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Get free cash for college : secrets to winning scholarships
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Author Notes
Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the award-winning authors of twelve books including The Ultimate Scholarship Book. The Tanabes-who won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships and graduated from Harvard debt-free-have appeared as expert sources for USA Today, the New York Times, U.S. News World Report and CNN.
First Chapter or Excerpt
Seven Scholarship Myths Busted Did you know that Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen and awaiting the day medical science can revive him? Or, you do know to be careful when walking the city at night since there are gangs of organ thieves who will knock you unconscious and steal your kidneys, right? We have all heard urban legends like these, and on the subject of scholarships there are no shortages of such stories. You may have heard myths like these: You need to have near zero dinero in order to qualify for a scholarship, or you have to be the record holder for three-point shots to win a full-ride award. To help you sort the truth from the tall tale, here are some common scholarship myths and the truth behind them: Myth #1: You need to be financially destitute to be eligible to apply for scholarships. The Truth: While it is true that financial need is a consideration for some scholarships, the definition of "need" varies considerably. Given the cost of a college education, many families who consider themselves to be "middle class" actually qualify for need-based scholarships. Plus, there are many scholarships where financial need is not even a factor. These "merit-based" scholarships are based on achievements, skills, career goals, family background and a host of other considerations that have nothing to do with a family's financial situation. You really could be the son or daughter of Donald Trump and still win a scholarship. Myth #2: You can only win scholarships as a high school senior. The Truth: It is never too early or too late to apply for scholarships. There are awards for students as young as seventh grade. (If you win these awards, the money may be paid to you directly or put into a trust account until you head off to college.) Also, many students stop applying for scholarships after they graduate from high school. Big mistake. There are many awards for college students. Once you are in college you should continue to apply for scholarships, especially those geared toward specific majors and careers. More Truth: Most scholarships are aimed at students who are getting their first degree, regardless of age. If you're 92 and working toward your bachelor's degree, you are just as eligible for scholarships as the 17-year-old high school student. In fact, today more than 20 percent of all students on campus are over the age of 35, so it's easy to understand why the rules for many scholarships have been modified to no longer limit an applicant based on age. Myth #3: Only star athletes get scholarships, especially full-tuition scholarships. The Truth: While full-tuition scholarships for star running backs often make the news, the majority of scholarships awarded by colleges are not for athletics. As you will start to see from the Scholarships (Almost) Anyone Can Win in the Directory, there are literally thousands of scholarships for those of us who don't know the difference between a touchdown and a touchback. If you are an athlete, you might also be surprised to know that many colleges give scholarships to student athletes even if they are not the next Michael Jordan. Depending on the level of the school's athletic team, you may find that while at one college your soccer skill wouldn't earn you a place on the team as a bench warmer, at another school you would not only be a starter but also could earn a half-tuition scholarship. Excerpted from Get Free Cash for College: Secrets to Winning Scholarships by Tanabe, Kelly Tanabe All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
