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 www.fastweb.com. 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