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College Talk Blog

Scholarships

Teenagers and Scholarships

Scholarship applications vary tremendously in the amount offered, the work required and (in some cases) the probability of being selected. I find a direct correlation between student willingness to apply and efficiency of the application process.

Some scholarships offer large financial amounts and have efficient online application processes that don't require additional work unless the student is selected as a finalist. 

Other scholarships are more cumbersome to pursue because they require a paper application that has to be sent to an individual by mail.

"Who told you to do this?"

All of my students apply to 8-10 colleges and they apply to most early. They do it to find out their results early and to be in a position to have time to apply for scholarships. It is nearly impossible to apply for admission and scholarships simultaneously and keep up with homework, extracurriculars and jobs.

One of my students reported recently that he was criticized at school for following this strategy. He was told this is wrong and quizzed about who told him to do it. He was amused. We have been preparing for college application and scholarship season for over a year.

It's National Merit Month, Don't Miss Out!

It is October 1 and the PSAT is given at high schools everywhere this month to help students prepare for the SAT and also to qualify for a National Merit scholarship. Make sure your current high school junior takes the PSAT THIS YEAR. In order to be considered for the National Merit Scholarship Program, students must test in their junior year if they will be in high school for four years from grades 9-12. 

According to the National Merit Program, "because a student can participate (and be considered for a scholarship) in only one specific competition year, the year in which the student takes the PSAT/NMSQT to enter the competition is very important.

And the Oscar for Best Actor goes to....Your Kid!

Getting a part in a movie requires preparation and "getting into" the role. Actors often spend months preparing to successfully portray a character.

Getting scholarships requires that a student look and act like the type of student that the scholarship donor or foundation seeks. Many scholarship donors seek involved and motivated students.


A great way to prepare for a successful application experience for scholarships would be to imagine casting a movie with a role for an involved and motivated student.

When should I be applying for scholarships?

Although the majority of scholarship deadlines range from October through April each year,there are scholarship deadlines almost every month. The primary target groups for scholarships are high school seniors and college students however there are scholarships for high school, middle school and elementary school students.

High school seniors began applying for scholarships when they completed college applications this year. Many colleges automatically considered them for scholarships when they applied.