Helping Your Kids Adjust to E-Learning

Helping Your Kids Adjust to E-Learning

School is officially under way just about everywhere. With the pandemic showing no signs of letting up, most kids are beginning this new school year using online learning in some capacity. While Zoom and other online platforms have been a vital tool to help in educating our kids through lockdown and social distancing, they also pose some unique challenges to learning as well. Understanding these challenges can help parents and teachers work together to help their students learn well despite this crazy time in history.

A main issue for kids with e-learning is that most kids do not necessarily see technology as anything more than entertainment. It is important for parents to train their children in how to use Zoom as a tool that helps them interact with their teachers and classmates so that the experience is more engaging.

Electronic Devices for Education

Remember that most young children only see technology as a means to the end goal of entertainment. They may be well adept at using a tablet, cell phone, gaming system, computer, television, or Alexa, but they only use it for entertainment. They do not normally use it to look up information (apart from Alexa) or call people (even if they may sometimes talk to family and friends using some type of facetime). Generally young kids know how to play games and watch videos using the latest tech. They can be more proficient than their parents in finding and queuing up their entertainment, but they do not typically do google searches to find answers or solutions to tasks presented. Especially in a school environment. They also do not necessarily have a long attention span. They may or may not be able to watch a long TV show or movie, but again they are not required to engage with the person on the other side of the screen. If they become bored or distracted, they easily tune out whatever is going on on the screen. Unless they are solidly engaged with who or whatever is on the screen, the teacher will be hard pressed to keep their students on task for the day’s lesson. And even if the teacher can manage to keep the kids tuned in, if they do not have some adult supervision, they will probably not be able easily to maneuver the maze of logging in correctly, and downloading or uploading assignments.

Virtual Interaction

The older a child is, the more practice they will have had in a school setting. This doesn’t guarantee that they feel comfortable doing facetime with a teacher and classmates. Personal interactions via virtual meetings generally occur with family and friends, and having to interact with a teacher, who is usually a stranger at the beginning of the year, can cause the child to feel shy or uncomfortable. As we have all probably noticed by now, Zoom and other facetime meetings bring outsiders into the very personal and private spaces of our homes. A kid may do school in their bedroom, and it seems weird to them that their teacher and classmates can see into their private space. As kids get older, the regular anxieties and self-conscious feelings associated with various age groups can feel multiplied when required virtual class time forces us to allow others a prolonged view into our personal bubbles. It also doesn’t mean that they are super savvy in doing research or completing assignments completely online without assistance. Finally, don’t forget that if it is hard for adults to be self-disciplined to always stay on task and complete their work when working from home, it is equally of not more challenging for kids. One of the benefits of in-person school is that there is outside authority to lead, teach, and guide through the process of learning. With students at home but parents occupied with other requirements of living, it is easy for a kid to not log in, not complete or turn in assignments, and get behind.

Tips to Help Your Kids with E-Learning

So as not to leave everyone hanging on a sad note, there are some easy things you can do to help your kids with e-learning. This first is training your young learners to see their tech as a tool to connect and communicate instead of just as a form of entertainment. To do this, practice by doing Zoom meetings with them at home. Set up a meeting and send an invite to yourself or your child’s email. Teach your child how to log on, including typing in the password and muting/unmuting their microphones. Then you go to a separate space/room in your home away from your child. Have them log in. Then interact the way you think the teacher might. Ask them some intro questions (How is your day going? Did you have a nice morning so far? Etc.) Then ask them to repeat some phrases to you to show they are able to hear and are listening. Ask them to complete a task – answer a question, write something in their notebook, or some other simple job – and show you when they are done. Keep the “meetings” short and do a lot of them. Remember that you are training them so they are prepared to take class online. Also, make yourself available as much as possible when they are taking class for real. This will give them security and comfort.

 

Another thing you can do to help navigate this hurdle is help your child choose a space they feel comfortable sharing with the rest of their class. Wherever it is located, be sure to do a trial run or two virtually so that you and your child can see what their background looks like to others. Then you can decide how to rearrange, decorate, and tidy up to help ease anxieties and concerns.

 

Another help you can provide is for you as the parent to learn how to use the online platforms, tools, and resources the teacher/school will be using. Then you can understand how to help find assignments and download or upload finished work. You can also then know what your child is talking about when they discuss school “stuff” with you.

