Monday, December 15, 2008

Final Exam

Tuesday, December 16th, is the final. Please come prepared to give your presentation--you may use cue cards, but it must NOT be read. It doesn't have to be long--speak from the heart. Chose a scholarship that you have applied for and speak as though you have received it.

Dress as though you are going to a luncheon or dinner. No jeans, no sandals, no spaghetti straps, tattoos covered, piercings removed except for earrings.

I will be posting my grades on Wednesday so ALL portfolios must be complete.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Scholarships for AB540 Students (Undocumented)

In preparation for a workshop that I gave yesterday at the college, I discovered a fairly good number of organizations that give scholarships to non US citizens. Please refer any students that qualify to my office. I am in the process of putting together a binder of the resources.

In the meantime, students can access information on their own through Google. Just key in Scholarships for AB 540 students and you will discover a wealth of resources.

Jose Simo is the counselor who has taken the lead on AB 540 and, as such, is the one to contact for specific information on undocumented students. My involvement is only with the scholarship portion.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

To My Students

Today is an independent study day--time to get your portfolio in order. Remember, my grades will be posted December 17, 2008. So after 5:00 PM on the 16th, it will be too late to submit your work.

I will be in a meeting during class time so you do not have to be on campus. Should you need to use any of my scholarship materials from my office, Margo will assist you.

On Tuesday, the 16th, is the final and the class presentations. Due to the time restrictions, I will NOT be using the video camera. Remember to dress professionally.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pathways to Success Website

Please check out the Pathways to Success website. It is
The scholarship application is available as well as Student Support, Get Involved, Parents/Teachers. As time goes on, I am sure that many more options will be added.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pathways to Success

Today is the big day that Pathways to Success is launched. A million dollars will be made available in scholarships to the students of Coachella Valley.

I will be attending the Press Conference today at UC Riverside/Palm Desert Campus. I will keep you posted on the application process. As soon as possible, I will be scheduling a workshop for that particular scholarship.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

For My Class

The press conference for the Pathways to Success is scheduled for December 9, 2008 at the Graduate Center at UC Riverside on Cook Street. It is from 11:00 to 12:00. Ernesto emailed me to say that only 10 students from each college/school can be accomodated. If you would like to attend, please let me know as soon as possible--the first 10 will be selected. As cancellations come in, they will accept more interested students.

If you need to miss a class, please let me know and I will send an email explaining the situation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Positives Journal

Thanksgiving is a good time to start a "positives journal". Try each day to write down several things that are good--little reasons to be thankful.

This morning I noticed the beginning of some blossoms on a little plant that I nearly threw away a year ago. Last year we were gifted with an azalea plant which was gloriously in full bloom. It became a premature dry twig because we had forgotten to water it for several days. My inclination was to toss it in the garbage can. Fortunately, I didn't.

Faithfully, we have watered it and placed it in a sunny window. Slowly, it began to sprout some green leaves so I gave it a little plant food. I was happy that it was green, but never imagined that it would ever bloom again.

How good I felt this morning when I noticed three tiny pink buds beginning to form. Is this something to get excited about? Yes, it was for me. It was one more reminder of the power of nurturing and the wonder of life.

Be thankful for the little things you experience and be grateful to be alive.

Monday, November 24, 2008

To My Students

Tomorrow we will have a guest speaker who is a psychologist. I have asked him (Dr. Basil Augustine) to talk about "The Psychology of Winning Scholarships". We will meet in the classroom.

After tomorrow there are only four class sessions left. Please make your appointments to have your portfolio checked. Unless it is complete and in PERFECT order, I don't want to look at it. Your final grade is weighed heavily on the portfolio.

In addition to the portfolio, there will be two more exams and your class presentation.

Accepting an Award

More than likely, you will be invited to a luncheon or dinner as the recipient of a scholarship. The interview committe has selected you as the winner and they want to show you off.

Now is the time to start thinking about what you will wear and how you will present yourself. The way you look is important, but it doesn't mean that you have to spend a lot of money.

If you have ever ventured into a consignment shop or even a thrift store, you will know that there are some very nice clothes and accessories available for affordable prices.

