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Starting Early: 5 Reasons to Start Your Scholarship Search In Your Sophomore Year

Guest blog­ger, Feli­cia Gopaul, is the Pres­i­dent of Col­lege Fund­ingbouquet flowers felicia Resource (CFR), teaches fam­i­lies how the finan­cial aid sys­tem works. She shared the fol­low­ing arti­cle about get­ting a jump start on the the schol­ar­ship search.

Smart stu­dents don’t wait to start look­ing for schol­ar­ships until the fall of their senior year in high school (or later).  They get started much ear­lier than that.  In fact, many suc­cess­ful schol­ar­ship recip­i­ents start look­ing for schol­ar­ships as early as the spring semes­ter of their sopho­more year in high school.

Why start your schol­ar­ship search so early?

Start­ing your schol­ar­ship search early is smart.  It allows you time to get orga­nized and leisurely put together a list of schol­ar­ships you want to apply for in your senior year.  It also allows you to com­plete any sum­mer pro­grams that you might have to attend in order to qual­ify for a scholarship.

For exam­ple, the New Jer­sey chap­ter of the National Asso­ci­a­tion of Black Accoun­tants has a sum­mer Account­ing Aware­ness Pro­gram (ACAP) that a stu­dent must com­plete in order to be eli­gi­ble for a schol­ar­ship later.  By start­ing your schol­ar­ship search early, you have a few more sum­mers to find and ful­fill the require­ments for pro­grams like ACAP.  Start­ing early means you won’t find your­self inel­i­gi­ble for a schol­ar­ship because you did not know or have time to com­plete the require­ments for qual­i­fi­ca­tion. Read more tips — click here!

Tips For Parents Adjusting To An Empty Nest

Do you find your­self tak­ing a trip down mem­ory lane while your child excite­ment builds as they pack the car to head off to col­lege, start a mil­i­tary career, or get their first apart­ment? You may feel shaky, sad, con­fused, or relieved. Par­ents react dif­fer­ently to an empty nest. It is a time of change, a time to look at your child’s needs and your needs. It can be a fresh begin­ning. Here are sev­eral tips to help you cope with this period of your life.

Rest. Take some time for your­self while you adjust to the change and try to fig­ure out how you really feel. Dras­tic changes may only cause regret later, so hold off on the redecorating.

Exer­cise. If you find your­self sad or depressed, exer­cise is a way to lift your mood. Find a friend or work out buddy to help you start a new rou­tine. Avoid those fatty foods, choco­late and cock­tails. Opt for a round of yoga, aer­o­bics, weight train­ing, and healthy eat­ing. For more tips on han­dling an empty nest click here.

Social Networking Tips for Students — More on Facebook!

The Intended Col­lege Use is Not the High School Reality

Keep­ing in con­tact with friends and fam­ily across the world is com­fort­ing. Social net­work­ing is a great way to find a job, net­work, and stay in touch with those who mat­ter most. But how do you pro­tect your­self while on the Internet?

Face­book was the first large scale net­work­ing site made specif­i­cally for col­lege stu­dents. Though it still requires a valid email address to signup, any­one can now join and net­work in regions such as a major city, work­places, col­leges, and high schools.

Social Net­work­ing Tips for  Students

It is a student’s respon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect his or her online accounts. Click here to view more tips.

Shop for the Best Price on College Textbooks

Books are not cheap. You may want to shop around if you know what books are needed for the courses you plan to take. Here is a list of web­sites that might help you with this task.

AddAll - Book search and price comparison. — Save big on high-quality books.

Ama­zon is the place where you can save on new text­books and up to 90 per­cent on used text­books. You can also sell your text­books online. — If you order over $25 in text­books from this site you will not be charged for ship­ping, but this does not qual­ify for rented or used textbooks. - Right now the site is pro­mot­ing a “Bar­gain Bin Blowout” which allows users to pur­chase 5 used books for $15. — This site gather infor­ma­tion from var­i­ous text­book sites and cal­cu­lates each price as well as the total ship­ping amount. For more text­book web­sites click here.

Internships for High School Students

Intern­ships are a great way to get expe­ri­ence in a cer­tain field of study.  So why intern in high school?

Work expe­ri­ence in a field of study you want to pur­sue in col­lege can give you a jump up in the col­lege appli­ca­tion process.  It is a way to stand out in a crowd. An intern­ship will also allow you to under­stand more details about your major of inter­est and help you to under­stand how orga­ni­za­tions operate.

So, how do you find an intern­ship? First iden­tify your pas­sion. Some com­pa­nies offer for­mal intern­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties to high school stu­dents in par­tic­u­lar. Some pay, some are unpaid, and some you’ll pay for. Research com­pa­nies in the indus­try that inter­ests you.  Start by ask­ing around at local busi­ness asso­ci­a­tions. Use CareerOneStop’s Employer Loca­tor to help you iden­tify com­pa­nies in your local area. Next, talk to the Human Resource rep­re­sen­ta­tive or man­ager to see if posi­tions are avail­able.  Check out local orga­ni­za­tions like the news­pa­pers, muse­ums, and hos­pi­tals.  You may use your con­tacts on Face­book or Twit­ter to find open­ings in your spe­cific area of inter­est. Try web­sites like, , or For more on how to apply, click here.

Don’t Sweat the Essay this Summer: Make a Plan!

You’ve heard the col­lege appli­ca­tion essay is a big deal. Now that you are offi­cially a ris­ing senior, it’s time to fig­ure out what to write about.

Are these dreaded essays going to hang over your head all sum­mer? Most aren’t even due until late fall or even Jan­u­ary any­way. So what’s the rush?

In my opin­ion, there’s no rush. But if you are smart, you will give your­self aScreenHunter_367 Jul. 01 16.24 dead­line now. And make a plan. Oth­er­wise, the pres­sure will start build­ing in the back of your mind, and the anx­i­ety of what you “should be doing” could hurt the fun you are having.

Some col­lege coun­selors and essay “experts” advise stu­dents to sim­ply start think­ing about their essays over sum­mer, and casu­ally brain­storm­ing ideas, and reflect­ing on themes such as, “What makes me unique?” or “Who am I?”

I don’t think active intro­spec­tion can hurt, but I believe it’s more effec­tive to make a spe­cific writ­ing plan, with dead­lines, and stick to it. Wor­ry­ing about these essays is the worst part.

The GET IT DONE Plan of Attack - Read the two week approach — make a plan.