I have a confession to make. I didn’t help either of my kids apply for scholarships. I felt, as my friend Liza did about her own kids, that my kids should seek out and apply for scholarships on their own. If they didn’t, well, they would be the ones stuck with the debt.
I wish I’d known then about the book, How to Win College Scholarships: A Guide for Parents in 10 Easy Steps, written by a woman whose son graduated from college debt-free.
Below are four ways to position your children to win college scholarships. You want your kids to graduate debt-free too! The following is excerpted from an article on Savingforcollege.com.
No matter how old or young your children are, there are ways you can prepare NOW to help them win college scholarships when they are ready to apply for and attend college. The cost of college tuition is skyrocketing and knowledge is power, so here are 12 simple ways to prepare students to win college scholarships.
1. Encourage good grades.
From the time they enter preschool, parents can instill in their children the importance of always doing their very best on all their schoolwork. As students get older and begin to receive letter grades, they should be encouraged to always strive for A’s and B’s. Working toward being included on academic honor rolls should be a goal and a family expectation.
2. Value volunteering.
Helping others is not only good for students and the people they help; it’s good for scholarship applications. Most organizations that offer college scholarships want to know how many community service hours a student has worked and how it has impacted their lives. Parents can start early with their children and volunteer as a family, establishing meaningful relationships with people who may one day write detailed and personal letters of recommendation for their student.
3. Speak about WHEN, not IF.
Talking about “when” students will go to college, instead of “if” they will go sends a message that college is an important part of a student’s education. Parents can also bring into casual conversations valuable information and lessons they learned from their own college days.
4. Make college visits on vacations.
Family vacations are a great way to do mini college visits. While sight-seeing and on the road, take a few extra minutes to locate any colleges in the area and drive by them to check them out. These casual visits may spark college conversations and interest without pressuring students. Make notes about each school and save them for future reference.
Visit Savingforcollege.com to read more.