Five High Schools Seniors Get $123,000 For College

Five graduating seniors from Nanaimo District secondary school earned $123,000 in scholarships for college this fall.

Stephanie Robinson, the career counselor for the school, said that students are having better opportunities getting scholarships because universities and colleges are making information on scholarships easier to access.

Kulveer Parhar, the top senior of the graduating class is going to University of British Columbia in hopes of becoming a doctor. Parhar received $65,000 in scholarships. His major scholarships were a $40,000 UBC entrance scholarship and a $20,000 national Millennium Scholarship. He also won some other small awards. Parhar was very involved in activities during high school which included being a big brother, coaching soccer and basketball and helping out in the hospital.

Brendan Boere won a $20,000 Millennium scholarship for his part to raise money for sustainable programs for the youth on Gabriela Island. He is also planning on going to University of British Columbia to study medical sciences.

Heidi Granter is heading to Queen’s University in Ontario with a $10,000 scholarship. Granter said she will be studying political science and economics but does not have an idea about she wants to do for a living.

Hayley Sedola will be earning a $12,000 scholarship and is also going to Queen’s University. She is studying to become a biomedical engineer.

Andra Jakobson is going to University at Ottawa with a $16,000 scholarship over four years. During high school, Jakobson helped raise funds to help children with AIDS at an orphanage in Zimbabwe. Jakobson wants to study international development and globalization in hopes of joining politics and fighting for resources for third world countries.

Need Free Money for College? Avoid These 3 Mistakes

Do you know the 3 biggest mistakes both parents and students make when looking for free money for college that destroys their results? If you want to dramatically increase your chances of having your child’s college tuition and fees covered by scholarships and other college financial aid while avoiding these 3 college funding mistakes, read this immediately because the mistakes and what to do instead are inside this article.

Mistake #1: Starting Too Late

What is the mistake? The mistake here is to believe that students need to wait until they reach their junior or senior year in high school before locating different sources of free money for college.

Why is it a mistake? This one is a mistake because the longer a student waits before getting started, the less time they actually have to research awards they will qualify to receive.

What you should do instead? Regardless of how old your child is, start now by creating a list of college funding opportunities. As your children grow up, that list will grow over time as well.

Mistake #2: Doing The Work Themselves

What is the mistake? The mistake here is to push yourself to find all the money for college you need by yourself. This leads to overwhelm and before you know it, you and your child have given up hope.

Why is it a mistake? This is a big mistake because to win at the game of finding free money for college, you will want to identify ways to accomplish this without having to do all of the legwork yourself.

What you should do instead? Relationships are key here. Try building a relationship with the college advisor at your child’s school and ask for email updates if any new scholarship award should cross their desk. This person is usually your greatest resource.

Mistake #3: Not Knowing The Numbers

What is the mistake? The mistake here is to find and apply for 30 or less scholarship awards to help you pay for college.

Why is it a mistake? This is a mistake because even the very best student will win less than 3% to 5% of awards for which they apply. With that said, if a student locates and applies to 3 college scholarship or college funding opportunities that is 90 or so over the course of the month.

What you should do instead? Get aggressive about finding as many credible sources of free money for college. Set a daily or weekly goal and stay with it until the question of how to pay for college quickly becomes a thing of the past.

I Love My Kids, But I Never Got Around To Saving For Their College – Now They Are In High School

I always thought about starting a college fund. I even set up a small savings account when they were born. Now they are in high school, time is running out and I am starting to panic. What can I do? Where should I start? Are they going to hate me? I really wish I had started earlier.

Get Started: As their guidance counselors, teachers and friends are helping them evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in an effort to narrow down their career options, you need to take action now if they are going to make it to college. Here is how to begin.

Relax: Your first step is to take a deep breath and realize that you are starting late. You can’t change the past, but you can take positive action to change the future. The fact that you are reading this article tells me that you are ready to make an effort to help your children as much as possible. It will take some time and effort on your part, but you WILL make progress one step at a time.

Follow These Steps: The following steps will get you started on a nice structured path. You will start a journey that will take you from where you are now, through to the college graduation of your youngest child. It will not be easy or without some sacrifices, but if you do it right, it will be fun and your children will appreciate your efforts.

Step 1 – Family Net Worth: Prepare a current Net Worth Statement so you can see where you stand right now. This is a financial snap shot that will show your assets and liabilities as of today. (You can find a free one-page net worth statement on our site listed at the end of this article – forms section – or by searching the internet.) Once you know where you are today, every positive step you take will improve your net worth and help your efforts to send your children to college.

Step 2 – Maximize Income: Now that your children are all in school, consider maximizing your earning and saving potential. If one spouse was the primary care giver for the children, maybe they were working part-time or not working outside the house. Consider having both spouses work full-time to add extra income into the family budget. These increased earnings can be directed specifically into college savings, but make sure you put them in the right type of accounts.