 

Ultimately your child will have the most success when you are involved no matter what school situation you find yourselves in. Not just because you are monitoring and helping fix problems, but because your child will feel loved and supported secure in the fact they are not in this alone.

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Why Hire an Academic Advisor in 2020?

Why Hire an Academic Advisor?

As a veteran homeschooler, I am often approached for advice and mentoring, and I love to help. But many people can get turned off when they realize that I offer educational consulting and academic advising as a business, which has a price attached to services. But I encourage you to consider the following. Just like you would pay an accountant or financial advisor for financial advice, a lawyer for legal advice, or a fitness coach for physical fitness advice, it is perfectly normal to pay an academic advisor or educational consultant for advice and guidance when it comes to education. You should seek out friend groups for support and mentoring, but an educational consultant offers more than just a word of encouragement from time to time. As an educational consultant my business goes far beyond that. I offer help in schooling choice - public vs. charter vs. private; traditional vs. homeschool. I break down the pros of cons of each, I also help you determine your own education values and goals. I help with course selection for students who are trying to decide how to structure their high school education plans so they get them to their desired goals for life after high school. I help families understand the world of homeschooling and then offer help with curriculum choices and education planning that coincides with their specific family values and goals. I help with finding and applying for scholarships and internship. I also offer tutoring services. While you may have access to different sources that offer limited, surface level encouragement through your personal connections, I give you in depth help, answering questions you didn’t even know to ask, showing you choices you didn’t know existed, and a wide range of services you often times do not know you need until it’s too late get them.

Thinking About Homeschooling?

One aspect of my consulting business is that I offer services specific to homeschooling. Many times, people interested in homeschool and families new to it seek out advice and support from veteran homeschoolers. This is great! We love to help! As an educational consultant though, I offer more in-depth help and guidance than just giving you my opinion on my favorite curriculum and the ones I absolutely despise. While it may seem unnecessary to spend money up front with an educational consultant, the overall cost is minimal in comparison to the amount you could spend in poor curriculum choice. I usually recommend 2 to 3 sessions to get you going. Besides giving you guidance and answering any immediate questions, I spend separate time researching curriculum and extra-curricular projects and activities to help you develop custom education plans for your family as a unit and each individual child in your family as separate, distinct students. I have known many families over the years who constantly overspend on curriculum and activities trying to find what works for them through trial and error. I have friends who have spent literally thousands of dollars for one year of school because they didn’t know how to choose a curriculum. They mistakenly take their friends’ and mentors’ opinions and advice as gospel truth, even if it is not presented that way, thinking they can follow a particular formula to clone someone else’s “successful” homeschool and produce child prodigies. They do not realize that they can and should create their own education plans developed out of their own education philosophy, purpose, and goals. Often families quit before they have given themselves a chance to adapt to this new way of life. My services can help avoid these harsh and needless stressors and costs. My services, which cost $50 a session, can help you determine your personal education philosophy and goals, which then give you the guidance in curriculum choice, family and individual education plans, and extra- curricular activities. With my help, you can easily spend less than $500 for your whole family for a year covering all these areas. While there is no guarantee on exact pricing for your particular needs, I can help you make wise education decisions that fit your needs and circumstances while saving you from poor and costly financial choices.
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Homeschooling in 2020

Headed back to school?

A common question/fear that I am often asked about refers to information gaps. Parents who are contemplating homeschooling ask how to determine what information gaps exist in their current education, and the also fear that they will not be able to teach their children adequately to fill any gap, and even worse, that they might create some new ones. The main counsel that I give to all about this is: Relax. Your child most certainly has gaps; you will inevitable create some, and you won’t be able to fill them all. While that may sound a bit harsh and uncaring, I want families to know the reality about gaps in education that exist for everyone.

Current education gaps

Every student, everywhere around the globe, past, present, and future has/had gaps. This is because no education system is flawless, no teacher is all-knowing in absolutely every topic under the sun, and no student is so capable as to learn all there is to know about everything. This, of course, sounds completely obvious, which it is. However, whenever I counsel parents and students about gaps, they are usually concerned that they are somehow missing some special information or training that will keep them from getting into college and pursuing the career of their dreams. They worry that they must have missed something along the way that they are unable to learn now that will be the ultimate hindrance to their future. But realistically, that is most probably untrue. While there are always going to be gaps, an average learner should be able to make up for it or at least mitigate its effect through hard work and study. It may take some time, with extra classes, extra tutoring, and longer study time. But you can certainly gain the knowledge or skill you feel is necessary but which you are lacking currently. Bottom line – don’t be surprised or overwhelmed by any gaps in learning, but rather expect them. Decide which ones are the most important to eliminate and let the others go.