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The secrets, tips, and strategies used by actual students to win millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships are revealed in this completely revised guide for parents and high school, college, and graduate students. Every step of the scholarship process is examined, with advice on finding the right scholarships, crafting applications, writing exceptional essays, and asking the college for a financial-aid reassessment. Profiles of scholarship judges give potential applicants insight into the scholarship selection process and the qualities that judges seek in selecting the winners. A fully updated scholarship directory contains the top 150 scholarships that anyone can win with awards worth over $100 million; examples of winning scholarship applications, essays, and interview questions and answers are also included.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1How to Get Free Cash for Collegep. 15
Scholarships are not just for superstarsp. 17
Why most scholarship books and websites can be so frustratingp. 17
The mind-boggling cost of a good educationp. 19
Seven scholarship myths bustedp. 20
Advice from a scholarship judge: How we choose our scholarship winnersp. 23
What about Federal financial aid?p. 24
The big disadvantage of Federal financial aidp. 25
Scholarships: The real financial aid jackpotsp. 25
Scholarship competitions are not lotteriesp. 27
Chapter 2Find the Best Scholarships You Can Winp. 29
Where to find the best scholarshipsp. 30
Fantastic backyard scholarshipsp. 31
Searching beyond your backyardp. 36
Story from real life: Smaller is sometimes betterp. 36
Truly outrageous scholarshipsp. 39
I have my big list of scholarships. Now what?p. 41
How to choose scholarships you can winp. 41
The magic number of scholarshipsp. 45
Don't look for scholarships alonep. 46
Chapter 3Avoid Scholarship Scamsp. 49
Scholarships that stealp. 50
How to spot a scholarship scamp. 50
Red flags that indicate a scamp. 52
Story from real life: I lost $500 from a scholarship scamp. 53
Chapter 4Get Organized and Maximize Your Timep. 55
Saving time and effort with scholarshipsp. 56
Prioritize the scholarshipsp. 56
Schedule scholarshipsp. 57
Have a monthly check-inp. 58
Create a library of reusable materialsp. 58
Take advantage of your classesp. 59
Think early about recommendersp. 59
Make a checklist for each applicationp. 59
Chapter 5The Packaging of You and Your Personal Themep. 61
Marketing yourselfp. 62
Learn why they're giving away the moneyp. 62
Learn what they're basing their decision onp. 64
Finding your theme and what to do/not to dop. 64
Chapter 6Scholarship Judge Q&Ap. 75
A roundtable with the scholarship judgesp. 76
A national scholarship management organizationp. 76
An art and writing competitionp. 79
A music competitionp. 83
An essay-based competitionp. 85
A college that awards merit-based scholarshipsp. 90
A scholarship that values overcoming adversityp. 96
Chapter 7Create Stunning Scholarship Applicationsp. 101
Scholarship applications: Your entry ticketp. 102
Create your plan of attackp. 102
General rules for completing the applicationp. 104
Story from real life: How my support of legalizing marijuana cost mep. 106
The five steps to crafting a winning applicationp. 107
Step 1Use a little spin to wow your audiencep. 107
Step 2Stand out from the competitionp. 111
Step 3List important accomplishments firstp. 112
Step 4Write to impressp. 113
Step 5Make sure the application fitsp. 117
Story from real life: My midnight scholarship applicationp. 115
Top 10 application do's and don'tsp. 118
Finishing touchesp. 119
Chapter 8The Scholarship Resumep. 121
Scholarship resumes: One-page autobiographiesp. 122
Example resumep. 124
Chapter 9Get the Right Recommendationsp. 127
Getting the praise of othersp. 128
Finding people to say nice things about youp. 128
Give your recommender the chance to say "no"p. 129
Don't play the name gamep. 130
Do the grunt work for your recommendersp. 131
Give your recommenders a scriptp. 131
Tie a string around your recommenders' fingersp. 134
The "You can't spell success without U" mugp. 134
Story from real life: Follow up or fall downp. 135
Chapter 10Secrets to Writing Winning Essaysp. 137
The scholarship essay: Your ticket to the finalsp. 138
Six steps to writing a winning scholarship essayp. 139
Step 1Find the right topic and approachp. 139
Step 2Ensure that your topic and approach are originalp. 142
Step 3It's time to start writingp. 144
Step 4Perfect your introduction and conclusionp. 147
Step 5Find essay editorsp. 148
Step 6Recycle your essaysp. 149
Story from real life: How I beat writer's blockp. 141
Seven sins of the scholarship essayp. 150