Step 3 – Talk To Your Kids: Discuss college and financial aid with your children now. Review the costs associated with community colleges, state universities and private colleges. Let them know that you may be late to the game, but you are trying to help them as much as you possibly can. Depending on your family size, income and assets, you can get an estimate of your expected family contributions by using one of the online EFC calculators. Once you and your children are aware of these estimates, you can begin looking into your best college alternatives.

Step 4 – Let Them Help: Finally, encourage and help your children to become more “Financial Aid Worthy” students. By doing the right things while they are in high school and positioning your assets properly, you can help them by qualifying for more financial aid and learning how to further reduce college costs.

Keep Moving Forward: The most important point to remember is that even small steps will help, so if hitting a college financial “Home Run” isn’t possible, a solid single or even a bunt will help your cause. Every little bit helps and if you keep moving forward in your efforts to narrow the college funding gap, your children will see your efforts and be that much better off.

In Summary: Don’t beat yourself up. You are in the same boat as plenty of other American families. Your kids won’t hate you, but taking the first steps now will help substantially. Talk with your children and give them realistic expectations about what you can and can’t do to help. Remember – Where there is a will… there is a way.

With the many options for college, students need to evaluate their own situation and decide which path is right for them. It will be easier if they know all the relevant details. They might surprise you, so encourage them and help them to make good decisions.

To discover very specific ways to maximize your financial aid and reduce college costs, I have prepared a FREE College Cost Savings Kit which you can download by Clicking Here.

Please consider printing this article and sharing it with a friend. Many parents are in the same situation as you are. By paying it forward, you could help them save a lot of headaches and plenty of money too.

College Admissions: Why You Need An Outsider’s Perspective

I recently saw a question posted by “David” on one of those “Ask an expert” type sites – it was all about financial aid – and the answer to the financial aid question was only half-right. Half-baked information will get you half-baked results.

But, what struck me more was the “self-assessment” of the person writing the question. It struck me because I “see” this A LOT from students.

“David” is interested in MIT but is now considering Yale,too, because of information he came across regarding financial aid on Collegeboard.com.

Here’s how he assessed himself (and his question):

“I have straight A’s throughout my high school. I have a pretty good SAT and ACT scores. I can write a killer essay. I have been doing a few extracurricular throughout 4 years. I guess recommendation is not a big problem. So I want to have a shot at MIT.

However, when I was searching for Yale this morning, my mind starts to change a bit. So here is my question:

– Does the average financial aid package mean the total money/scholarship you’ll get for one year (two semesters)?

– If that is the case, does it mean that average students pay around $2,000 each year for their tuition (ignore room, books, and other costs first)?

– So, if I’m lucky enough, does it mean that I can get a ride to college for FREE or almost FREE?

– Let’s say that I’m REALLY lucky, and get a scholarship that worth more than the cost of my tuition, does it mean that I can even “EARN” money as a college student (if I spend less on the other costs)?”

In this one statement, I can tell a few things about David, and so will the admissions officers.

First up, he believes that “Great grades, strong SAT scores and lots of activities are enough”. Well, the THOUSANDS of students who apply to MIT and Yale also have them. So, what else do you have to offer, David?

Next: “I can write a killer essay.” David, even Hemmingway needed an editor. And, writing a decent essay in class is not the style of essay you’ll need on the application. And, as a former English teacher, I’ve met a lot of English teachers who can’t write. So, relying on them may not be the best idea, either.

Next problem: “I guess recommendation is not a big problem.” (The way this is written makes me question his ability to “write a killer essay”). Getting a good recommendation is not simply a question of asking someone to write one.

And, finally, my favorite: “Let’s say that I’m REALLY lucky, and get a scholarship that worth more than the cost of my tuition… ” again, apart from the lousy writing, this sentence screams ignorance about the colleges he is looking to attend.

Yale (and the rest of the Ivy League) and MIT (and most of the other Ivy-Type colleges) do not offer scholarships. If you have a financial aid need, they will offer you need-based aid. But they don’t offer scholarships – because they don’t have to.

David also believes he should get a scholarship, but has no clue as to how or why it would happen.How do I know? “Let’s say that I’m REALLY lucky, and get a scholarship… “

There’s a lot he doesn’t know about these colleges and about the college search, selection, application and funding process in general.

And when you don’t know what you don’t know, you end up disappointed.

David may very well have a good shot at schools like Yale and MIT; AND, there might be other colleges he isn’t even considering yet that would be even better fits for the type of student he actually is. Problem is, there’s a lot he doesn’t know (and most likely there’s a lot his parents don’t know, too).

The solution is to get help with all of this. College is a huge investment of time, effort and money – now is not the time to cut corners.

Your Smart Plan For College Assignment:

Take a moment to be really honest with yourself: do you see a bit of yourself or your student in David’s story?

Do you know how the college process really works?

Are you sure?

Outline three steps you could take right now (based on the mistakes “David” is making or to avoid the myths he’s believing) so that you don’t end up disappointed.

If you can’t list three steps, it’s time to get some help.