Inability to adequately fill gaps

Inability to Adequately Fill Gaps – Almost every new homeschool parent has the fear that they won’t be able to help their children fill any current gaps they may have. Many actually decide to homeschool because they see their current education situation as being inadequate and because they cannot find an alternative suitable for them. But then as they delve into the homeschool world, they feel maybe they were too presumptuous about their teaching abilities and are now completely overwhelmed. They become paralyzed by the available choices and realization that they are not at all sure where to even begin. With some guidance though, it is possible to assess your child’s needs and find the right curriculum to meet them. Many curriculum developers and publishers have free assessments to determine proper placement. There are also websites that have curriculum reviews that go beyond online shopping blurbs and explain the ins and outs and pros and cons of different curricula. And of course, you can hire an education consultant like me to help you get going. Also, like I said before, you won’t be able to fill all the gaps, and you will find new ones along the way. By choosing to focus on certain topics and subjects, you will naturally not focus on other things, creating new gaps. Bottom line – don’t be overwhelmed by the gaps you find in both your child’s education and your teaching skills. With some guidance, you can determine what the gaps are, which ones are most important to deal with, and choose the best education plan to success. You can become a confident homeschooler by stepping back and taking a wide view. This perspective can help calm your fears and help you homeschool with confidence.

Fear of total failure

Most of us as parents at some point fear we are total failures and are going screw up our kids forever. An added joy of homeschooling is that this fear now extends beyond the personal areas to also their academic career. When we hit our first hurdle in trying to deal with a gap we have identified, we all feel we have crashed and burned into the Titanic after it already struck the iceberg. This happens to all of us from the newbies to the veterans. The feeling often comes back at different times until we cross the finish line of graduation. But again, this is normal and should be expected. No one of us has it all figured out no matter what it looks like from the outside. None of us is such an expert ninja teacher in all areas that we will produce a whole family of Einstein or Hawking clones. So, decide what you want to focus on and build out from there. Your children will grow up to be as generally well-adjusted as the next person. They will become functioning and contributing members of society. You will have struggles and challenges as a family and as teachers/students along the way because that is part of life. Homeschooling is a different way of life, but it is still life, full of challenges for everyone, homeschoolers and traditional schoolers the same. Bottom line – you will not fill all gaps and you will create new gaps in your child’s education if you choose to homeschool. It’s normal. You will not be funding any therapist’s future dream home on an island in the Pacific because of it. You will not total fail your children by taking the homeschool path.

If you need help, I offer a free 30-minute consultation to help point you in the right direction!

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Colleges That Accept Homeschool Transcripts (From All 50 States!)

Colleges That Accept Homeschool Transcripts in All 50 U.S. States

A common concern for parents who are considering homeschooling their children is college. What colleges accept homeschool transcripts? There are actually a lot of options to choose from, regardless of what state you live in, and you might be surprised by some of the colleges that are homeschool-accepting (think Harvard, Yale, MIT).

 

If you're completely new to homeschooling, be sure to check out our previous article here and get to know your state's requirements for homeschooling first.

Do Ivy League Colleges Accept Homeschoolers?

Yes, they do. If you read the information on most Ivy League school's website, you will find instructions for honeschool admissions. There are generally different requirements as far as what kind of documentation needs to be submitted, but the standards will be the same. One of the hard parts may be finding your necessary letters of recommendation, since the letters obviously cannot come from the student's parents. Keep that in mind as you begin your academic journey, and plan extra-curricular activities carefully!

 

Here is a brief list by state of colleges that accept homeschool transcripts. Note that this is not an exhaustive list; if you don't see your college of choice here, contact the school directly and ask them about homeschool admissions. Also note that school policies are subject to change, so it's always a good idea to follow up with the school itself.

