Whoa! Slow Down on Applying for Scholarships!

I recently read an article by a well-meaning man pushing kids to apply for more college scholarships.

“Give up all your free time!” he said. “Come home every day and put in an hour or two applying for scholarships!”

This sounds good in theory, but in reality–no kid on earth is going to do that.

My advice to students is very different.

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“Make a workable, strategic plan,” I tell students. “Apply for only ten (10) scholarships each year, starting in 8th grade and continuing all the way through grad school.”

Why do I limit scholarship applications in this way?

1. Ten scholarships in 12 months is doable. A kid thinks, “I can knock out 10 scholarships in June and be done for 11 months.” The feeling of being done is a great feeling.

2. The feeling of never being done, of never having done enough–of trying to move a mountain with a teaspoon–is energy draining and exhausting. It makes kids want to avoid applying for scholarships altogether.

3. Many kids will realize, all on their own, that filling out scholarship applications is not that difficult. Once the 10th one has been filed, many students will keep going–applying for even more.  If they don’t though, that’s OK. They can be done.

4. Kids quickly do the math. “If I apply for 10 scholarships every year starting in 8th grade and going all the way through grad school, that could be 80 scholarship applications in total. A huge accomplishment! And really, not that difficult.

(Do you think there are no scholarships for 8th graders? Just google “scholarships for 8th graders.” The money younger students win will be held for them until they need it.)

5. If your child is already in high school or already in college and just now thinking about applying for scholarships, that’s OK. As long as a student has some college or grad school left, it’s never too late to start applying for 10 scholarships a year.

For further help, read these posts I’ve written on finding and applying for scholarships. There’s a ton of good information here:

Looking for Scholarships? Here are 1.5 Million of Them

Top 10 Ways to Help Your Kid Rake In More College Scholarships

Hilarious Idea Makes Kids Eager to Apply For Scholarships

 Parents, be sure you know every way possible to keep college costs down without getting scholarships.

Getting scholarships is a relatively small part of the picture when it comes to getting kids through college debt-free. There are many, many other strategies that parents can use that can end up being easier and more effective — even if they can’t save up a penny.

Learn about all the debt-free college strategies that have nothing to do with scholarships in this book:

You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon for free by going to:

bit.ly/burlowski

(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.

Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 12 – 24? SHARE this post on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn right now.

What about you? What are your favorite places to look 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. She also helps students apply to medical school at her website GetIntoMedSchool.com. You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.

TONIGHT! This Free Event Could Save You TONS on College Costs

Ideal for Families With MIDDLE SCHOOLERS

Your kid’s in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade?  It’s time to set him or her free to feel jazzed and excited about college. Plus — as a parent– learn 8 things you can do right now to keep that kid’s future college costs low.

live event in Minneapolis

 

I’ll be covering all this in this free live event in Minneapolis tonight, January 10th, 2017.

Give your middle schooler (or high schooler!) a huge jumpstart on college.  Bring the kids and join me tonight for a free live event sponsored by Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis.

I’ll be covering these important topics:

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Want More Scholarships? GPA Matters Less Than You Think.

You’d love for your college-bound teen to get more scholarships, but you worry that his GPA just isn’t high enough. Am I right? Well, worry no more.

Good news. There are thousands of college scholarships available to students with GPAs as low as 2.50.

I’ll give you tips for finding more scholarships to apply for at the end of this post.

The question for today is: Besides high grades, what can your college-bound teen do to make himself or herself a powerful, attention-getting applicant who will get more scholarships than most other people?

The answer might surprise you.

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Looking for Scholarships? Here are 1.5 Million of Them.

A few months ago, a wonderful mother wrote me, asking how she could find scholarships for two kids who are both in college right now.

My reply to her might help your family too.

Mary,

I’m so glad your kids are going to be applying for scholarships while they’re in college. That’s a fantastic plan! My recommendation is that students apply for ten scholarships every year starting in 8th grade and going all the way through graduate school. 80 scholarships in total if possible!

Here are 5 great ways I can think of to find scholarships to apply for.

PSEOstudents

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“A Consultant Told Us NOT to Apply For Scholarships…”?!

Actual Email I Received From a Mom

In June of 2016 I received this email from a mom:

“Jeannie, I’ve been to 3 of your classes and love hearing you as well as reading your information. I value your opinion.

We have recently met with a person who we could pay to help our daughter navigate sophomore through senior year with FAFSAs, scholarships, choosing schools, etc.

I asked many informed questions because of the information you have taught me. Overall, he agreed with your stance on many things. However, he did say that applying for many scholarships early (i.e. middle school and early high school) can hurt the student’s chance of getting money from the institute they wish to attend. (Jeannie’s emphasis.) He said that he finds schools for students based on their interests/skills/location, but also who will give them the most financial aid. His take was that trying early for scholarships uses up a lot of time with little success, (Jeannie’s emphasis) and any that are won must be reported, thus decreasing financial scholarships/offers from the school of their choice later. (Jeannie’s emphasis.)

