College Planning: What Happens When Parents Become Too Involved

Dec 12, 2011 3:13:00 PM

Although many parents mean well when helping their child search for and select a college, too much parental involvement in the process can be a big problem. A child should not select a college in order to please their parents, which could result in future resentment, difficulty in finding courses or a career-path that suit the child’s interests and abilities, and even failure to complete a degree. However, a child should also not choose a college in order to spite their parents, either. Such a reactive choice is likely not to be in either the parent’s or the child’s best interest.

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Topics: College Planning, Parents and College Planning

College Scholarships: Make Yourself Stand Out in the Application Pool

Dec 7, 2011 2:09:00 PM

When it comes to finding scholarship money, high school seniors and their parents need to look for ways to make themselves stand out. With all the competition out there for limited scholarship and education funding, serious students need to write strong essays that approach the topic from a different angle. There are plenty of private scholarship opportunities available. A general list of strategies that differ slightly from the usual may include some of the following.

College and University Start your free search

Do not bypass the traditional school scholarship route when looking for different school funding opportunities. Perform some research about each institution offering funding. Appeal to their tastes by showing interest in what drives them. For example, if a school works with disadvantaged youth, join an organization to demonstrate that you align with their business philosophy.

Find out how your local schools, and others of interest, interact with their communities. Attend local events to meet the most influential people of the education community. Arrange to volunteer in programs that are sponsored by colleges and universities. This can be a great way to network with people who can guide you toward finding school scholarship funding options.

Special School Scholarships

Consider applying for a scholarship associated with an art, social or other skill that you have. For example, if you perform music, look for scholarships that involve music. The same holds true for any other skill that you have. Apply for every scholarship that you may be eligible for. For example, the Steve Silver Foundation offers its annual "Beach Blanket Babylon Scholarship for the Arts." When applying for this kind of opportunity, be sure to read the instructions carefully and submit everything that is asked for.

Socially Designed Funding

There are educational funding opportunities for students of all kinds. Examine your heritage and see if you might qualify for a specific opportunity. For example, if you have a bloodline that includes American Indian or Eskimo lineage, look for ways to capitalize on that. Carefully craft your essay to explain how you qualify, and be very specific about how you might use your education to help your race and the community. If your studies will be directly related, such as with social services, this could serve to put you at the forefront. 

All kinds of groups serving the best interests of society offer free cash for school. Find out what programs exist in your community by becoming an active participant in community service. For example, volunteer as a youth mentor at a youth club. Visit with those who serve the community to find out about how you may contribute. Many of these people will have information about educational funding, especially if you make your education goals known.  

An example of a socially focused educational funding opportunity might be the "Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship." Graduating high school seniors who have made an effort to promote vegetarianism can apply for a chance for sponsorship money for school. Winning students for this kind of scholarship usually must exhibit a genuine, ongoing commitment to the subject of each contest, rather than participating in just one major project.


Check with your local businesses and at the Chamber of Commerce to find out about money for education. Many businesses offer students a chance to compete for available scholarships to use for college, technical school and universities. Some companies may offer stipends in connection with internships. For example, if you work part-time, ask your employer if they offer any money for schooling.
If you are a Rhode Island resident, view use or site of school scholarship opportunities that come from all kinds of different places. It really is just a matter of finding and applying for them.

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Topics: Scholarships