Get Free Cash for College: Secrets to Winning Scholarships

Overview

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 ...

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Get Free Cash for College: Secrets to Winning Scholarships

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Overview

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 more than $100 million; examples of winning scholarship applications, essays, and interview questions and answers are also included.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
"Helpful, well-organized guide. . . a good resource for all college-bound students."
Book News
"Upbeat tone and clear, practical advice."
COSMOgirl!
Upbeat, well-organized and engaging, this comprehensive tool is an exceptional investment for the college-bound.
From the Publisher

"Upbeat, well-organized and engaging, this comprehensive tool is an exceptional investment for the college-bound."  —Publishers Weekly

"We recommend [this book]."   —COSMOgirl!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781617600050
  • Publisher: Supercollege, Llc
  • Publication date: 7/1/2012
  • Edition description: Eighth Edition, Eighth edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 637,382
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tanabe are the authors of 1001 Ways to Pay for College, Accepted! 50 Successful Business School Admission Essays, Accepted! 50 Successful College Admission Essays, Adult Students, Get Free Cash for College, Get into Any College, How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay, and Sallie Mae How to Pay for College. They live in Belmont, California.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 How to Get Free Cash for College 15

Scholarships are not just for superstars 17

Why most scholarship books and websites can be so frustrating 17

The mind-boggling cost of a good education 19

Seven scholarship myths busted 20

Advice from a scholarship judge: How we choose our scholarship winners 23

What about Federal financial aid? 24

The big disadvantage of Federal financial aid 25

Scholarships: The real financial aid jackpots 25

Scholarship competitions are not lotteries 27

Chapter 2 Find the Best Scholarships You Can Win 29

Where to find the best scholarships 30

Fantastic backyard scholarships 31

Searching beyond your backyard 36

Story from real life: Smaller is sometimes better 36

Truly outrageous scholarships 39

I have my big list of scholarships. Now what? 41

How to choose scholarships you can win 41

The magic number of scholarships 45

Don't look for scholarships alone 46

Chapter 3 Avoid Scholarship Scams 49

Scholarships that steal 50

How to spot a scholarship scam 50

Red flags that indicate a scam 52

Story from real life: I lost $500 from a scholarship scam 53

Chapter 4 Get Organized and Maximize Your Time 55

Saving time and effort with scholarships 56

Prioritize the scholarships 56

Schedule scholarships 57

Have a monthly check-in 58

Create a library of reusable materials 58

Take advantage of your classes 59

Think early about recommenders 59

Make a checklist for each application 59

Chapter 5 The Packaging of You and Your Personal Theme 61

Marketing yourself 62

Learn why they're giving away the money 62

Learn what they're basing their decision on 64

Finding your theme and what to do/not to do 64

Chapter 6 Scholarship Judge Q&A 75

A roundtable with the scholarship judges 76

A national scholarship management organization 76

An art and writing competition 79

A music competition 83

An essay-based competition 85

A college that awards merit-based scholarships 90

A scholarship that values overcoming adversity 96

Chapter 7 Create Stunning Scholarship Applications 101

Scholarship applications: Your entry ticket 102

Create your plan of attack 102

General rules for completing the application 104

Story from real life: How my support of legalizing marijuana cost me 106

The five steps to crafting a winning application 107

Step 1 Use a little spin to wow your audience 107

Step 2 Stand out from the competition 111

Step 3 List important accomplishments first 112

Step 4 Write to impress 113

Step 5 Make sure the application fits 117

Story from real life: My midnight scholarship application 115

Top 10 application do's and don'ts 118

Finishing touches 119

Chapter 8 The Scholarship Resume 121

Scholarship resumes: One-page autobiographies 122

Example resume 124

Chapter 9 Get the Right Recommendations 127

Getting the praise of others 128

Finding people to say nice things about you 128

Give your recommender the chance to say "no" 129

Don't play the name game 130

Do the grunt work for your recommenders 131

Give your recommenders a script 131

Tie a string around your recommenders' fingers 134

The "You can't spell success without U" mug 134