Dress appropriately for the occasion. Now is not the time for jeans or anything provocative. It is better to err on the side of dressing conservatively--remember the key word is "appropriately". If in doubt check with a counselor or a friend whose judgment you trust.

You will be expected to say a few words. It doesn't have to be long. Please acknowledge the organization and anyone in the audience who has helped you with your application. Speak from the heart and be real.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Appearance of Success

"Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success."

Christopher Lasch
(American Social Critic)

Interviews & the Image You Project

Soon you will be receiving responses from your scholarship applications. If you are a finalist, many organizations will invite you to an interview. Not only is it critical to remember what you wrote on your personal statement, but you should do some research on the group that is offering the scholarship. Know their purpose and philosophy. Why was their organization created?

The way you dress and the image that you project is very important. Dress as though you are being interviewed for a professional job. Put away the jeans and skimpy spaghetti strap tops. It is best to lean toward the conservative side. Cover any tattoos; remove obvious piercings; and minimize unusual hair coloring.

Body language is very telling. Walk in with a smile; give a strong handshake; make eye contact; and express enthusiasm. You must be yourself, but be your best and positive self.

Remember, you want to be selected for their award. They are looking for a good investment for their money and someone who will be a future leader in the community. Like it or not, people do judge you by the way you look and act.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

To My Students

Today is a lab day in the Career Center. See you there.


Are You Motivated?

Be sure that you are enrolling in college for the right reasons. Unless you are motivated, the most prestigious school with the highest tuition will not provide the education that you are seeking.

If you are pursuing your passion, and not just hoping for a high paying career, nothing can stop you from being successful. You must be following your dream and not what others tell you that you should do. You are the only one who can prioritize your interests.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Private School Education

4. "Would the money be better spent on private high school education? Take a look at the gap between private and public college education, and then look at the gap in your area between private and public high school education. Where would your money be best spent?"

5. "Are the graduates getting jobs or into graduate school?" I would never encourage my children to attend any school that considered employment beneath their concerns. This applies to both private and public institutions."

"What does your student need? What can you afford? What is your motivation? Think about it...and make a wise investment."

Will S. Keim

Now, more than ever, is the time to think seriously about the cost of going to college. It is my belief that most students receive an excellent education by doing their lower division classes at a community college and completing upper division at a four-year institution.

Save your money to attend the best graduate school that you can afford. It is the graduate degree that prospective employers will be looking at.

If you are offered full tuition at a top college or university, by all means go for it. BUT, look ahead at how many years it will take you to pay off student loans. My son, who is 47, still has $50,000 in student loans. Yes, he went to the finest schools (University of Santa Clara and Thunderbird) but as you mature, life presents new responsibilities and student loans become a tremendous burden.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

For My Class

Remember, today we meet in the Career Transfer Center.

Can You Afford it?

3. "Can you afford it? Can your student afford it? Be really careful as you look at financial aid packages. Grants mean something akin to scholarships, work-study means you work for the cash on campus, loans are loans. Dissect the package and ask yourselves, "Is this education worth being $40,000+ in debt at the end of four to five years?"

Will S. Keim

Monday, November 17, 2008

Choosing a College

2. "What percentage of entry-level classes are taught by Ph.D's or terminal degree holders (i.e. J.D., M.D. CPA, etc.)? This is the area where the private schools usually hold the edge. There is a huge dropout problem after the first year of college life. Will your student be receiving the kind of instruction that will make him or her want to return to the university?"

Will S. Keim

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Sacred is in the Ordinary

"The great lesson from the true that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbors, friends, and family, in one's backyard."

Abraham Maslow

Making a Wise Investment

Over the next few days, I will be quoting from The Truth About College by Will S. Keim. The topic will be suggestions for selecting a college, public or private.

1. "IDENTIFY YOUR MOTIVES. Why do you want to send your child to a private school? Is it better? How so? Do you think the education is markedly better, or do you believe your student will be associated with a different or "better" class of student? What does this tell you about yourself and your values? Complete a pro and con list for public and private schools."

Will S. Keim

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Although many majors do not require that you complete one or two internships as part of your degree, the experience is invaluable. Internships are a wonderful vehicle to explore potential careers in a real-world professional career.

