If you’ve got a child between the ages of 12 and 22, you know how difficult it can be to motivate him or her to want to apply for college scholarships.
Try this entertaining strategy, one that other parents are using with great success.
1. Give your son a meager allowance.
Make sure it’s just barely enough to cover his bare minimum life expenses. Set up an automatic bank transfer so that this amount goes into his bank account reliably, every two weeks.
2. List for your son all the purchases this money will have to cover.
“Son, we’ll expect you to use this allowance money to buy all your own school lunches, cell phone service, clothes, shoes, gas, football fees, school activities, and all your personal spending.” Add anything else to this list you can think of.
3. Then, wait for an emergency.
Teenage son: “Mom! Prom tickets are only available through Friday, and I forgot to buy mine! Can you please lend me $150 until the 15th?”
Mom: “Oh no! You’re out of money and can’t afford prom tickets? That’s awful! Emily will be so disappointed if you have to call off prom. I’d say this calls for breaking into your emergency fund!”
Teenage son: “Mom, I, uh—I don’t have an emergency fund. I haven’t saved up for that yet. Could you please just lend me $150? Just until the 15th?”
Mom (genuinely sad for him and wanting to help): “Well, I can’t allow you to incur debt for that. We don’t believe in debt in this family. But how about this? I will pay you $50 for every scholarship application you fill out in a quality manner. Do you think you could fill out three scholarship applications by Friday? I bet you could!”
4. Consider doing this starting soon after your child finishes 9th grade.
If you do so, you’ll allow your son (or daughter) to learn valuable life skills that will pay off for decades into the future. You’ll free yourself from having to respond to whiny requests for money every day, because your reply to every request will be, “Sure! Sounds fun! If you’ve got enough money to pay for that, I’m all for it!”
(There’s more detailed information on exactly how to carry out this “allowance” strategy in chapter 11 of my book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward.)
Remember, getting scholarships is just one small piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting kids through college debt-free.
Learn all the non-saving, non-scholarship strategies in this book:
You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon for free by going to:
(Tell your friends.)
(You can see the “Top 9 Questions Parents Are Asking Me About LAUNCH,” here.)
Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1-3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it – especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
Want even more help getting large numbers of college scholarships?
These additional articles I’ve written on this subject will give you tons of additional help:
Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 12 – 22? SHARE this post on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin right now.
What about you? What strategies have you found for motivating kids to want to apply for college scholarships? Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.
Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full time author, academic strategist, and speaker. Her writing and speaking help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report.