Colleges Accepting Homeschool Students

Alabama

Auburn University
Birmingham-Southern College
Oakwood University

 

Alaska

Alaska Pacific University
University of Alaska - Anchorage

 

Arizona

The University of Arizona
Arizona State University

 

Arkansas

Harding University
John Brown College
Lyon College
North Arkansas College
University of Arkansas Community College

 

California

Academy of Art University
Biola Undergrad
California Institute of Technology
California State University
Claremont McKenna College
La Sierra University
Loma Linda University
Pacific Union College
Stanford University
University of California

 

Colorado

Colorado State University
Johnson & Wales University
Pikes Peak Community College

 

Connecticut

Southern Connecticut State University
Trinity College
University of Connecticut
Yale University

 

Delaware

Delaware Valley University
Goldey-Beacom College
University of Delaware

 

Florida

Florida College
Florida Gulf Coast University
Adventist University of Health Sciences
Florida International University
Florida State University
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Southeastern University

 

Georgia

Agnes Scott College
Augusta State University
Armstrong Atlantic State University
Berry College
Brewton-Parker College
Dalton State
Emmanuel College
University of North Georgia
Georgia College
Georgia Gwinnett College
Georgia Southwestern State University
Georgia Tech
Savannah College of Art and Design
University of West Georgia

 

Hawaii

University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of Hawaii at Hilo

 

Idaho

New Saint Andrews College
Northwest Nazarene University
University of Idaho

 

Illinois

Chicago State University
Greenville College
Judson University
Lake Forest College
University of Chicago
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Indiana

Ball State University
Bethel College
Grace College
Hanover College
Indiana University Bloomington
Indiana Wesleyan University
Oakland City University
University of Notre Dame

 

Iowa

Grinnell College
University of Iowa
Grand View University

 

Kansas

Cowley College
Kansas State University
Sterling College

 

Kentucky

Asbury University
Bellarmine University
University of Louisville

 

Louisiana

Bossier Parish Community College
Centenary College of Louisiana
McNeese State University
Tulane University, New Orleans Campus

 

Maine

Bowdoin College
Gordon College

 

Maryland

Mount St. Mary’s University

 

Massachusetts

Amherst College
Gordon College
Harvard University
Northeastern University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Simmons College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

 

Michigan

Andrews University
Calvin College
Cornerstone University
Hope College
Kalamazoo College
Kendall College
Kuyper College
Lake Superior State University
Rochester College
Spring Arbor University

 

Minnesota

Crown College
University of Minnesota

 

Mississippi

Belhaven University
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

 

Missouri

College of the Ozarks
Columbia College
Evangel University
State Technical College
Missouri State University
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Southeast Missouri State University
Stephens College
University of Central Missouri

 

Montana

Great Falls College
Montana Bible College

 

Nebraska

York College
Union College
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Nevada

Nevada State College
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

 

New Hampshire

Dartmouth University
Northeast Catholic College
Keene State College
River University
Southern New Hampshire University
University of New Hampshire

 

New Jersey

Monmouth University
Princeton University
Rowan University

 

New Mexico

University of New Mexico

 

New York

Brooklyn College – CUNY
The College at Brockport
Columbia University
Cornell University
Davis College
Eugene Lang College
Houghton College
Jamestown Community College
The King’s College
Nyack College
Sarah Lawrence College
New York University

 

North Carolina

Belmont Abbey College
Brevard College
Duke University
High Point University
Lees Mc-Rae College
Montreat College
Warren Wilson College
University of North Carolina-Asheville

 

North Dakota

Trinity Bible College

 

Ohio

Franciscan University of Steubenville
Kettering College
Miami University
Mt. Vernon Nazarene University
Wright State University
Xavier University

 

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City University

 

Oregon

George Fox University
Lewis and Clark College
Linfield College
Southern Oregon University
University of Oregon
Western Oregon University

 

Pennsylvania

Arcadia University
Elizabethtown College
Gettysburg College
Grove City College
Hussian School of Art
Lancaster Bible College
Lebanon Valley College
Messiah College
Pittsburgh Tech
Thiel College
University of Pennsylvania

 

Rhode Island

Brown University
Rhode Island College
University of Rhode Island

 

South Carolina

The Citadel
College of Charleston

 

South Dakota

South Dakota State University

 

Tennessee

Lee University
Rhodes College
Southern Adventist University
Union University
Vanderbilt University

 

Texas

Austin College
Houston Baptist University
LeTourneau University
Northwood University
Southwestern Adventist University
Southern Methodist University
University of Dallas
University of St. Thomas
UT at San Antonio

