By Jean Burk
Full Scholarship – two words that could change your life. Getting free college can be like winning the lottery. Imagine throwing away several trash bags full of college scholarships that come in the mail. This is what happened to us. But for some families, getting just one scholarship offer could be the difference between junior college and the perfect university.
You have spent the last nine to twelve years dedicating your time, money and energy into your child learning at school, so don’t stop there! Higher education should still be your goal. Even if you haven’t had a lot of extra money to save for college, scholarships can still come your way. And just because you haven’t spent a lot of time at the guidance counselor’s office doesn’t mean that you have to be out of the loop when it comes to finding the scholarship opportunities.
Here are five successful secrets to scholarships and free college that many public and private schools students are not aware of:
• Realize that full scholarships can be obtained by students who receive certain scores on their PSAT/NMSQT or SAT. There are usually several full-ride scholarships available in each department of most colleges and they love to give them to kids with good test scores. The best scores have colleges begging students to enroll that will gladly pay their way.
• Understand that the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT are tests of logic. They are not about exclusive knowledge or curriculum only learned at public or private schools. Many smart kids (from all academic backgrounds) do poorly on these tests because they don’t understand the test or how to look at the questions logically.
• Discover that succeeding on these tests can be just a matter of learning the test-taking techniques and recurring patterns found on these standardized tests. The questions very often point you to the answers and students can learn to answer them quickly once they discover the secret methods that many others successful test-takers have.
• Create a successful game plan. After learning the secret strategies of decoding these tests, incorporate this information into your academics. Spend twenty minutes a day or an hour or two a week practicing these techniques on actual tests from the College Board. This will also keep students from cramming at test time.
• Prepare your freshman and sophomores to take the PSAT/NMSQT for practice in October and definitely make them take it in their junior year. This is when it counts for all the big scholarship money. Students should take the real SAT test when their practice scores are above 1500 (the national average) or if they are a senior. The SAT is offered seven times a year and there is no penalty for taking it many times. Colleges usually drop the lowest scores (they don’t average them) and some schools will even take the highest score from each section from different tests.
Higher education can be is a life-changing experience and students who get the high test scores are usually the ones who get the incredible scholarships. For us, learning the test secrets was more than worth it. Besides, we got free college and so can you.
This article is the work of author, Jean Burk. It is the property of Maven of Memory Publishing, and may be reproduced according to the following terms.