Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Recommendation Packets

It is critical to get your request packets out as soon as possible. Be sure to ask the person writing on your behalf to read the directions (Guidelines for Writing Letters of Recommendation) carefully.

Hopefully, you have written the deadline date on the packet so that they know how soon you need the letter. After a week, check back with them to see if they have had a chance to write your letter. This is the hard part--you need to make several gentle reminders.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Office Resources

A great deal of time has been put into updating and organizaing the scholarship binders that I keep in my office. These are for your use and I will be reviewing them with you this Thursday, September 24th, when we meet in the Career/Transfer Center.

Remember to go directly to the Career/Transfer Center for class.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Start Searching Google

You should have already started searching for scholarships on your own. A good place to start exploring is

You can enter anything about yourself--major, GPA, ethnic background, birthplace, whether you are tall or short, color of your eyes, disabilities, male/female or even cancer survivor. You'll be amazed on what comes up and that will, invariably, lead to another site.

The class is providing you with the knowledge of how to research and how to keep everything organized so that you won't miss deadlines but, finding scholarships is your responsibility. If you truly are in need of money, you will pursue every resource which is given to you in class. You need to read the book, my website and the blog in order to keep up.

Even though many scholarships will be brought to class, the ultimate responsibility is yours. The scholarships you earn will be proportionate to the amount of time that you devote to research and getting your portfolio put together.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Follow up on requests for letters of recommendation.

Receiving your letters of recommendation in a timely fashion will be one of the greatest challenges for scholarship students. Not only is it important to get those request packets out as quickly as possible but, you must stay on top of it.

Start off by writing down the deadline date and pointing it out to the person who will be writing on your behalf. Check back before a week is over to ask about the progress. Keep checking every few days.

Once you receive your written recommendation, send a thank note or letter to show your appreciation. In addition, include a nice bookmark, a packet of decorated post-its or a chocolate bar. Even a flower that you have picked from your garden shows gratitude.

The next step is to make several color copies and insert them in a sheet protector in your portfolio. Kinko's is open twenty four hours a day and it is located close by. Remember, the visual is very important and you want your application to stand out.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Requesting Letters of Recommendation

A couple of days ago, you were asked to start making verbal requests for having letters of recommendation written on your behalf. Hopefully, you have identified at least three people who will write a "wonderful" letter for your scholarship portfolio.

Tomorrow in class I will be talking about all of the necessary documents that you should include in your request packet. To give you a bit of a head start, you will need the following:
Formal letter of request, unoffical transcripts (the ones I printed out for you), Personal Data form, Scholarship Resume, large white envelope--there are three in your large portfolio. Please include a copy of the Guidelines for Writing a Letter which you can download from my website,

If you have a completed Personal Statement (Essay), you can include it in your request packet.

Should anyone want a sample of a letter of recommendation, I have a couple of examples.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Economy and Financial Aid

If you haven't already applied for FAFSA, please do so NOW. Apply even if you don't think you qualify.

The following quote is from Newsweek:
"These are tough times for families and tough times for colleges and universities," says Terry Hartle, senior vice president at the American Council on Education (ACE). But, "federal student aid will be readily available, more than has been before."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Letters of Recommendation

Start today making verbal requests for Letters of Recommendation. You want to be sure that you ask a professor, counselor, an employer or anyone who knows you and is willing to write a wonderful letter on your behalf.

Please read the section in the book about letters of recommendation. On next Tuesday we will talk about the request packet and how to proceed with it. You might get a head start and print a half a dozen copies of the Guidelines for Writing a Letter of Recommendation which is on my website

Letters written by family and friends are not acceptable. You will note when reading a scholarship application that they will indicate that the letters should be from professionals on company letterhead. Once you have your letter, make several color copies and immediately write a thank you note or letter.

You should take it a step further and include a nice bookmark, post-its, a flower or even a candy bar to express your graditude for taking the time to write you a letter.