The exposure not only prepares you to make more informed decisions, but it enhances your desirability as a candidate when job seeking in your chosen field.

But for now know this; one of the more immediate benefits of doing an internship is increasing your potential for winning grants and scholarships.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Reducing the Cost of Education

Yesterday I was glancing through Funding Education Beyond High School which is prepared by the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid. I'd like to quote the following on lower-cost schools.

"If you'll be working toward a bachelor's degree, you might consider starting at a two-year community college and then transferring to a four- year school. Community colleges are usually less expensive than four-year schools. (Some four-year schools that are partially funded by local or state taxes can be less expensive as well.) Because attending a community college allows you to live at home, you can save money on room and board."

Actually, not only will you save money, but you will have smaller classrooms and lots of individual attention. The wonderful part is that the professors have many of the same credentials--many of our professors at the College of the Desert also teach at the four-year colleges--both public and private.

Monday, November 3, 2008

For My Class/Exam Two

The test is being postponed until Thursday, Nov. 13. It will be on October assignments, lectures and info on October Blog.

I will be off campus this coming Thursday, Nov. 6 attending the International Career Development Conference and the following Tuesday is a college holiday. Take advantage of the time to research and get your portfolio in order.

See you in class tomorrow.

To My Students

Tuesday, November 4th, I have a speaker coming to talk about a wonderful way to save money with 200% returns. This organization has come to the class nine years in a row and many of my students have successfully (and happily) gone through the program. Don't miss it.

We are coming to the last stretch of the semester. Have you been keeping up? By now, you should have at least one good personal statement and all of your letters of recommendation. How close are you to have your 32 scholarships?

See you tomorrow. I will be at a conference this Thursday. Please work on your portfolio and scholarship research independently.

Community Service

Scholarship donors are very interested in community service. When they are judging scholarship applications, they are looking for students who will be future leaders. In addition, your involvement in the community is critical when applying to a four year college.

There are so many services that you can give. With Thanksgiving and the Xmas holidays upon us, try to find time to volunteer. How about helping at a food kitchen; visiting a senior citizen home; collecting toys for needy children or offering to help a neighbor by driving them to an appointment.

High schools and colleges frequently have special events. By offering to help, you will not only meet new people, but you might be able to get extra credit for a class.

The best gift is to give of your time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Check out Upromise.

By becoming a member, everyday purchases from retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, drug stores and many other services, you can accumulate money for college.

Some of their partners are popular brand names like L.L. Bean, Citi, Target, Bloomingdale's and hundreds of others.

Membership is FREE and why not take advantage of rewards?

Tax Credits

Both the HOPE scholarship and the Lifetime Learning Credits are ways to save money when you file your tax returns. The HOPE scholarship isn't a scholarship in the true sense of the word, but rather a tax credit which is available to eligible students in their first two years of post secondary (after high school).

The Lifetime Learning Credit is for college juniors, seniors, graduate students and working Americans pursuing lifelong learning to upgrade their skills.

Once you have completed all of your education, the interest that you pay on any student loans for undergraduate and/or graduate studies can be used for a maximum deduction of $2,500. You need to be mindful of time limits that dictate your eligibility.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

To My Students

Class will meet in the Career/Transfer Center today.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

EUREKA (Scholarship Resource)

If your college has the EUREKA program, please check it out. It is a good place to find scholarships.

At the College of the Desert, there are about twelve computers in the Career/Transfer Center that have the program. It is updated every year so the information is pretty current.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Remember Your ABC's

Accept responsibility for your life.

Build bridges between yourself and others.

Commit yourself to excellence.

School Soup

Over a year ago, I discovered the School Soup site for scholarships and it has become my favorite. Not only does it have 32 Billion Dollars in scholarships, but it has a bookstore.

If you are already in college, you know that textbooks are very expensive. You will be able to save 70 to 80 dollars a semster if you buy your books online.

Making money is a must, but just as important is learning how to save. Buying used books through and selling the books back at the end of the quarter or semster is the sensible thing to do.

