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College Talk Blog

Preparing to get into college and win scholarships

The preparation process for successful college admission and obtaining scholarships to help pay for college begins long before the senior year of high school. 

There are specific tasks that parents should encourage their children to learn and practice long before high school so that they can successfully continue them in high school.  Those tasks are:
  • volunteering in their community and school
  • joining school clubs related to their interests
  • seeking leadership positions in organizations to which they belong
  • working part time as soon as they are of age
  • building relationships with work supervisors, volunteer leaders, club sponsors and teachers who can later write letters of reference

Parents can model these critical life skills for their children by being active themselves in at least one community organization, volunteering in their community and being a good citizen who builds relationships with others.  Not only do such parent behaviors model behavior students need to emulate, but parent involvement in community and community and professional organizations can help students qualify for scholarships later that are designated for the children of people who have been members or those activities and organizations.

Most students do not realize the payoff that comes from volunteering, joining, working and relationship building.  It is up to parents to teach them by modeling those behaviors and explaining to their children how such behaviors not only benefit their community and school but also can help them later with job applications, college applications and scholarship applications.

Volunteering, serving, leading, working and relationship building are learned skills.  They can be learned in elementary school.  Such behaviors help enhance and develop altruism which encourages such behaviors throughout the lifetime of a person.  The benefits of volunteering, serving and relationship building are lifelong.  The impact on being accepted for college admission and winning scholarships is critical to student success.  Trying to begin these behaviors in the senior year of high school will be too little too late.

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