In today’s episode of The College Checklist Podcast, scholarship expert and author Monica Matthews joins us to share 12 tips that families with students of all ages can employ to prepare to win college scholarships. These tips are practical ideas that families can do together that can ultimately help them become more competitive when financial aid and private scholarship dollars are on the line.
Listen Now: How to Prepare to Win College Scholarships
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About Monica Matthews
Our guest today is a scholarship expert Monica Matthews – author of How To Win College Scholarships : A Guide for Parents in 10 Easy Steps and founder of the blog How 2 Win Scholarships.com. A mother of 3, Monica learned all about scholarships as she helped her eldest son get into and win over $100,000 dollars in scholarships.
The Twelve Tips Monica mentions in today’s episode:
#1 Volunteer as a family when the kids are very young.
#2 Encourage good grades and if they need help to ask for it.
#3 Have a word of the day calendar hung in a prominent place where the whole family will see it everyday.
#4 Encourage and value membership in school honor societies
#5 Encourage club memberships.
#6 Have a special place in your home for awards, contact information, report cards and volunteer records.
#7 Have you child enroll in special classes in community colleges.
#8 Save writing samples from good essays and reports. Have them write down how they felt when the won an award or event. This will help them later when they need to write college essays.
#9 Make informal visits to college campuses in your town and when you are on vacation.
#10 Always say “when” you go to college not “if” you go to college
#11 Parents should attend financial aid workshops starting when the child is a high school freshman. Learn the process and language of applying for and receiving financial aid.
#12 Monitor your students social media habits starting when they are young. Be aware of what they are posing on line.
“There are so many assumptions that people have about scholarships that just aren’t true.”
“The pressure comes from scrambling at the last minute….so people tend to give up.”
Lightning Round Q&A
Q1: What’s your best piece of advice for families as they begin this journey?
A1: Do not make assumptions. Start where you are and get the facts.
Q3: What should a family who is overwhelmed by the college admissions process focus on?
A3: Take the process one step at a time.
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