12 Most Olympic Inspired College Scholarship Tips
If you are a college-bound student, or the parent of one, you may have realized that paying for college is much like an Olympic event: hard, challenging, and stressful!
Here are the 12 most inspired Olympic scholarship tips to jump start your race and to help you come up with cash for college.
1. Hurdle over obstacles
Jump right over any obstacles in your way by setting aside at least 15 minutes a day to search for and work on college scholarships. 15 minutes may not seem like much time, but if you start early, those minutes quickly turn into hours and tons of scholarships found and applied for.
2. Dive right in
Even high school freshman can apply for college scholarships. Don’t be afraid to dive in early and try to win money for college. Scholarships for younger students do not have as many applicants, so your chances are automatically better the earlier in a student’s career he or she applies and becomes familiar with the process.
3. Shoot straight and keep your eye on the target
The more scholarships applied for, the better chances of winning. Keep applying for scholarships all through high school and college. Many students and parents assume that college scholarships are only for high school seniors, but that is definitely not the case. Make scholarship searching and applying a part of your life right up until college graduation. Graduating with little or no student loans: SCORE!
4. Train early, train well
Encouraging students to volunteer and help in their communities when they are young will help them become better, more compassionate people and add value to their college scholarship applications. Scholarship judges love students with lots of community service hours and those with quality hours, those hours spent at the same organization showing commitment, will impress the judges even more.
5. Stay clean
This just might be the most important part of your Olympic scholarship training. More and more scholarship judges, as well as college admissions officers, are admitting to checking a student’s social media profile to make final award or admissions decisions. Students have got to maintain a clean online presence and use social media to impress, rather than as a platform for their wild ways. What is tweeted, posted, and shared online stays online forever!
6. Wrestle negative thoughts away
Even the strongest competitors doubt themselves at times, but it is the ones who are the most mentally tough that win the most medals. Students need to believe in themselves and be proud of their accomplishments. This feeling of self-confidence will shine through in their essays and allow the judges to get to know them on a deeper level. Parents, keep praising your students for all of their achievements and let them know how proud of them you are!
7. Slow and steady wins the race
Marathoners know that race pace is vital to their success. Going out too fast will ultimately backfire at mile 20 when they hit the “wall.” Students who spend all their free time applying for college scholarships will burn-out after a few months, get discouraged, and quit before their college acceptance letters arrive in the mail. Keep a steady pace, allow for small breaks, and your student will be able to see the finish line much sooner and much clearer.
8. Draw from prior training
No athlete qualifies for the Olympics without years and years of training. When writing scholarship essays, students can use experiences that meant the most to them and tie them into the reasons they need college scholarship money. Essays written in story form with personal details are the most engaging, so encourage students to think back and use these experiences to make their essays come to life for the judges.
9. Go for the gold
Writing scholarship essays is tedious, and even painful, for most students. When an essay is written that a student is extremely proud of (and after it has been proof-read and approved by at least two sets of eyes) they can use this golden essay for multiple scholarship applications. Be aware of word-count guidelines and adjust, if necessary. Always make copies of each scholarship essay written and applications submitted.
10. Represent well
Olympic athletes are proud to represent the country of their birth. Students applying for scholarships are representing their high schools, communities, and families. Encourage students to be proud of where they came from and what they represent. Success is 90% attitude and 10% aptitude!
11. Trust your coaches
Everyone needs a mentor and students are no exception. Helping my own son win over $100,000 in college scholarships is something that I will never forget. Students can ask for help from their parents, teachers, or other adults in their life that they trust and depend upon. These coaches can help students find scholarships, proof-read applications and essays, remind them of deadlines, and encourage them every step of the way.
12. The triple flip
No matter how ungraceful or unlimber you are, you will do a triple-flip (ok, maybe just in your mind) when the scholarship award letters start coming to your student’s in-box or mail box! I’ll never forget how exciting it became to check the mail when my son won so many scholarships. I think I’m still a little sore, but I’m ok, really.
Scholarship searching, applying, and winning may seem like an Olympic event, but it can be done! I firmly believe in partnering with your student and making the process a team effort. When they win gold, parents also win in the form of less tuition money to come up with and loans to re-pay.
What Olympic event do you think the scholarship process most closely resembles?
Featured image courtesy of failing_angel via Creative Commons.