Tag Archives: scholarships

This time of year finds us answering a lot of questions about the PSAT, from parents eager to arrange prep to others wondering if their teens should take the the October test at all. And, really, the question deserves consideration. Just about every high school has its juniors, and sometimes even sophomores, sit for the PSAT. Schools have good reason to administer these tests, thanks to the wealth of score data the College Board sends back. But is the test worth any single student’s time? Why take the PSAT? The College Board describes many benefits to taking the PSAT, but only a couple of them seem persuasive. Consider each one: Discover Your AP® Potential BAD IDEA, at least if you are already a junior. By that time, qualified students with access are already enrolled in several AP classes. 10th graders who haven’t already tried AP European or World History might…

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When you help as many motivated, authentic, and endearing students as we do in the college admissions process, you can’t help but want to find more ways to support them. Obviously, the best way we educators can support high schoolers is by providing the best test prep, tutoring, and coaching possible. But sometimes you want to do even more. From that thought arose the Tests and the Rest Counselor Select Scholarship. My podcast partner Amy Seeley and I both wanted to add something new to the constellation of local, national, and organizational awards students contend for and consulted with scholarship expert Monica Matthews on the best way to proceed. We liked our initial idea so much that we extended it to our national professional network to provide a way for students in multiple states to be nominated for the scholarship by their school counselor and apply for it. As a…

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Choosing a school is already a difficult decision, making the choice with the ROTC scholarship in mind could make the decision easier… or that much harder. Here are some things to keep in mind that have the potential to make the decision-making process less of a headache. One important first step is to help your son or daughter to decide on a major, if they have not done so already. This can narrow down the search for the right school. Military vs. non-military college is another topic to think about. A traditional college is going to offer your son or daughter a traditional college experience for the most part. He or she will still be required to fulfill their ROTC obligations. A military service academy is not going to reflect the traditional college experience, but it will help you son or daughter learn the military culture and help them to…

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A writer in the Wall Street Journal posited an interesting if not provocative question recently, asking “Is It Fair to Award Scholarships Based on the SAT?” Predictably, the arguments against test scores focus more on questions about student diversity and unequal distributions of wealth and resources. They do not, however, seriously address the idea of merit, which is to say a certain standard of academic accomplishment according to which merit aid is awarded. Perhaps a reticence to acknowledge the elephant in the room in this–and countless other think pieces decrying standardized testing–makes sense. After all, for all the problems with the SAT and ACT, the alternative is much worse: grades are even less reliable and more dependent on privilege than test scores. Is the idea that high school grades cannot be entirely trusted a surprise? Presumably, a student’s grades represent a quantitative expression of academic output over the majority of…

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The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship is one of the most valuable college scholarships in the United States. It pays up to full tuition, a monthly salary, and a yearly book allowance for those applicants who wish to become officers in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines. Strictly speaking, an ROTC participant is not joining the Armed Forces. Participants will not be sent to “boot camp.” However, the primary purpose of the ROTC program is to produce its officers, so they must agree to serve as officers in the military after graduation in order to go through the entire program, or if they have received an ROTC scholarship. Initially enrolling (the first two years of college) does not obligate participants to serve unless they have also received a scholarship. Scholarship winners generally serve four years on active duty. ROTC classes normally involve one elective class and…

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It’s no surprise that paying for college is a top tier financial stressor.  A June 2017 Gallup poll finds that, after healthcare costs and making ends meet, “college costs” ties with “low income” as the 3rd and 4th highest financial stressors for families. Sky-high college costs are motivating talented students to seek academic scholarships. The trick is knowing where to look. Years ago, we shared a helpful New York Times list detailing which colleges award the most merit-based aid.  Digging deeper into the listed schools rewards a savvy student with a better idea of how her scores can pay actual dollars in the college marketplace. A look at college websites reveals that colleges vary widely in the way they publicize and award the cash. Most college websites list merit scholarship opportunities under “financial aid” (am I the only one to find this a bit misleading?), describing various “excellence” and “leadership”…

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