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Did you know that billions of dollars in scholarships go unused each year?  For twenty years, I’ve counseled college students and their parents.  The most frequent question parents ask is where can I find scholarships for college?  The rising cost of college is causing tensions to rise across the country because parents cannot afford to send their sons/daughters to the four-year college of their choice.  When parents receive information regarding their student’s financial aid award, they learn that they must find $5,000-$10,000 to fund their child’s education.  One family sought after money by hiring a $1,000 scholarship consultant.  Later the parents discovered that by researching the internet they could discover the scholarships on their own. 

     When parents ask how soon they should begin to look for scholarships, my first response is the ninth grade.  By the time that your son/daughter reaches 11th grade, they should have a binder containing scholarship information.  When your son/daughter reaches 11th grade they should begin to send out scholarship letters to organizations that allow for early submissions.  Let the summer before senior year provide you with an opportunity to send out hundreds of scholarship forms and letters.  In fact, here are 12 ways that a student can begin to uncover the 90 billion dollars in scholarships:

  1. Send a letter to your local college fraternity of sorority requesting information about their scholarship.
  2. Contact your local rotary club to ask about their scholarship application.
  3. Visit your local legislator’s office to inquire about new scholarships offered by the state or federal government office 
  4. Visit local stores (i.e. Home Depot, CVS, super markets) to inquire about scholarships.
  5. Contact local colleges to ask about a free list of scholarships that they offer
  6. Visit the internet and conduct a search for scholarships. Some of the topics you can enter include (free money, scholarships, college financial aid, money for            college, free scholarship, government grants of scholarships etc…)
  7. Ask your local religious organizations about scholarships 
  8. Start a family scholarship fund that allows family members to contribute funds.    Set limits on the amount of money a family member can request.
  9. Ask your employer about scholarships offered to children of employees.
  10. Ask your company’s credit union representative about scholarships that they offer to students.
  11. Enter writing/essay contests for college bound students. Look for opportunities in            magazines like the Writer’s Digest and others.
  12. Students can make a scholarship appeal on a local radio program and receive funding from their listeners.

If you implement these steps, you have the potential to uncover billions of dollars of hidden scholarships.  Dr. Stephen Jones is a nationally recognized speaker and author of “Seven Secrets of How to Study, offers 100 scholarship websites in his book.  You can send an e-mail to You can contact Dr. Jones free at 1-610-544-5480








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10 Terrible Mistakes new College Students Make

Every year millions of students go off to college with all kinds of hopes and dreams.  During their high school graduation they are told the future is bright.  As is common with any new experiences there are a lot of adjustments that students must make.  There are a lot of encounters with roommates and adjustments for different ways of living.  For example one student might be very accustomed to a clean room while the other likes to leave their clothes wherever they take them off.  This is a common occurrence on a college campus.  A good book for a college freshman is “Who Moved My Cheese” By Spencer Johnson.  There will be plenty of changes during the freshman year. The first year of college is a significant time when students grow and change emotionally and intellectually.  Here are a few mistakes college need to consider:                                   

  1. Regularly arrive to classes late during the first month

      2.Avoid tutoring because they already had the material during high school

  1. Study difficult subjects by themselves

      4. Avoid professors who encourage you to come to office hours for help

  1. Eat unhealthy meals gain 30 pounds and feel sluggish all of the time

      6. Avoid the resident assistant because they might ask how your classes are going

      7.  Only meet the faculty advisor when it is time to get the classes for next semester

      8. Never go to the lectures that are offered by your department

  1. Don’t participate in fun activities and sporting events on campus

     10. Never organize a study groups to study with


Attending college can be one of the most challenging experiences in life.  I have met many students in college who do not take advantage of services like tutoring and learning how to study from a counselor.  College should be a time of exploration where a student can find out many things about themselves.  A new student shouldn’t let other students tell them what to do when to have fun rather than study.  A first year student can have a challenging first year by failing to manage the number of activities that they are involved in.

Each student should allow their year to be a time of seeking new information about themselves and their career. They should not get distracted by those who tell them that college is too hard and you should drop out. If they are not exactly sure about their career they can take a career test at the college’s career center.  Sometimes just by talking to a company representative a student can identify some area of interest.  For example did many math majors are hired by an insurance company or finance company?  The freshman year is not too early to visit the career center. It may help the student to stay focused on their goal to graduate

Going to college is a great way to take the limits off of a student’s career possibilities. When a student meets professors in they are building a relationship that could last for four years.  There may be questions that your professor is willing to answer when a student is in their office. You can build a good reputation as a student who is serious about your major. Each student should challenge themselves to avoid the mistakes that will prevent them from having a good first year in college.  Make this freshman year a success by exploring all of your options and getting help when it is necessary. Dr Stephen Jones is education consultant author of three books the Seven Secrets of How to Study available at .


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