The Road to Scholarships

tips and hints for junior high & high school students planning to use scholarship monies to pay for their continuing education

Scholarship Searches Include Ethnic Scholarships

How are you looking for scholarships? Are you using every venue available? Are  you using every possibility?

One scholarship possibility many students neglect is the ethnic scholarship. You probably know there are scholarships available for certain ethnic groups. Most people know there are scholarships available for the African American or American Indian. But did you know there are scholarships available for many different ethnic backgrounds?

There are scholarships for students desendents of several nationalities.  Generally these one  requirement is that  the applicant actually be the nationality sponsoring the scholarship.

Occasionally, as in the previous post for the German Russian scholarship, the blood line is not important. Finding these scholarships may be a bit tricky.

A scholarship search engine, (several can be found here) often asks about nationality, and will find those scholarships. Another option is to google for specific nationality scholarships. Networking will often find you these scholarships.

As you compile your available scholarship list, don’t forget the ethnic possibility. Remember, the more scholarships you  have to pay for college, the less out of pocket expense you’ll have. If you have an ethnic background, take advantage of it.

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March 14, 2009 Posted by | scholarships | , , | Leave a comment

Stocking up Scholarships

A few days ago someone left this message:

Hi,
I was wondering if you knew of any scholarships for people who’ve run away from home. I’ve followed the steps that the university had to gain independent status but that was denied and now, I cannot apply for the FAFSA or any need-based scholarships.
I cannot provide people with my parents’ information because they are no longer in my life. I finally left that abusive home and I’ll drop outof college if I have out, but I will not go back to that environment.
Any information helps!
Thank you

Now I have no idea if this is a real person, or a real situation, but I know it could be. Here’s the thing, I mostly help younger students prepare for college and scholarships and I have no idea what all is available for that person.

I do know, he/she must first be emacipated from the parents. As I understand it that is a legal move and I know nothing about the law. However, there are lawyers that will help people pro-bono, or without pay. The commenter needs to speak to a lawyer and/or college financial aid advisor who can expand on the options available.

Now, for the rest of my readers. The reason I’m answering that comment, or attempting to answer it, is to point out that life situations change.

Mom and/or Dad may be making enough money now to safely see you through college, they may even have enough saved to pay for your college education. Except, no one can see into the future. What if something happens to Mom and/or Dad’s job?

Suddenly the family is living on have or less income and have to make some cuts. Guess what, college is going to be on the chopping block. They may not eliminate paying for part of your college expenses, but they won’t be able to cover all of them.

Or, a family may undergo a crisis that leads to them dipping into the college fund to pay current everyday bills. Now, I’m not talking about the student’s account where they’ve been stashing their scholarship/contest earnings.  That’s a whole different scenario that I’m not going to get into. However, I do know, most parents won’t touch that money. Of course, the student would need to have such an account for that to even be an issue.

Which means, they (you) have been applying for, and receiving scholarships. With the money already in hand, and with the money you will continue to receive from your efforts,  you will be able to finish your college education. And, as a bonus once you graduate you’ll be able to help your parents out of their crisis.

I hope the original poster (if he/she is real) finds a way to pay for the college education. I hope his/her story encourages the rest of you to begin the scholarship search and application process now. The sooner you start, the more opportunities you will have.  You can apply for the early scholarships now, and the others as they become available.

February 25, 2009 Posted by | scholarships | , , , , | Leave a comment

Why College

This blog generally deals with making you scholarship eligible, as well as finding and applying for scholarships.  However,today  it’s about why you need  to consider college.

First,  “college” is more than a four year place of study. “College” includes two-year community colleges, technical/vocational schools as well as two-three year programs in either a two or four year school.

Employers are all  looking for that college degree. Jobs that, in the past, didn’t require certification or a degree are disappearing fast.

For example, kids used to be able to learn how to work on and fix vehicles by working on their cars, helping their dad or neighbor do repairs, even working part-time with a gas station mechanic to learn the skills. Today, there aren’t many “shade-tree” mechanics, and gas station mechanics have all but disappeared. Kids drive new cars now, so they don’t work on them, they take them to the dealer.  It’s almost impossible to get a job as a mechanic without either the experience or education to show the person knows how to repair vehicles. Since experience is hard to come by,  an education is the future mechanics best choice.

So many careers/jobs are like that now.   Look at the adults around you. Those who don’t have a college degree or certification have probably worked at the job for several years, their experience is their certification. You don’t have the experience, and many employers today aren’t willing to be the teacher. They want you to know the job before they hire you. They want you to have the certification or college degree.

This is why it’s important college (of some type) to be your goal.All higher education costs money,and  scholarships will help pay for college.

January 9, 2009 Posted by | scholarships | , , , , | 1 Comment

Guest Speaker

I’ve been visiting schools across Oklahoma, talking to 9th grade students about college and scholarships. It’s fun for me, I get to meet a lot of students. One thing I’ve noticed, every group of students, no matter how large or small the group, each assembly has it’s own class division.

In group one, are students who have already begun to think about college, although most of them have no idea they can get scholarships. These students will probably find a way to go to college no matter what, so anything they learn from me is just gravy. I enjoy talking to this group of students because I believe I can help them.

Some students, are vaguely aware they’ll probably need college after high school, but they haven’t given it much thought. These are the students I most hope to reach.They may not make it to college if they don’t start thinking about it and making the preparations. My hope is they will begin to pay more attention to the adults in their lives when they hear me, an adult who doesn’t know them, tell them the same things their parents and teachers are saying. Some days this group is hard to talk to. I want so desperately for them to understand going to college isn’t like leaving middle school and going into high school. I always enjoy the day when I feel like at least one of these students learned something from me.
Then there is that third group of students who don’t listen to anything I say, they have no interest in going to college, and don’t care how others pay for college. They aren’t really too thrilled to be in high school. These students don’t bother me too much, unless they’re blatantly rude. I just hope this group makes it through high school.

There is one more division of students. These students may appear to be listening, or they may zone out. It doesn’t matter either way, they are usually quiet and polite. It’s just they have no interest in what I’m saying, because they know they won’t attend college. There are several reasons, they know college isn’t part of their future, and that’s okay. Partly because they are polite. But, mostly because I know that college isn’t for everyone. Despite the fact I encourage college, and help students obtain financing for a higher education, I still understand that isn’t the best route for everyone.

For the majority of high school students though, college is becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. Students who want all the advantages a college education provides, needs to begin to do the work now. A little prep work now, yields so many perks later on.

December 1, 2007 Posted by | scholarships | , , , , | Leave a comment