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We are working on getting four kids in colleges next year. You can believe that we are searching every avenue for earning college funds.
After pouring over hundreds of articles and websites I am seeing a pattern on places where there is the highest amount of scholarship money available to students. STEM is the hot topic in education and there are college dollars to back up the push for STEM courses. My advice? Look for ways to access STEM programs while your child is still in high school.
Any activities that include STEM technologies are great for scholarship applications. I turned down the opportunity to get involved in our local robotics club. I didn’t think I had the time.
You can imagine my regret when I came across several scholarships offered to students for being involved in robotic clubs and even more money if their team placed in an event.
These are not small awards. The scholarship offering was $6,000 from one college my son recently applyed to. Check the web sites of your student’s top picks and a couple of local colleges to get an idea of their scholarship offerings.
Often the best way to get them is to take a course for a reputable provider. We have used CompuScholar for their Coding, Computer Basics and Web Design. We just used Innovators Tribe’s: Think Like an Engineer to do a really fun intro to Engineering for kids 6th to 12th grade. Innovators Tribe is open to all of your family members so it is a great purchase for a large family, but still priced well for a course of its caliber. Both of these providers offer several courses and give you a year to access the materials online. The software is included or free to download and they have great customer service. Knowing what I know now about STEM programs I am glad we chose to pay for these courses.
If you are limited on funds and you have a motivated student, they can take classes from UDEMY and KHAN university. I found UDEMY classes to vary greatly in difficulty so only try entry level classed if you are just starting out.
Skillshare is another place to take classes for a small monthly access fee.
My freshman son uses DiscoveryK12 for his daily school. They too, offer a coding class as well as computer basics and personal finance.
RaiseMe connects students with colleges that will offer incentives for good grades, activity involvement, leadership, sports and the like. They offer incentives between $100 and $4,000, depending on the activity. I found the the college we were looking at offered incentives for both computing classes and personal finance.
The sooner you get your student listed on RaiseMe, the sooner they can see how much each A or B and their activities are earning them for college. My daughter was able to accrue $80,100 in college incentives from a private college with the RaiseMe site. We have visited the school, followed the application process and can assure you, this is real money towards college for your kids.
STEM Scholarships had varied requirements, but many of them that I read over this year had a base requirement for Math test scores. For the college we looked at, their STEM/Computer technologies Scholarship required a 26 on the ACT and a commitment to Major in Computer Sciences. Each school sets up their own requirements, but math scores are definitely a deal maker.
What if you need help for SAT and ACT math?
We used the course from College Prep Genius to help us prep for the test. We had very little time to use it before our kids first test. They basically just got through the overview of the test format, structure and general overview. They were much less freaked out about the test going into it. We will check their scores and if we need to retake, this is the course we will be using. I am pretty sure we will have a few re-takers but I am sure we have the right tool to help them prepare better and be ready for the next test.
I knew nothing about the ACT/SAT and PSAT tests or their value. They are your kid’s ticket into college. Before you freak out, the minimum score is obtainable for an intelligent student who has taken their basic requirements. It was a bit more difficult for my younger two who are not strong in math. We are reviewing their weak areas now.
My son gained acceptance to the school he chose with the score from his first test. If your student is looking at a more competitive school, I would definitely test sooner and invest in a guide. These scores will help your student earn the most Scholarship funds possible before you have to start doing any sort of essay or more specific scholarship work.
I highly recommend 15 Secrets to FREE College as a resource. I applied everything I read in it and was able to get a full ride for my son. His only expense will be his meal plan, and he plans to work at the school in the kitchen in exchange for a food voucher to cover that expense as well. He was able to earn over 120k in scholarship money to the school he chose.
Thinking about forgoing the traditional college route all together? I recommend the book Accelerated Distance Learning by Brad Voeller. This book is full of suggestions and resources. The best part is that they can be used during high school and beyond to get a college degree for as little cash as possible without wasting precious time. The sooner your student earns their degree, the sooner they can get into the vocation or career they desire.
Be sure to include Coding, Basic Computing, Web Design and/or Robotics to the mix. Check out the offering from local clubs as well. Start learning on Udemy today!
Download the Khan University app on your teens phone. It should be required of every high school student, and do the SAT/ACT prep questions daily. Use it to brush up on your skills. If you need a program to get your score up where you need it then sign up for College Prep Genius, they guarantee that you will gain points on you tests or you money back.
Don’t wait. I think the greatest thing I have discovered is that it is not that hard to get you student into college if that is what they want. Schools have a great deal of funds that they need to distribute to students so they can start getting them back as tuition.
With a 3.5 or higher your kid will get a good offer of a merit scholarship from a reputable college. Smaller private schools have a lot to offer your hard working student.
Knowing what colleges expect to see helped me to shape our kids application to fit and to stand out.
Don’t forget to sign up to use the scholarship tool RaiseMe, it is free and your student earns incentives for good grades, activity participation, college visits and test scores for all four years of high school. My daughter earned 80k using RaiseMe alone. Check it out and good luck. I hope you are ahead of the curve, but if you are like me and just learning all of this in your kids senior year don’t dismay. These are the same tools I am using to help my kids get more college dollars in their Senior year.
Have a tip? Leave me a comment so I can share it.
Now that they are ready for college and all…Did you know that Amazon Prime offers a student discount? It might be the best way to kick the kids off of your Netflix account before college.