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Lending a Hand in the College Scholarship Process
The college scholarship process can be overwhelming and frustrating. This is how parents can help!
(Quick 2022 UPDATE: My youngest son is now a college senior, but keep reading because this really happened a few years ago!)
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 many 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 all three of my boys have won for school is solid proof.
I describe all of these points in great detail in my How to Win College Scholarships ebooks, 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!
Students and their parents who are looking for college scholarship money can easily get overwhelmed. I know, I’ve been there! Learn the step-by-step method that I developed to help my son go to college and graduate 100% debt-free here >>
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:
No extra outlay of money for either she or I…her very important freshman year in college…allows her to focus completely on her studies. Staying organized listed as step #1 in the guide was essential.
Completing all the lines and thinking of presentation as if she were acing a job interview helped immensely. Thank you, Monica, for putting together this thorough, inspirational and amusing guide. It’s a masterpiece and it truly works! If we can do it, so can you!!!” T.R., Burtchville, MI
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
Monica Matthews is the author of How to Win College Scholarships. She helped her own son win over $100,000 in college scholarships and now shares her expertise with other parents and their students. She truly has “been there, done that” in regard to helping parents and students navigate the scholarship process.
Her method of helping students in finding college scholarships, writing unique and compelling scholarship essays, creating amazing scholarship application packets, and more have taught desperate parents to help their own students win thousands of scholarship dollars. She teaches them how to apply S.M.A.R.T. with outstanding results.
Monica’s scholarship tips have been featured on many prominent websites, and she has been dubbed the “Go-To” expert on college scholarships.
I’m so glad to see you have this trouble with your teen too! I would’ve thought that based on his siblings’ experience he’d be all over it , so I feel much better about my daughter’s lackadaisical approach lol!
I’m so glad to hear that my first-hand experience helped, Christina! Feel free to reach out to me anytime if you need scholarship help. 🙂
This is wonderful! What a great way for the two of you to bond while doing something important!
It really is, Mandi. I love helping my son help others. 🙂
Your tips on dealing with teenagers will work on other areas too. I don’t have kids yet, but I am in the house with my 3 little nieces. Let me just tell you I am not very good at: “Speak their language. Be an encourager, not a nagger.” 🙂
Thanks, Herlina. Patience isn’t always easy, is it? 🙂
Your techniques of encouragement obviously work with the success you and your children have had. Was he ready to go to work at 2PM? You demonstrate how specific we must be when planning to work on things – with others and even when we are working on our own projects.
He needed a quick reminder at 1:40 to take a shower and then he was great! (smelled good too) 😉
Personal experience is the bes t way to show others they aren’t alone!
I agree 100%, Carol! The trick is finding the line between helping and doing. Thanks for stopping by and reading my scholarship blog! 🙂
Ah yes, the perpetually sleepy teenager. I remember it well. Sounds like you did a good job corralling their limited daytime energy (I’m convinced they’re vampires) into productive activities.
LOL at “vampires”! Thanks, Laurie! 🙂
The struggle is real. But so is the money. And I wish I had these tips when my son was going to college. Instead, he and I both spent years paying off college loans.
I’m sorry I wasn’t around when your son was in college, Jennifer. Please feel free to share my content with your friends and family who have college-bound students. The struggle is most certainly real.
Lots of handy advice for those wannabe college goers
Thanks, Ritu! LOL at “wannabe”! 🙂
Thank you for sharing your information. I have two teen sons that will be college bound soon. I’m starting my research now so I can be prepared when the time is right for them to think about scholarships. Thanks so much for sharing!
You’re welcome, Lisa! I’m so glad you found me. Feel free to email me anytime if you have any scholarship questions. (email@example.com) 🙂
Great points here! And, I’m with you on the need to approach kids using their “language”. My kids are a bit younger, and I find this works with them too when they aren’t excited about something, or if they are upset. Along with great advice, you have great links here too. Pinning for future use. Thanks!
Thank you so much, Erin! I thought of this post when you said you have younger kids. 🙂
I don’t see the scholarship advent calendar or link to it.
Hi Nargis, the Scholarship Tip Advent Calendar is free, but it is also digital. You can access each daily tip via email or when I post in my Facebook group and on my page. There is more info about it here: https://how2winscholarships.com/college-scholarship-advent-calendar-24-daily-tips/