Who, What and Why

The Five W’s of College Scholarships

Most students and parents know that scholarships are an important part of the college financial aid process, but few may really understand how they differ from other types of aid. Unlike grants, loans and work-study programs, scholarships can sometimes be a bit more complex and elusive. Students cannot simply complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and expect scholarship money to appear magically; it takes a bit more work and creativity to win those coveted awards. Just as every good journalism student knows to include the “who, what, when, where and why” in every article, so too should every college student understand the five W’s of scholarships. In this article, I’ll break down each “W” and give students the keys to finding and winning scholarships!

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Scholarship Tips for Parents

A Parent’s Guide for Helping Students Win Scholarships

Are you expecting your child to use scholarships to help fund her education? If so, you need to take an active role in your child’s scholarship strategy and help her create a solid plan. Before you begin, however, it’s important that you set realistic expectations. Very few students receive enough scholarships to cover all of their expenses, so be sure you have a plan that includes other funding, such as savings accounts, 529 plans and income from other sources. The most important thing is to start early; waiting until senior year puts your child at a disadvantage and may reduce her college options. I suggest implementing a plan in the fall of your child’s freshman year of high school, as this will help her develop good habits over time and increase her chances of winning. Here are a few suggestions for helping your child create an effective scholarship plan.

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Scholarship Tips

5 Tips for Winning Scholarships

In the past, I have written several posts advising students on how to write a scholarship essay, debunking scholarship myths and how to know if a scholarship program is legitimate. Although these articles give students the basic foundation they need to successfully navigate the world of college scholarships, I find that many still want to know one very specific thing… How do students win a scholarship? There really is no black and white answer, as most providers have their own set of criteria for choosing a scholarship winner, but students may want to consider these suggestions to increase their chances of making it into the finalist pool.

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Scholarship Tips

Scholarships: Work Smarter, Not Harder!

Winning free money for college is every student’s dream. Nobody wants to graduate from college with a boatload of student loan debt, and the more money you have available, the more options you have for college. Unfortunately, scholarship providers aren’t going to just hand you a pile of money because you ask for it; earning college scholarships actually takes some effort on your part. Why? It’s simple. Providers want to know you are going to put forth the effort in college and not waste their money, so most require an essay or some other time commitment from you to see if you are serious about your education. If you aren’t willing to spend an hour or so completing their application, providers assume that you won’t be willing to focus your time on your studies, either. Fortunately, I have a few tips that can help you reduce the time needed to find and apply for scholarships, without compromising the quality of your submissions.

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Scholarship Tips

5 Ways ‘The Walking Dead’ Can Help You Win Scholarships

I have been a fan of ‘The Walking Dead’ since the first episode. When it first aired, I anticipated a lot of blood and guts (I wasn’t disappointed), but figured I would grow tired of it after a few episodes. What I didn’t expect to find was a television show that was well-written and characters that were so diverse that I would be drawn in deeper each week. Now, three seasons later, here I am counting down the days until it starts again (Is it October yet?). Along the way, I began to realize that this series was offering me so much more than just a buffet of brain-munching zombies; it was actually teaching me some valuable lessons about life and how to win scholarships. Sounds crazy, right? Not really. Just give me a few moments of your time and I’ll show you how ‘The Walking Dead’ can teach you how to not only stay alive during a zombie apocalypse, but also snag some free money for college, too.

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