 

Utah

Brigham Young University
Utah State University

 

Vermont

Marlboro College
Sterling College

 

Virginia

Liberty University
Bridgewater College
Regent University
Randolph College

 

Washington

Evergreen State College
Trinity Western University
University of Washington
Walla Walla University
Washington Adventist University
Whitworth University

 

West Virginia

West Virginia University

 

Wisconsin

Beloit College
Lawrence University
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Marquette University

 

Wyoming

University of Wyoming

Conclusion

If college was a main deciding factor in whether or not to pursue homeschooling, this list should provide plenty of evidence that a lot of great colleges accept homeschool transcripts. With that knowledge in mind, you can focus on your educational philosophies and curriculum. If you need help, I offer a free 30-minute consultation to help point you in the right direction!
Schedule a Free 30-Minute Consultation Now!

3 Reasons to Hire an Education Consultant

3 Reasons to Hire an Education Consultant

Let’s face it--college planning can be a scary topic. It can be stressful and full of emotion for all involved. Parents want to help their children along this final stage of childhood and transition them to adulthood, including paying for their college education, while balancing normal family responsibilities. They are excited for their child’s next phase of adulthood while at the same time mourning the end of their journey as children.

 

Students are trying to figure out what to do with their futures and how they are going to pay for it, while trying to not get lost in the stress and confusion of college planning. They are excited about the possibilities the future is promising, and also scared as to what it will look like and how they’ll achieve their dreams.

 

It is no wonder that lots of families are now hiring education consultants to help them manage the seemingly overwhelming endeavor of college planning. But how can you know if this is the right move for you?

1. Cost

When you are starting to prepare for college, the last thing you want to think about is another added expense. So why would you hire and educational consultant when theoretically you can do all the work on your own? Well for starters, the process of applying to college involves a lot more than just filling out some applications. A good education consultant will know the ins and outs of the whole process of college planning, which is a complicated, time-consuming and stressful process on your own! Consultants will be able to guide you through the whats, hows, and whens of the various steps and requirements you will need to go through to get accepted into the college of your choice. In the long run, the small investment in educational planning could save you a lot of money, and definitely a lot of time!

2. Peace of Mind

With a trusted consultant guiding you on your journey, you can have the peace of mind knowing that important information and deadlines are not being overlooked. They will be able to guide you to the best options for scholarships and aid programs to help with the cost of college. They will be able to help you determine which schools are the right fit for you to apply to. You will be able to rest easier knowing that you are not alone in the process.

3. Time Saving

Another important benefit to hiring an education consultant is the amount of time you will be saving. Ultimately, no matter how much you may know about college planning, you only have so many hours in a day. Your regular obligations don’t disappear when you begin to prepare for college. The process can take a lot more time and effort than you anticipate. This generally leaves you with much less time than you need to create and implement a solid education plan on your own. The right education consultant will do the background work for you, like researching scholarship opportunities and planning a schedule of crucial deadlines, while keeping you informed and prepared about upcoming requirements and steps along the way. This can free you up to focus on the other aspects of life while still preparing you for success in the process.

Get Help!

You will have all kinds of resources available to you as you start on your academic journey. Counselors, teachers, parents and advisors are all there to help guide you. But, sometimes it can be very hard to even know where to start. As an education consultant, my specialty is helping students figure out the best approach to achieving academic success--whatever that means for each person. I have a four-step process that takes a lot of the stress out of the college admissions process, and I can help provide some clarity and help you build an impressive academic portfolio that you can use when you start applying to colleges. Don't hesitate to reach out and we can have a free consultation about your needs and concerns, and we will get to work getting you into the college of your choice.
Schedule a Free 30-Minute Consultation Now!

3 Very Important Things to Understand About the College Admissions Scandals

3 Very Important Things to Understand About the College Admissions Scandals

As you are probably well aware, the college admissions scandals are a hot topic in the news right now. It has brought to light something that, honestly, lots of regular families have thought for a long time. The deck seems stacked in favor of the privileged few. But what I hope you can also see is that getting into your preferred college is difficult for just about everyone, even the wealthy. And hiring an education consultant can be a valuable resource as you prepare to take your own journey to college planning.

