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College Talk Blog

Why do a handful of kids at your school seem to get the most scholarships?

Ever attended a high school graduation and notice that a handful of students have a boatload of scholarships?  Wonder how that happens?  The answer is amazingly simple. They applied for lots of scholarships.
Too few students apply for scholarships.  The top 5 reasons that students do not apply for college scholarships are:
  1. they don't have much free time
  2. they are not sure how to find and apply for scholarships
  3. they feel they are unlikely to win
  4. it seems like too much work to them
  5. they think their parents have their college costs handled anyway
Few students are self motivated and self taught when it comes to scholarships.  The most successful students are those who have a family member or other adult who helps and encourages them and keeps them on task and on deadline and helps them with some tasks. This is awkward at a time when parents are trying to help students become more independent and manage more of their own affairs.  However, leaving them to their own devices almost guarantees few to no scholarships.
Parents who expect teachers and guidance counselors to take care of scholarship work for their children will be disappointed.  Few educators have time to go beyond announcing opportunities to students and responding to requests for letters of reference.
Tasks where parents and other adults can help include:
  • interviewing guidance counselors at school about scholarship opportunities and asking for their advice
  • locating scholarships not given by the high school 
  • suggesting the best people from whom to request letters of reference,
  • keeping records of scholarship activity
  • keeping needed materials handy and
  • mailing scholarship materials for the scholarships that are not online efforts
The encouragement, advice and clerical help that adults give students with scholarships can pay off big in current and future scholarships.  Once students enter college, there are often large scholarships available to help them continue to fund their college costs.  Students who have learned how to apply and have experienced the joy of winning one or more scholarships will have an advantage over students who have never tried. 

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