Saturday, February 26, 2011

More of Life's Little Instruction Book

11. Sing in the shower.
12. Plant flowers every spring.
13. Be the first to say "Hello".
14. Live beneath your means.
15. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
16. Wear polished shoes.
17. Floss your teeth.
18. Return all things you borrow.
19. Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.
20. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.

"Life's Little Instruction Book" by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Udall Scholarship

Just finished registering five students for the Udall scholarship ($5000). I could register an unlimited number of students, but ultimately can only nominate 6. I would have liked to register more students. Did you forget or did you just feel that you wouldn't qualify?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thank You/Letters of Recommendation

By now, many of you have received some or all of the Letters of Recommendation that you requested. Please, please remember to get those thank you letters/cards out immediately. Someone has taken his/her time to write on your behalf so expressing your gratitude is the courteous thing to do.

Take it a step further. Include a bookmark, post its or even a candy bar in the envelope to show just how much you appreciate their efforts. Don't feel that you have to buy a gift--it is not necessary. Everyone knows that you don't have money to spare, but a small appreciative gesture is always welcome.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Winning Scholarships

When it comes to winning scholarships, it takes a good system and a lot of hard work. Scholarships require that you apply often and read the focus of the organization. Become familiar with their goals and spend a lot of time writng your personal essay. It is the most important document in the scholarship packet.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Importance of Completing FAFSA by March 2nd

Importance of Completing FAFSA Before March 2nd
Published on Friday, February 18th, 2011 by Caroline Category: College Scholarships And Grants

Why Do I Have to Complete it By March 2?It is importance to submit your FAFSA by March 2nd for two reasons: to qualify for a Cal Grant and to get first dibs on financial aid, grants, and work study opportunities. Just think of it this way–the earlier you turn in your FAFSA, the more money you will have a chance of getting. In other words, if you snooze, you lose. This is because FAFSA is given out on a first come first serve basis. Students who wait until after March 2nd to file their FAFSA may receive less aid than they would have if they filed it before March 2nd because they miss out on the opportunity to receive Cal Grants and students who filed by March 2nd get priority.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Be aware that scholarships do affect your ability to qualify for financial aid. The Finacial Aid office uses a formula to determine your need. If the income surpasses your yearly costs to attend, it is determined that you do not need financial aid.

This should not be a reason to stop applying for scholarships because you stand to make more money in scholarships than with financial aid. Although your finacial aid may be sufficient to cover your academic expenses while attending a community college, you will definitely need a considerable amount more when attending a four-year college.

Each Financial Aid office functions a bit differently so you need to become familiar with the process at the college you will be attending. Since most scholarships are sent to the college with your name and the name of the college, the Financial Aid office is fully aware of all of your awards.

If you want to earn a college degree without going into great debt,scholarships are the answer, but you can't have both financial aid and scholarships if dollars earned through scholarships and grants far exceed the cost of attending the college annually. Financial aid is for UNMET NEEDS.

You need to think beyond the cost to attend a community college. Start preparing for paying tuition and fees at a four-year college/university. Do you want or can you afford to have $200,000 (the average student incurs a debt of at least $20,000) in student loans when you finish college?

By the way, even if you don't qualify for financial aid, you must apply because most orgnizations offering scholarships require proof that you have applied for FAFSA.

Now, be proactive and start the scholarship application process. The ideal time to start looking for scholarships is in the junior year of high school. Are you on track??

Friday, February 18, 2011

Life's Instructions

1. Compliment three people every day.
2. Have a dog.
3. Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
4. Remember other people's birthdays.
5. Overtip breakfast waitresses.
6. Have a firm handsake
7. Look people in the eye.
8. Say "thank you" a lot.
9. Say "please" a lot.
10. Learn to play a musical instrument

Taken from Life's Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Start a Routine

Get in the habit of doing scholarship searches at least two hours a week. Although I bring upcoming scholarships to class, you need to be proactive. Remember, it is a numbers games. The more you apply, the better your chances of being a winner.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Scholarships and Taxes

"Scholarships and grants are not part of income for taxation or subject to social security when spent on tuition or fees, books, supplies, or equipment required for courses. A tax liability situation may arise from scholarship funds that are used to pay for room and board, or exceed the amount spent for tuition, fees etc."

Taken from an article written by Jerald R. Gober for the New Accountant.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Barbara Wade Salm Scholarship

Should you be considering applying for the Nat'l Organization of Women's Scholarship (Barbara Wade Salm) be sure to come in for some help. You have about a week so don't wait until the last minute if you want my assistance. Remember, guys can also apply for this.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Good Source for Textbooks

Discovered a site that might be helpful when you transfer to a four year college.

Check out

Portfolio Due

Remember that tomorrow, February 15th, is the deadline for purchasing your class materials. Please bring to class your textbook, 3" binder, and your organized 1 " binder.

Please be sure to attend class and arrive on time. Many very important announcements are being made re scholarships and the process of finding scholarships.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Letters of Recommendation

Although the information is in the textbook, I will quickly review the steps for formally requesting LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION:
1.Select a professor, counselor, employer or any professional person who knows you well.
2.Ask first if they feel comfortable writing a wonderful letter on your behalf.
3.Prepare a packet which includes a written request (sample on the website & book, completed personal data form and scholarship resume, personal essay if you have one completed,a 9 X 12 white envelope (self addressed)with postage and a copy of unofficial transcripts.
4.Be sure that everything is well formatted and edited.
5.Insert everything into a second 9 X 12 white envelope and submit.
6.Be sure to include a deadline--two weeks is a reasonable amount of time.
7.When you receive the recommendation, send a thank you letter or note immediately. A nice gesture would be to include a some attractive post-its, a bookmark or a candy bar.
8.It is really urgent that those letters get out immediately. You will need to do follow up every few days.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Importance of a Thank You

Yesterday, Scott Beatty, a former student of mine, who received about $129,000 in scholarships, spoke to my current scholarship class. His message was powerful, but he reminded me of the power of a thank you note.

Most of us are aware of the importance of sending a thank you note when we are given a gift or when someone does something thoughtful. How many of us have thought to send a thank you note when we were passed up for a job or a scholarship?

Scott told the story of mailing a note in 1995 to a woman who had given him $50 to help with his career. Amazingly this woman kept the note on her desk for years and then later actually sponsored his last year in graduate school. Through the years, Scott has made it a habit to send a thank you note even when he hasn't received a scholarship and it has paid off.

Remember, even when you have been turned down for a job or scholarship, there is a magic that is cast by the courtesy of a note of appreciation.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Verbal Request for Letters of Recommendation

Have you identified professors, counselors, employer or any other professional that you think will write a wonderful letter on your behalf? On Thursday, I will be giving instructions on the process. In the meantime, the directions are in the book should you want to get a head start. It is really important that you start the process ASAP.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Welcome to all of the three sections of the scholarship classes being offered this semester. Also, a special welcome to all of you who follow my post. I blog every weekday and on occasion I will send a special message on a Saturday or Sunday.

The purpose of the blog is to coach those of you who are seriously looking for scholarships. I follow along with the class presentations and also remind you of upcoming scholarships.

Please also visit my website where you will find current scholarships. For the most part the scholarships are for community college students, but there are also other categories such Women, High School Students and Variable Deadlines. Soon I will be adding Veterans, Disabilities and Graduate scholarships.

I invite you to take advantage of this FREE information and tips. Please post comments and questions. I'm happy to help you in any way that I can.