Monday, October 13, 2008

For My Students

We will have class in the Career/Transfer Center tomorrow. See you then. Eve-Marie

Everything Has a Price Tag

"You can have nearly anything you can dream of . . . the reality though is that everything has a price tag. Are you willing to pay it?"

--Will Keim

Are You Getting Your Money's Worth?

How many of you have signed up for classes and then chose not to attend on a regular basis? Did it occur to you that you are throwing money away?

It always baffles me when students apply to a college because they don't know what else to do. More often than I like to hear, students will tell me that they are not really into school.

Why go to a place you do not like? Why pay tuition, fees, and buy expensive books and then refuse to go to class or study? Do you have the answer? I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Keep a Journal of Positives

We all seem to focus on what is not going right instead of the good things that come our way everyday. I have found that by keeping a POSTIVES JOURNAL and being thankful for every little thing, that I am a much happier person.

In my journal, I include notes that I have received from students and pictures that my grandchildren have drawn for me. I write about anything that has moved me in a positive way. On days when my spirits are down (not very often), I refer to my journal and am reminded again how fortunate I am to be alive.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Change One Thing

Has writing your personal statement opened the door to reflecting on your life? Is there a part of your day to day living that isn't working for you? Is there one thing that you can change that would improve a relationship, your work, your studies or your attitude in general?

Remember you cannot change anyone, but you can change the way YOU react to others. Think about it. Is there something that is getting in the way of your moving forward successfully? You CAN do something about it

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Phone Call from Dr. Keim

The day before yesterday I had the privilege of talking to Will Keim. I am attempting to have him speak at the COD orientation. My understanding from a counseling colleague, who has heard him speak, is that he talks of serious topics with great humor.

Since my first days of teaching college success classes, I have been keenly aware that the most important topic of character is not being taught. Is it any wonder that many people in high places do not conduct their lives with integrity?

I encourage you to read his books and other authors who write about character.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Education of Character

About twelve or thirteen years ago I discovered a book by Dr. Will Keim titled The Education of Character. I was so impressed by the content that I actually used this tiny little jewel as a textbook for the college success class that I taught.

It is so evident that this very important subject is no longer taught in school. Ask a young person for a definition of integrity, ethics and honesty and you get a glazed look. Why has such an important topic been eliminated from our schools?

Recently, I went online to see if Dr. Keim had written any other books and happily found some other titles by Dr. Keim. I'd like top share them with you. The following are a few that you might consider reading:
The Keys to Success in College and Life
The Truth About College (50 Lessons for Parents)
Life After College

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Your Character

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are."

--John Wooden

"Education worthy of the name is essentially the education of character."

--Martin Buber

An Education

"If you think the price of education is expensive, try the price of ignorance. You pay for ignorance everyday for the rest of your life."


Monday, October 6, 2008


"It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get up."

--Vince Lombardi

Scholarships for Women

Several current scholarships for women are Soroptimist, The Girl Friend Factor and AARP. You can access them through Google.

Friday, October 3, 2008


"When it comes to privacy and accountablity, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else."

--David Brin (American Science Fiction Writer 1950)


Recently, I browsed the FASTWEB website and signed in as a potential subscriber. The profile questionnaire has been expanded to include information that might be of value to FASTWEB sponsors. Many organizations will pay to have your personal information, thus allowing FASTWEB to provide many FREE valuable services to students. To a great extent the information might benefit the student, but should you want to maintain privacy. be sure to click 'NO THANK YOU" when completing your profile.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


"What is research but a blind date with knowledge."


Surfing the Internet

In the last several years, there has been a rapid growth of websites offering scholarships and grants. This method of searching and applying for college money saves time and postage

Several of the websites require that you complete a profile that includes, in addition to you name, address and email: your major and/or career goals, special interests, ethnic background, and grade point average. This information is stored in their database for possible matches.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On Saving Money

"The mint makes it first, it is up to you to make it last."

--Evan Esar (1899-1995)

Scholarships Are Your Best Bet

If a college education is a part of your dream, scholarships are the answer. It is obvious that the financial situation in our country is looking very bleak. Students who would look to student loans as a backup plan may not have that option.