I am curious about this since we have been gearing up for searching/writing scholarship applications before late high school. We have not hired this person as of yet and would love any comment/advice you can give in regards to this point of view.”

apply for scholarships

Here’s my reply to this mom:

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Top 5 Lies We Tell Kids About College

Read This When Your Kid's in Middle School.

This post is a scary one. But read all the way down to the red print at the bottom and I’ll give you a boatload of hope about college.

college

1. “If you don’t get into a good college, you won’t be able to get a good job when you graduate.”

This statement is completely and utterly false. Let’s all be honest for just a minute. Don’t you know people who went to so-called “bad colleges” and they have great jobs? Let’s get even more honest. Don’t you actually know many, many, many people who went to so-called “bad colleges” and they have great jobs? Why do we purposely scare kids with this lie?

2. “You, of course, shouldn’t even consider technical school.”

The bias against technical school gets communicated to kids from the age of 12 on up in a thousand insidious ways.

The subtle message kids hear is: “Tech school is for kids who aren’t as smart as you.” “Tech school is for kids who can’t get into real college.” “We won’t even show you a catalog of job training programs available at a technical school. We don’t care if tech school would empower you to make really great money after only two years of training. We won’t even suggest the possibility of going to technical school first and then perhaps four-year college after that. You’re smart and you come from a good family — that automatically means four-year college or university for you.”

(To see my post on “Could Your Kid End Up Wealthier and Happier by Not Going to College?” click here.)

3. “Of course you’re going to take out $40,000 in student loans to go to college. Don’t worry, you’ll easily be able to pay those loans back with the excellent job you’ll get after you graduate.”

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Top 10 Ways to Help Your Kid Get More College Scholarships (Starting in MIDDLE SCHOOL)

The dad waited in a long line to get to shake my hand. He was beaming.

scholarships

“We squeezed into a packed high school auditorium to hear you speak about scholarships last year,” he told me. “You inspired my son to go home and apply for 20 scholarships he thought he’d never get. He won eight of them, and now has over $20,000 extra to help pay his college bills. I just wanted to say thanks.”

I beamed back at him. Nothing excites and energizes me like seeing students achieve things they thought they never could. And when they rake in the scholarship money? That’s the best feeling ever.

Winning college scholarships is only one very small piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting kids through college debt free. In all honesty, other strategies that I provide to parents can net even greater return for families.

If you want to maximize scholarships, though — here are just a fraction of the scholarship strategies I recommend for students and parents.

1. Don’t assume your kid won’t qualify for scholarships because of grades or test scores. 

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6th Graders Need to Know THIS About Choosing Career

Your Kids Are Older? Tell Them Now.

“Jeannie, are you serious?  We need to talk to 6th graders about career?”

Yes.  And if not in 6th grade, then as soon as possible after that.  Why?  Because when your child is in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, his or her brain is growing faster than at any time since infancy.

Whatever you tell your daughter now — whatever she experiences — will imprint on her powerfully, very likely staying with her into high school, college, and adulthood.  This is why I am so emphatic about teaching middle schoolers college study strategies like how to use a calendar and how to use the time-saving “quiz and recall method” for college level studying.  (You can see the emphatic post I wrote on this subject here.)

minnehaharealblogWhat should we be telling middle schoolers about career? 

Six things:

1.  “Wow; you’ve got some outstanding natural abilities that are going to help you have a great career when you’re an adult!”

2.  “When you work hard at activities that develop these abilities, your brain grows by leaps and bounds.”

3.  “In the old days college kids used to take random college classes to see what careers they might interested in.  Ha ha ha — people don’t do that anymore.  That career strategy never really worked anyway — and these days college is way too expensive to do that.”

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SURVEY RESULTS ARE IN! Here are the Top Five Questions Parents Asked Me Last Week

On January 4th, 2016 I announced exciting news about my upcoming book LAUNCH:  How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward.

If you missed that exciting post, you can read it here.

In that post I asked my readers to complete a short survey designed to help me be sure that my book covers absolutely everything parents need to know about getting kids age 13-22 through college debt free.

The number of responses I got to that survey was absolutely overwhelming!

I got at least 60 times as many responses as I ever expected.  I feel stunned and humbled that so many people took time to jump in and help me with this!  If you were one of my responders — thank you so much!!!  For those of you who typed in detailed questions for me, I’ll be answering those in my future free email newsletter articles — so make sure you’ve subscribed using the form on this site and are opening my email newsletter every week.

(If you haven’t yet taken the survey, it’s not too late.  You can still let me know your biggest questions about debt free college by clicking here.)

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Here’s a sneak peek at the top five biggest questions parents and grandparents are sharing with me — along with my responses:

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I’ve Created a Small Army of Kids EXCITED about Applying for Scholarships. (Here are 42 to Apply For!)

About a month ago I filled a room to overflowing with teens and parents eager to learn how to write a scholarship application essay that would “Make Them Say WOW.”

17-year-old boys ran around setting up more tables for me, even though it meant that their long legs had less space to stretch out. Teens who reportedly “never” take notes in classes  bent over tables, writing as fast as they could and shooting hands up to ask some of the best questions ever.

I love these kids.

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