1. This is Not the Norm

While there IS a big scandal still dominating the news headlines, remember most college planning consultants are not part of that group. Every type of business offers the opportunity for nefarious players to ruin everyone else’s reputation. But they are not in the majority. Many education consultants chose this career because we are passionate about education and helping others. We have knowledge and wisdom that can help others achieve their goals and dreams, and that is a personal measure of our success.

2. The College Application Process is Stressful for Pretty Much Everyone

The college application process is hard for everyone. These wealthy families who seemingly had it all still saw the challenges of getting into their school of choice as very difficult to overcome. The lesson we can all learn is that, college planning is serious business and it is always a good idea to get the right help on your side as you go through the process. Having a trusted education consultant as your partner is a great resource that you will not regret.

3. You Don't Need to 'Come from Money' to Get Into a Great College

Investing in your child’s education is crucial for their future. A (relatively) small financial investment of hiring and education consultant can have large returns in both money and time. An expert education consultant can help you navigate the journey of college planning. We can help alleviate fears and stress associated with the process and keep you and your child on the right path to success. While it may seem like an added, unnecessary expense in college planning, if you average out the cost versus the benefits of having someone dedicated to helping your child achieve their dreams you will see that you are getting a great return on your investment.

Get Help!

You will have all kinds of resources available to you as you start on your academic journey. Counselors, teachers, parents and advisors are all there to help guide you. But, sometimes it can be very hard to even know where to start. As an education consultant, my specialty is helping students figure out the best approach to achieving academic success--whatever that means for each person. I have a four-step process that takes a lot of the stress out of the college admissions process, and I can help provide some clarity and help you build an impressive academic portfolio that you can use when you start applying to colleges. Don't hesitate to reach out and we can have a free consultation about your needs and concerns, and we will get to work getting you into the college of your choice.
Schedule a Free 30-Minute Consultation Now!

10 Unusual Scholarships to Apply to Right Now

10 Unusual Scholarships to Apply to Right Now

Right now is the BEST time to apply to scholarships. The earlier you apply, the more likely you are to get some money! Financial concerns are one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to planning for college. But there are so many options available that can help you reduce your overall cost greatly!

 

Most people know about some of the more “traditional” scholarships available, but there are so many scholarships out there that you might not even know exist! Some of the following scholarships are for students seeking nontraditional careers or educational paths. Some of them are for anyone, but require something unusual (and fun) when applying. Check them out and see if any fit your college needs!

 

Remember that the earlier you apply to college in general, the better your chances of getting to a school of your choice. And the earlier you apply to these scholarships, the better. Even if the deadline is in March of 2020, for example, applying now gives you an edge and gives you time to apply to more scholarships. Click on each title to go to the scholarship's page.

Remember, we did say these were "unusual" scholarships. But if you have an interest in funeral/mortuary sciences (which could be a precursor to a medical career, a career as a coroner or a mortician), then this is definitely the scholarship for you!

 

You can apply for this scholarship once per calendar year, and recipients can get awarded between $1500 and $2500 each year.

The AFSA awards 10 $2,000 scholarships to high school seniors who are pursuing any degree or trade school education. There's also a $5,000 "second chance" scholarship available for students who have already graduated high school. The winners are selected at random...this is not a need or performance-based scholarship. The scholarship is designed to increase awareness of the life-saving importance of well-designed automatic fire sprinkler systems.
THANKFULLY you don't have to love asparagus to get this scholarship. It's just a clever name to draw attention and reward students who are interested in education related to the grocery industry (business and food management, for example).

 

There are 10 awards available each year, and the award pays $2,000 per semester. Award recipients must retain at least a 2.5 GPA in college.

That's right. A duck-calling contest! If you live in Kansas or a neighboring state, it's absolutely worth visiting in November to try your hand at duck calling in the hopes at winning a $2,000 scholarship. There are also prizes of $1,000 for second place, $750 for third place and $500 for fourth place.

 

The scholarship fund was created to honor legendary duck calling champions Chick and Sophie Major.

Ever have a fantastic idea for an invention? This scholarship was designed to encourage students who are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (and really anything else). For this unique scholarship, you can apply as a team or as an individual.

 

Fairly straightforward, this scholarship requires an essay describing your invention in detail. There are three awards available; the minimum award is $7,500 and the maximum is $15,000.

This super fun contest is available to both high school and college students, as well as students who have participated in accredited homeschool programs. It's pretty simple... you use your imagination and creativity to design a greeting card, and the winner gets at $10,000 scholarship!
This is a unique scholarship in that students of pretty much all ages are eligible! Students from K to 12 can enter their doodle in hopes of winning national, regional and state awards.