As many organizations start feeling the financial crunch, the available scholarship funds may become more competitive. The time is now to be serious about your scholarship search. I urge juniors in high school to start their research. Talk to your classmates and encourage them to become proactive about funding their future tuition needs.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


"When you play it too safe, you're taking the biggest risk of your life. . . Time is the only wealth we're given."


Schedule Time

Block out times on your calendar for doing your research. When you set up your schedule, designate several hours a week for your scholarship search. Record the days and times in your calendar.

You will win scholarships if you put in the effort to search and record on a regular basis. Hit and miss will yield very little. If you are serious and follow the system, you will be a happy camper when the money starts rolloing in.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Time Management

"Ordinary people think merely of spending time. Great people think of using time."


Tracking Your Scholarships

Once you start finding scholarships, it is vital to record and file each award in a systematic manner. For three or four scholarships it is easy to keep track of important dates. The goal, however, is to find a hundred scholarships in a year--that is only two a week.

Without a system, there is no way that you can stay on target and meet deadlines. Using the Andrews System is simple and it works!

If you are diligent and committed to finding money for your education, the only way to be in control of your search is to record and file information immediately.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


"A person is not given integrity. It results from the relentless pursuit of honesty at all times."


Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, David

On this day, seventeen years ago, my first grandchild was born. There are no words to adequately express the joy of becoming a grandmother.

To my David, an incredible human being, may you have a fabulous HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!



"In a world where we are all searching for the right answers, often without results, have you ever given thought to what the right questions are?"

--Posted by Steven Clarke

Surfing for Scholarships

Applying online is an efficient way of completing an application and submitting your personal statement. You save on postage and have the assurance of meeting application deadlines.

One of the websites is In addition to available scholarships and grants, you can subscribe to a free newsletter that covers issues related to finding money for college.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


"There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it."

--Napoleon Hill

Sell Yourself

By now, you should have a pretty good draft of your personal statement written. Have you described yourself in a positive way?

This is the time to be proud of your accomplishments. Talk about your special talents with pride and enthusiasm. If you don't tell the scholarship committee, who will? Now, there is a balance between describing your positive attributes with candor and sincerity and being pompous. Being a braggart, is not going to cut it, but, come on, you MUST let them know that you are the one that they should select.

Are you getting the idea of what should be included in your personal statement? Good!! Most of my students had to be coached to start saying positive things about themselves so, you are not alone. The point is that scholarships are awarded to winners. You must write like a winner.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Do It Now!!

" Now is the operative word. Everything you put in your way is just a method of putting off the hour when you could actually be doing your dream. You don't need endless time and perfect conditions. DO IT NOW. DO IT TODAY. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating."

-- Unknown Source

How Is Your Essay Coming?

A common mistake that students make is to wait until the last minute to start writing a personal statement. By doing this, you're bound to end up with a statement that could negatively affect your eligibility.

Remember, you are competing with many top students who have the same or better qualifications. Your personal statement could be the deciding factor with the judges. Your statement is your opportunity to stand out as an individual. The application form shows factual information, but your personal statement paints a picture of you.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On Persistence

"Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyway."

__Mary Kay Ash, Entrepreneur

Follow Up on Letters of Recommendation

One week to due date on your Letters of Recommendation. Have you done any follow up calls or emails? It takes a bit of persistence, so don't hesitate to give a friendly reminder.

As soon as you receive your recommendation, get a thank you letter off and include a little something like a nice bookmark, designed post its, or even a candy bar. It is important to bump your appreciation up a notch.

If you are more comfortable sending a handwritten note, that's fine. Do remember to make a copy of anything you send for your portfolio.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Making Friends

Dale Carnegie wrote this nearly seventy years ago:

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Student Loans

Taking out a student loan while you are still attending a community college is not a good idea. We had a student a number of years back who was twenty thousand dollars in debt and didn't even have an associate degree. Granted there may be extenuating circumstances in which a loan is the only option, but it should only be a last resort.

When you transfer to a four year college, you will, undoubtedly, need to borrow money in order to complete your education. In fact, I was $20,000 in debt when I finished graduate school, but I also had three degrees to show for it. With good planning and a budget that I stuck to, I was able to pay it off in five years.

