: 

  • Your high school counseling office 
  • Parent organizations (PTA, Booster clubs, etc.) 
  • Your local library 

 

Expand Regionally 

Use your residence as a means to get more money for college.  Many states offer scholarships to top students.  Check to see what is offered through your state.  Check deadlines for any state scholarships you qualify for. 

 

Compete Nationally 

There are dozens of national scholarship search engines available.  Many are nothing more than a way to market credit cards or other products to you.   These are our recommended scholarship search engines.   

 

Take Action 

Add your college scholarship deadlines to your application plan.   

Review the scholarship tab for all colleges on your list and determine your eligibility for specific awards.  Add milestones or notes for the scholarships you are planning to apply for.

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Road Trip: Preparing for Spring Break College Visits

continents

Using your spring break to visit colleges is a great idea, but be aware of spring break schedules for the colleges you wish to visit. It’s best to see a college when students are on campus. Here are a few tips to prepare for your spring college visits. 

 

  • Create a College Visit Itinerary. Using a map, look at college locations and decide on an itinerary that fits within your given time.  Don’t worry if you can’t see all of the colleges on your list. Focus on some of your top choices and then plan other school visits that are within the same geographic area. 
  • Register for college visits online.  Once you have a list of colleges to visit, register for campus tours online with the admissions office.  Resist the urge to plan “drive through” visits.  An official campus tour takes more time, but gives you a better feel for the college/campus. And don’t plan too many visits in a day –  one or two per day is best. 
  • Review your priorities for a good college fit. As discussed in the blog  What is College Fit, fit includes 4 components; academic, social, emotional and physical.  
  • Learn the basics.  Look up the school’s size, majors offered, and other details that interest you. Your visit will be more meaningful when you know the basics.
  • Create a List of Questions. Write down your Top 10 Questions for each college visit.  Focus on what you would study and who would you study with. 

 

Take Action 

Use GuidedPath to find links to college admission offices to schedule visits. Take a virtual tour of a college by viewing YOUniversityTV videos from the “Tours” tab. 

 

Review the details on the colleges by clicking on the “Info” and “FISKE” tabs.  Watch for next week’s email: How to make the most of your college visits.  


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Check Your State Scholarship Deadlines

scholarship hourglass - transparent

Many states have connected their scholarship programs to the FAFSA. It makes it easy to apply for a state scholarship through the FAFSA, as long as you make the deadline.  Check with your counselor to see what the deadlines are for your state or region.  

Finding the Due Dates 

Some programs direct you to check with the state agency. Check your state for deadlines and steps you need to take to be considered for any state scholarship  

Take Action 

Use GuidedPath application plans to create a milestone/due date for state scholarships in an assignment. Don’t miss out because you missed a deadline.  

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Seven Tips for Acing the SAT


How can you ace the SAT? Here are 7 tips for you:

  1. Test Day Checklist.  Get a good night’s sleep before the test. Be sure you arrive at the SAT prepared with the right tools. See TEST DAY CHECKLIST. Be sure to bring a protein snack, a watch, and an approved calculator.
  2. Consider Using Score Choice. Consider waiting to send your scores until you see them. You can send them to selected colleges later.
  3. Guess. There is no penalty for wrong answers on the SAT or ACT meaning that the most important strategy is to answer as many questions as possible.  Eliminate as many answers as possible, then make a calculated guess. It won’t hurt your score.  If you see that time is running short on a section use the last minute to fill in as many bubbles as you can – you can add a few points to your score by simply guessing one more right answer.
  4. Brush up on Algebra 1 & 2.  The SAT emphasizes Algebra, with some Algebra 2 and Trigonometry.  Not much Geometry. The math section includes many word based problems.
  5. Pace Yourself. Remember you have two sections to do: Evidence based Reading and Writing, and Math. The optional essay section is at the end of the test. The test is 3 hours if you are not doing the essay section, 3 hours and 50 minutes with the essay. 
  6. Prepare for an Analytical Essay.  The SAT essay is 50 minutes long, optional, and focused on analyzing content. Gone is the persuasive essay. Prepare to support your analysis in your writing.
  7. Relax.  This is just a test. It shows your ability on a single Saturday. It does not define the rest of your life.  You will have a chance to retake it or take the ACT. You have been going to school for over 10 years. You know more than you realize. 

Take Action 

Review your testing schedule and keep track of test registrations. Add all your spring tests to your testing schedule. 

Registration links: 

ACT
SAT  

Ask at your school about taking a practice SAT or ACT test.

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Who’s watching your social media?

Alan Katzman, founder and CEO of Social Assurity, guides students on creating a winning social media presence. He is a pioneer in developing and advancing techniques to teach students how to use social media to build a compelling and reflective digital presence as a game-changing tool for creating academic and career success at all educational levels.  We’re giving you his top four reasons why you should be aware of how social media can impact your college planning. 

Reason #1: Admission Officers Are Looking at Your Social Media
Thanks to Kaplan Test Prep and its annual survey of college admissions officers, we know that at least 35% of admission officers in the United States looked at applicant social media during the 2016 admissions process. We also know that admissions officers are more likely to look when considering scholarships and when invited to do so by applicants. 

Reason #2: Since They’re Looking, Why Not Give Them Something to See?
College admissions officers have neither the time nor the interest to search social media simply to find reasons to reject qualified applicants. If and when colleges look, logic dictates they are looking to learn more about the applicant, opening the door of opportunity for the prepared applicant to make a strong impression and set themselves apart from other qualified applicants. 

Reason #3: The Best Offense is a Good Defense
Almost all colleges now have a prominent social media presence and encourage applicants to interact with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.  By optimizing social media to showcase their activities, interests, accomplishments, and service, applicants can freely and safely interact with colleges and may very well impress the right people as a result. 

Reason #4: Managing Social Media is an Essential Life Skill
Social media is here to stay and will continue to influence character and credibility assessments made by colleges, scholarship committees, and employers. Today, a thoughtful, transparent, and reflective digital presence across social media networks can help students achieve their academic and professional goals and aspirations.  

     

Take action
Review your social media accounts.  What would you like colleges or others to see about you? Want to do more?  Social Assurity offers online classes to get your social media presence right. 

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