 

One national winner gets a $30,000 scholarship, $50,000 for a technology package that goes to their school or a nonprofit organization, a trip to Google HQ in California and some Google swag. Also the national winning doodle will be on display on Google's home page for a day.

Four national finalists will also get a $5,000, a trip to Google and some swag.

We'll ignore the fact that Amish people don't believe in technology or the Internet (the scholarship fund was actually started by someone with Amish heritage). You do not have to be Amish to get this award. Nor do you have to have a crazy long beard or be good at making furniture...

 

You do, however, have to have at least a 3.0 GPA and have applied to FAFSA already. You will need to write an essay, and winners are subject to a criminal background check. Two awards of $500 each are given out each year.

Named in honor of the late medium and parapsychologist Eileen J. Garrett, this scholarship is awarded to students who are interested in pursuing parapsychology as a profession. The scholarship is unique for sure, but the application process is pretty standard, with an essay required and three letters of recommendation.
The FMA, Flying Musicians' Association, is a foundation dedicated to helping high school band students who have a passion for flying. While this may seem like a ridiculously specific niche, the foundation has given out thousands and thousands of dollars each year.

 

You must 1) be a high school band student, 2) be nominated by your music director and 3) have a passion for aviation. The award varies year by year.

Get More Help!

You will have all kinds of resources available to you as you start on your academic journey. Counselors, teachers, parents and advisors are all there to help guide you. But, sometimes it can be very hard to even know where to start. As an education consultant, my specialty is helping students figure out the best approach to achieving academic success--whatever that means for each person. I have a four-step process that takes a lot of the stress out of the college admissions process, and I can help provide some clarity and help you build an impressive academic portfolio that you can use when you start applying to colleges. Don't hesitate to reach out and we can have a free consultation about your needs and concerns, and we will get to work getting you into the college of your choice.
Schedule a Free 30-Minute Consultation Now!

5 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Your College of Choice (Part 2)

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Your College of Choice - Part 2

Part of the stress involved with filling out college applications is worrying whether or not you'll be getting into the college of your choice. But selecting one college and putting all of your hope into that acceptance letter can lead to lots of frustration. Here are 5 more tips to help you get into one of (if not the) colleges of your choice.

6. Be Careful on Social Media

Just as when you're applying for jobs after school, it's important to keep your social media profiles nice and clean. It's one thing to show off a little bit of humor and personality, but make sure your online persona reflects your good, professional attributes as well. In fact, your acceptance to one of your dream colleges could be retracted after the fact if something shows up on your social media later on!

7. Prep for Each Interview

Applying for college is a lot like applying for a job in many ways. Consider the interview to be like a job interview, in that you will want to demonstrate a genuine interest and understanding of the university to which you are applying. Show up with a good, solid understanding of the university's history, their top programs and their philosophies on education. Showing an interest gives you a leg-up on the competition and makes you more memorable to recruiters.

8. Write a Unique Essay

Get used to the essay writing process, in general. Most scholarships require an essay, and most universities require an essay. When it comes to writing a good admissions essay, some students tend to fall back on cliche tropes. An ideal college essay should: 1) Highlight something that is important to you and meaningful; 2) Specifically answer the question posed; 3) Not try too hard to be funny (if funny comes natural to you that's great, but don't force it because a poorly taken joke or ill-placed bit of humor can have a negative impact); 4) Not be written based on what you think the university "wants" to hear; be you and use your own unique voice and perspective; 5) Be rigorously edited, revised and proofread.

9. Work Hard and be Yourself!

If you're reading this, chances are you're like the vast majority of college applicants: you aren't being handed a college education on a silver platter. You have to work hard to get to where you want to get. But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice being yourself. Colleges want hard workers, yes. They want to know they're going to be getting a new crop of students who have the drive to graduate. But they also want a diverse campus of unique individuals who can learn from each other and bring different world views together and make the college experience a great one. So find what you're interested in, show off your personality, work hard to get good grades and most of all, just do you.