Loans must be repaid with interest. Scholarships and grants are free money. There is no reason why you can't go to college nearly FREE. Students should start applying for scholarships while attending high school--the junior year is not too soon. Unfortunately, many students don't even give tuition fees a thought until they are ready to apply to a college or university.

Just say "NO" to loans and start your scholarship search.!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


"If you want to know whether you are destined to be a success or a failure in life, you can easily find out. The test is simple and it is infallible. Are you able to save money? If not, drop out. You will lose."

__James J. Hill

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Test on October 2nd

Remember there will be a test on October 2, 2008. It will be based on reading assignments in the textbook, info on my blog, class discussions, and information presented by guest speakers. It is important to take notes. I realize that some information may not be relevant to you, but I expect you to take notes and that you be knowledgable about scholarship and money issues.

If you miss class, there are no makeups. Missing class is not a cool thing to do, but it is especially critical when there is an assignment due or a test scheduled. The first rule for being a successful student is to be there. Start reviewing now and not the night of October 1st.

Personal Statement--Share Feelings

Put life into your personal statement. The last thing you want is to have it sound like a shopping list. Make it come to life by sharing how you feel.

When talking about an obstacle that you have overcome, describe what you learned from it. How did it make you a better person? Have you learned to become more accepting and/or compassionate of others? Have you gained a better understanding of yourself?

Humility is a wonderful character trait, but try, without sounding like a braggart, to write about yourself in a positive way. I know that it is a fine line, but you are trying to convince the reader of your personal statement that you are deserving of the scholarship or award. Organizations want to give money to winners. They want to help students who are going to make a difference in the world or even in their community.

Keep working on that personal statement until you feel you have it right. Then let someone, whose judgement you trust, read it and listen to the feedback. When you feel that it is perfect, let me take a look at it. For those of you who are not my students, ask a counselor or an English teacher to review it.

A good personal statement takes a lot of thought and lots of editing. Soooo, keep writing and rewriting because that is the most important part of your scholarship application.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First Paragraph of Your Personal Statement

You only have a few seconds to engage the reader of your personal statement. It is important to grab his or her attention. That first sentence must be compelling. What can you say that will "hook" the person who is reviewing your application?

One example that I use frequently was actually written by one of my former students. She started off by writing, "At the age of fifteen I was the mother of five". Did that get my attention? You betcha it did! In fact, I read it over again to be sure that I had understood what I had read.

She went on to explain that after losing both of her parents to cancer, she was left with the responsibility of raising her younger siblings. Now that the youngest sister had started her college education, it was her turn to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.

Not only did she have my undivided attention, but I ended up with a lump in my throat and a strong desire to help her in any way that I could. Undoubtedly, she received many scholarships and is now a practicing RN somewhere.

Many times the most deserving student is overlooked because they haven't devoted the time and energy to their personal statement. You need to write and rewrite over and over again. Believe me, it is so very important.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Personal Statement

The most important part of your scholarship application is your personal statment. This is your vehicle to sell yourself--this allows the reader to get to know you.

Paint a picture of who you are. What are your interests, your values, your skills? Why are you in college? Who or what inspired you to follow your particular major? Where are you now and where are you going? What are you going to do after you finish your education?

Remember, that those who read your application are busy people and, for the most part, reading one application after another is rather boring work. It is your job to grab the reader's attention. Your first paragraph should be compelling and "hook" the reader. Make it interesting!!

Plan to initially write a generic personal statement that is two pages long (about 500 words) and try not to go in too many directions. Stay focused.

Over the next few weeks, I will walk you through the process. For now, start brainstorming. Sit with a couple of blank pieces of paper or a blank computer screen and start answering some of the above questions. Begin by asking yourself why you are in college.

Have a good day. I'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Scholarships & Your Social Security Number

Many scholarships will still request your social security number. Please do NOT write your full number on the application. For now, you can write xxx-xx-2537--ONLY the last four digits or use your student ID number.

Identity theft has become a very big business and you don't want to make it easy for your identity to be stolen. So, any of the personal documents that I mention in the textbook are to be kept in a very safe place at home. There will be only one time that you need to have them in your portfolio, and that is at the end of the semester when I check your work.