Putting what you learned into practicep. 152
Story from real life: Essays in no time mean no moneyp. 152
Chapter 11Ace the Interviewsp. 155
The face-to-face encounterp. 156
Why human interaction is neededp. 157
Interviewers are real people toop. 157
Interview homeworkp. 157
Use your detective work to create an advantagep. 159
You are not the center of the universep. 159
Story from real life: The only thing in life that matters in calculusp. 160
Look and sound the partp. 162
The Practice interviewp. 163
Story from real life: Don't hate me because I'm beautiful and faultlessp. 164
Answers to the most common interview questionsp. 166
Questions for the questionerp. 171
Use time to your advantagep. 172
The long-distance interviewp. 172
The group interviewp. 173
The disaster interviewp. 174
The post-interviewp. 174
For more helpp. 175
Chapter 12Strategies for Specific Scholarshipsp. 177
College cash from your hobbies and pastimesp. 178
Awards based on your current or future majorp. 178
Scholarships for your future careerp. 180
Awards that recognize leadershipp. 182
Athletic scholarshipsp. 183
Athletic organization awardsp. 185
Scholarships for public servicep. 186
Awards based on ethnic backgroundp. 188
Story from real life: My hobbies paid for collegep. 188
Religious scholarshipsp. 189
Awards for hobbiesp. 189
Scholarships from your parents' employersp. 190
Need-based scholarshipsp. 191
Recurring themesp. 192
Chapter 13Guaranteed Scholarshipsp. 195
Do guaranteed scholarships really exist?p. 196
National Merit scholarshipsp. 196
GPA and exam-based scholarshipsp. 197
Transfer student awardsp. 197
State entitlement awardsp. 198
In-state tuition for out-of-state studentsp. 198
All it takes to win is to applyp. 199
Chapter 14Unleash the Power of the Internetp. 201
Opening the scholarship vault with the Internetp. 202
Using the Internet to find scholarshipsp. 202
Zap! Applying for scholarships onlinep. 203
Our favorite free scholarship websitesp. 204
How to be an Internet private eyep. 205
Be cautious of scamsp. 206
Chapter 15Financial Aid Workshopp. 209
Getting the most financial aid your deservep. 210
The financial aid cornucopiap. 211
Five steps to getting financial aidp. 212
Step 1Fill out the FAFSAp. 212
Step 2Review your Student Aid Reportp. 215
Step 3Make the college aware of special circumstancesp. 216
Step 4Compare award lettersp. 218
Step 5If you need it, ask for a re-evaluationp. 219
Story from real life: I assumed I wouldn't get aid, but I was wrongp. 214
A re-evaluation success storyp. 220
Exchanging one kind of money for anotherp. 221
Declaring independencep. 222
Strategies that can help you get more financial aidp. 222
A quick word about saving for collegep. 225
The Federal financial aid programs in detailp. 225
Federal Pell Grantsp. 226
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grantsp. 226
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grantp. 226
TEACH Grant Programp. 227
Federal Work-Studyp. 227
Student loansp. 228
Stafford Loansp. 228
PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Degreesp. 229
PLUS Loansp. 229
Consolidation Loansp. 230
Federal Perkins Loansp. 231
Getting more helpp. 231
Chapter 16Free Cash for Graduate Schoolp. 235
The long and expensive path of graduate schoolp. 236
Understanding graduate financial aidp. 237
More than moneyp. 238
It's all about academicsp. 238
Applications: Your stats sheetp. 239
Recommendations: Getting professorial praisep. 241
Essays: Getting personalp. 242
Research grant proposals: Application heaviesp. 243
Interviews: Interaction with a purposep. 244
Get paid to step into a classroom or labp. 246
Keep your aid flowingp. 246
Getting more helpp. 247
Chapter 17How to Keep the Money You Winp. 251
You're there!p. 252
Keeping the dollars that are yoursp. 252
Parting wordsp. 253
A special requestp. 254
AppendixWinning Scholarship Essays and Applicationsp. 257
Winning Essay #1Bet You Can'tp. 258
Winning Essay #2Public Servicep. 260
Winning Essay #3Cultural Heritagep. 261
Winning Essay #4Only Two Handsp. 264
Winning Essay #5The Giftp. 267
Winning Essay #6Career Plansp. 269
Winning Essay #7No Child Left Behind: Well-Intentioned but Flawedp. 270
Winning Submission #8Shawn Smithp. 274
Winning Submission #9Wilmer Wilsonp. 275
Directory. 150 Scholarships (Almost) Anyone Can Winp. 277
About the Authorsp. 320
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