Lending a Hand in the College Scholarship Process
The college scholarship process can be overwhelming and frustrating. This is how parents can help!
I wasn’t planning on writing today, but I was just inspired by my 16-year-old high school junior who has basically slept his whole holiday break away.
That’s right. I went to wake him up (at 11:30 am) and as we were discussing his plans for the day, the inspiration for sharing my scholarship searching life with other parents struck me. Not only do I help other parents and their students in the college scholarship process, but I am currently right in the middle of it for the third time with my youngest son.
You see, he had all of his Christmas vacation to work on a few specific tasks related to college scholarships and here we are on the last day. Will he sleep all day and get nothing done? (Again?)
Here is how our conversation went:
Me (loving mom): Hey son, what time were you planning on working on your *R3 project today?
(R3 = Robots Reaching Robots, a community service project that my son founded to help a FIRST Robotics team in need. Read more about how students can create their own projects here.)
Sleepy son: Mumble, mumble…how about after dinner?
Me: No, we have a FIRST Robotics meeting tonight right after dinner.
Less sleepy son: How about 5:00?
Me: That won’t work either. I will be making dinner and we can get much more done if we work together.
Pretty much awake by now son: Um…..
Me: How about 2:00 – 4:00?
Solidly awake son, reaching for his phone: That works.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Sleepy son, determined mom…perhaps?
Unfortunately, teenagers really aren’t very interested in all that is involved in the college scholarship process. Sure, they WANT to win money for college, but without much direction and motivation, most will keep scholarship work on the back burner until it is too late. Students who scramble at the last minute (spring of senior year) trying to apply for scholarships will only be able to apply for a handful of awards and their chances of winning are sadly slim.
Be sure to read: How to Get Your Teens Excited About College Scholarship Work
So, back to the reason for this post. If I had marched into my son’s room and TOLD him that he needed to work on college scholarships (or in this case, his community service project that will help him win scholarships) for two solid hours today, I can guarantee you he would not have been happy and little work would have gotten done. Instead, I got him to agree to a specific time under his terms with gentle determination on my part. I know that not everyone will agree with my method of helping my son in the college scholarship process, but since this is my third college-bound son, I know what works for teenagers and the thousands of dollars my sons have won for school is solid proof.
I describe all of these points in great detail in How to Win College Scholarships, but here they are in a nutshell:
- Start early
- .Work together
- Have scholarship prep in place well in advance
- Speak their language
- Be an encourager, not a nagger
Are you a parent that knows you will need financial aid for your student’s college education but probably won’t qualify for government assistance?
That is exactly where I was when my first son started looking into college many years ago and I shuddered to think about how in the world we would come up with the money to make his higher education dreams come true. I knew we needed him to win college scholarships!
Do you have any tips to share that will help other parents motivate their own scholarship searching kids? Please share them!
Has your student won scholarship money as a result of using my winning strategies? This mom writes:
If you ever have any questions about the college scholarship process or my scholarship guides, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org ~ Monica MatthewsParents, YOU can help your students in the college scholarship process! #ScholarshipMom #Scholarships Click To Tweet