Whenever I have seen a scholarship application that requires a social security number, I have made contact with the organization and requested that they accept either the last four digits or a student ID number. All of the organizations have been very cooperative.

Please, please, be super careful

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Letters of Recommendation/Packets (My Class)

The packets are due tomorrow. The following is a review of what to include:
  1. Your letter requesting a letter of recommendation
  2. Typed Personal Data
  3. Typed Scholarship Resume
  4. Copy of the Guidelines for Writing a Letter of Recommendation
  5. Copy of your transcripts
  6. Folded large white envelope--write your name on it. (You'll find them in the back of your large portfolio.)

Place everything in another large white envelope. Write your name in pencil on the outside.

Remember to: Remind the person, who is writing, of the deadline.

The sample of a letter of recommendation is to show if requested and for you to know how the letter should look.

If you are mailing, please self address the folded white envelope and put postage on it--you will need more than a $.42 stamp.

Also, submit to me the three names of the people who will be writing, his/her title and where they work.

It must be on official letterhead. Request several copies.

REMEMBER, I do not accept any late assignments--no excuses. Please do not ask.

See you tomorrow. Eve-Marie

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Scholarship Deadlines 1

Career Spots

Deadline: None
Amount: Unknown

Career Spots is seeking talented students to produce videos for their website. These student videos will be features along with their signature CareerSpots Videos. Why do it? You'll receive:

  • Professional critiques of your work
  • Work experience for your resume
  • Payment (spending money!)

If interested, please send email with your ideas, related video experience, year in school and major.

American Liberty Scholarship

Deadline: Monthly finalists chosen. (The 2008 scholarship would be awearded January 30, 2009.)

Amount: $5,000

First step is to complete contact information. If you are one of the top ten applicants based on grade point average, you will be selected as a finalist. The finalist will be provided an additional application which includes more information, a verification of the grade point average and an essay.

The Girlfriend Factor--Go Girl! Grants

Deadline: Winners selcted every three months

Amount: Reimbursement of education expenses.

For women 25 and older with specific undergraduate or occupational training path in mind.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Free Email Services

Another way to save money is to have a FREE email service. Go to Google and key in TOP 16 FREE EMAIL SERVICES for a description of the following free services.

AIM Mail
GMX Mail
Yahoo! Mail
FastMail Guest Account
Yahoo! Mail Classic
Windows Live Hotmail

It is a good idea to have a separate account that you use specifically for your scholarship search. Be mindful of the name that you give your site. It should be professional sounding and not something cutesy. Think for a moment the impression projected with something like "teeneyweneypinkbikini" or "madmanmike" or "sweetiepie".

Remember, first impressions do count. When applying for scholarships, you want to project a good image.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Financial Aid (FAFSA)

Did you know that you need to reapply for FAFSA every year? If you haven't applied for 2008, you can still complete an application. Should the fund still have money, you have a chance.

Come January 01, 2009, submit another application or update your previous one and submit. REMEMBER, everyone should apply even if you don't think you qualify. The reason is that most scholarships will request your student aid report (SAR) or your last tax returns. It is better to send a copy of the SAR than to have your tax returns in too many hands.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Letters of Recommendation--Reminder

Special Message to my Class:

Remember to keep all documents unfolded and as visually appealing as possible. As I mentioned in class, getting your requests for letters of recommendation will be a bit of a challenge because you need to constantly remind the person who has agreed to write on your behalf.

Start early. Allow at least two weeks. When you do receive your recommendations, please send a thank you letter or card immediately. An added bonus would be to include a nice bookmark, some post-its or even a chocolate candy bar. A thank you is not only the polite thing to do, but you may need an updated version of the letter in the future.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back to the Classroom


For many of you, classes start back up tomorrow. It is the time for a fresh start--another chance to get organized and make a committment to your studies.

Hopefully, you have met with a counselor and given your academic goals some serious thought.

Although the main focus of this blog will be scholarships, I will, periodically, be wearing my counselor's hat and offering some friendly reminders. Are you as ready as you can be to start? Have you paid all your tuition and fees? Have you purchased all of your books and supplies? Have you applied for financial aid?

Tomorrow, I will write a bit about FAFSA. Please visit daily. Eve-Marie