10. Get Help!

You will have all kinds of resources available to you as you start on your academic journey. Counselors, teachers, parents and advisors are all there to help guide you. But, sometimes it can be very hard to even know where to start. As an education consultant, my specialty is helping students figure out the best approach to achieving academic success--whatever that means for each person. I have a four-step process that takes a lot of the stress out of the college admissions process, and I can help provide some clarity and help you build an impressive academic portfolio that you can use when you start applying to colleges. Don't hesitate to reach out and we can have a free consultation about your needs and concerns, and we will get to work getting you into the college of your choice.
Schedule a Free 30-Minute Consultation Now!

5 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Your College of Choice (Part 1)

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into Your College of Choice - Part 1

Part of the stress involved with filling out college applications is worrying whether or not you'll be getting into the college of your choice. But selecting one college and putting all of your hope into that acceptance letter can lead to lots of frustration. Here are 5 tips to help you get into one of (if not the) colleges of your choice.

1. Apply Early!

Applying early has several benefits. Apart from applying early to colleges themselves, early application for scholarships and financial aid help ensure you have the most money possible! Applying early to your schools of choice can improve your chance of acceptance by at least 25%! And if you're still undecided about which schools you want to apply to, click here to for a list of 10 schools where early application makes a significant difference in acceptance rate.

2. Have a Carefully Designed Education Plan

Even in middle school, it's not too early to start planning for college. It's harder to get middle school students to understand the importance of planning ahead, but the earlier you start the better. Why? Every student is unique. From homeschool students, to public schools, charter schools and more, the educational path to college should reflect your own personal experience and play into your own strengths. One academic path does not fit all, so having someone who can help you determine your best path, and then create a strategy to follow that path, will improve your chance of academic success greatly. Please visit my "services" page or contact me for a free consultation!

3. Take Both the ACT and the SAT

Most universities will accept your scores for either the ACT or the SAT, so if you take both tests you improve your chances of being accepted. Some students perform better on the ACT, and some perform better on the SAT, so keep your options open. In addition, it's important to take any opportunity you have to take the PSAT and any other practice tests that will help improve your scores.

4. Pad Your College Resume with Carefully Selected Extra Curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities are an important part of any academic portfolio. But it's important not to over-generalize your experience. Much like in the working world, being a "generalist" is going to help you in some areas, but hurt you in others. People like specializations. Not only that, but picking a specific set of activities helps define your personality as a candidate, and helps you stick out in the minds of recruiters. Whatever your main interests are, focus on those and make your experiences count. Don't join a bunch of different clubs and volunteer for a bunch of unrelated things just for the sake of having it on your applications. Everything should have a purpose and meaning.

5. Don't Put All Your Eggs in One (School) Basket

As you start to decide what you want to go to college for, you will probably be doing a lot of research on what the "best" college is for that particular academic path. But putting all of your hopes and letting your gauge of academic success rely entirely on one school isn't the best way to go about it. There are likely many schools that will be a great fit for you, so keep an open mind. Choose three "dream" schools, and keep your eyes open for other opportunities as they come to you.

Prepping for Success | College Prep in Summer

Prepping for Success: College Prep in Summer

Summer is often used as a time for part time employment to help save for college. While there are many high school summer programs you can seek out in your area, I have some helpful tips to remember as you work for your future.

Follow Your Education Plan

If part of your plan includes you contributing a certain amount to your college fund, then make sure you stick to the plan and put the money you earn in some type of savings account. You can often have your financial institution automatically set aside a designated amount from your paycheck each time you get paid so you don’t have to remember to do it. Also, as tempting as it may be to dip into your college fund for other expenses, remember your goals and stick to your plan. Haven't solidified that plan yet? That's exactly what I'm here for! Visit my contact page and message me about an face-to-face consultation.

Tuition Help

Many businesses offer tuition help to current employees. Check into the requirements and stipulations in order to be able to utilize this benefit. You often must be an employee of good standing that is past the probationary period of new hires. But different establishments will have different requirements of how long you have been an employee and how many hours you work to qualify.

Scholarships

Several major corporations today have scholarship programs for current employees. Do some esearch to see if your place of employment is one of them. Then follow their rules and guidelines to apply. There is a lot of help with scholarships for college out there, but you do have to do some legwork.

Letters of Recommendation

As a reliable employee, you can have the benefit of asking your direct supervisors for letters of recommendation that you can use for future reference. Even if you're not employed full-time throughout the summer, there are summer programs for high school students (volunteering, etc.) where you can get letters of recommendation to add to your portfolio.