Story from real life: Follow up or fall down 135

Chapter 10 Secrets to Writing Winning Essays 137

The scholarship essay: Your ticket to the finals 138

Six steps to writing a winning scholarship essay 139

Step 1 Find the right topic and approach 139

Step 2 Ensure that your topic and approach are original 142

Step 3 It's time to start writing 144

Step 4 Perfect your introduction and conclusion 147

Step 5 Find essay editors 148

Step 6 Recycle your essays 149

Story from real life: How I beat writer's block 141

Seven sins of the scholarship essay 150

Putting what you learned into practice 152

Story from real life: Essays in no time mean no money 152

Chapter 11 Ace the Interviews 155

The face-to-face encounter 156

Why human interaction is needed 157

Interviewers are real people too 157

Interview homework 157

Use your detective work to create an advantage 159

You are not the center of the universe 159

Story from real life: The only thing in life that matters in calculus 160

Look and sound the part 162

The Practice interview 163

Story from real life: Don't hate me because I'm beautiful and faultless 164

Answers to the most common interview questions 166

Questions for the questioner 171

Use time to your advantage 172

The long-distance interview 172

The group interview 173

The disaster interview 174

The post-interview 174

For more help 175

Chapter 12 Strategies for Specific Scholarships 177

College cash from your hobbies and pastimes 178

Awards based on your current or future major 178

Scholarships for your future career 180

Awards that recognize leadership 182

Athletic scholarships 183

Athletic organization awards 185

Scholarships for public service 186

Awards based on ethnic background 188

Story from real life: My hobbies paid for college 188

Religious scholarships 189

Awards for hobbies 189

Scholarships from your parents' employers 190

Need-based scholarships 191

Recurring themes 192

Chapter 13 Guaranteed Scholarships 195

Do guaranteed scholarships really exist? 196

National Merit scholarships 196

GPA and exam-based scholarships 197

Transfer student awards 197

State entitlement awards 198

In-state tuition for out-of-state students 198

All it takes to win is to apply 199

Chapter 14 Unleash the Power of the Internet 201

Opening the scholarship vault with the Internet 202

Using the Internet to find scholarships 202

Zap! Applying for scholarships online 203

Our favorite free scholarship websites 204

How to be an Internet private eye 205

Be cautious of scams 206

Chapter 15 Financial Aid Workshop 209

Getting the most financial aid your deserve 210

The financial aid cornucopia 211

Five steps to getting financial aid 212

Step 1 Fill out the FAFSA 212

Step 2 Review your Student Aid Report 215

Step 3 Make the college aware of special circumstances 216

Step 4 Compare award letters 218

Step 5 If you need it, ask for a re-evaluation 219

Story from real life: I assumed I wouldn't get aid, but I was wrong 214

A re-evaluation success story 220

Exchanging one kind of money for another 221

Declaring independence 222

Strategies that can help you get more financial aid 222

A quick word about saving for college 225

The Federal financial aid programs in detail 225

Federal Pell Grants 226

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants 226

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant 226

TEACH Grant Program 227

Federal Work-Study 227

Student loans 228

Stafford Loans 228

PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Degrees 229

PLUS Loans 229

Consolidation Loans 230

Federal Perkins Loans 231

Getting more help 231

Chapter 16 Free Cash for Graduate School 235

The long and expensive path of graduate school 236

Understanding graduate financial aid 237

More than money 238

It's all about academics 238

Applications: Your stats sheet 239

Recommendations: Getting professorial praise 241

Essays: Getting personal 242

Research grant proposals: Application heavies 243

Interviews: Interaction with a purpose 244

Get paid to step into a classroom or lab 246

Keep your aid flowing 246

Getting more help 247

Chapter 17 How to Keep the Money You Win 251

You're there! 252

Keeping the dollars that are yours 252

Parting words 253

A special request 254

Appendix Winning Scholarship Essays and Applications 257

Winning Essay #1 Bet You Can't 258

Winning Essay #2 Public Service 260

Winning Essay #3 Cultural Heritage 261

Winning Essay #4 Only Two Hands 264

Winning Essay #5 The Gift 267

Winning Essay #6 Career Plans 269

Winning Essay #7 No Child Left Behind: Well-Intentioned but Flawed 270

Winning Submission #8 Shawn Smith 274

Winning Submission #9 Wilmer Wilson 275

Directory. 150 Scholarships (Almost) Anyone Can Win 277

About the Authors 320

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