It’s been a long semester for your teen.
Hopefully your kid worked really hard in school and did all the things needed to move forward on that path to college admissions.
And now…Hallelujah! It’s winter break! Time to relax and take some well-deserved time off.
Well, actually, winter break is a GREAT time to encourage your teen to apply for scholarships, no matter what high school grade level your teen is in right now.
Let’s go over how you can encourage your teen to apply for scholarships, and just where to start with things.
1| Explain that time is on your teen’s side now.
Most awards have scholarship application deadlines in the next few months.
And many of those deadlines will be occurring right around the time when other priorities, like AP, SAT, ACT and final exams are happening.
Writing scholarship essays at that time? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Encourage your teen to take a few days to decompress. But after her brain has some time to recover from midterm exams, get her excited about the possibilities that are out there for money.
Get as many applications in now for the scholarships that are available for the coming season to prevent the tendency to put them off altogether.
2| Get your teen excited about applying.
I hear you laughing.
But seriously…writing applications for scholarships can be so fulfilling for teens if they know what’s in it for them. Perspective goes a long way.
So, help your teen see the value in this process by talking to your teen about what she sees herself doing after college. What does her dream life look like? Maybe it consists of things like a big house, a sweet car, participating in fun activities and traveling the world.
All of that takes money, of course. And the more college debt there is, the further back her dreams may be pushed until that’s paid off.
Sit with your teen to discuss what your portion of college expenses will be and what she will be responsible for. Explain what it will take and how much it’ll cost to pay off student loans each month after graduating from college. Make sure your teen knows about interest rates and how it adds up over time.
Now relate those expenses back to where she sees herself in the future. Wouldn’t it be great to graduate college not buried in a mountain of debt? Then she’ll have much more freedom to pursue the things she’s passionate about.
Show how applying for scholarships fits into that equation and how much money is possible to win, with just a little time and effort. Some students have paid for most or all of their tuition with their scholarship earnings and have graduated debt-free!
3| Incentivize your teen to apply for as many scholarships as possible.
In my house, we treat applying for scholarships like a part-time job.
We pay our kids to earn them.
Now hold on, I see you rolling your eyes over there.
But hear me out…
Promise your teen that you’ll pay 10% for every scholarship she wins.
A $500 scholarship pays $50, directly to her. A $1000 is $100. $10,000 is $1,000 – we’re talking about a lot of cash here!
What would a FULL scholarship earn your teen? Ask her that question and watch her eyes light up and run to her computer before she can even answer your question.
You’re only paying your teen for the money she’s able to win, which is a great investment for you.
It encourages your kid to work hard and with a sense of urgency.
And she’ll put her all into the process to earn as much money as she can from scholarships, instead of just going through the motions to make you happy.
So, give the gift of money this holiday season.
4| Make it easy for your teen.
Show your teen exactly where to search for scholarship opportunities. Check out 4 Easy Ways to Find Scholarships to learn more about where they’re hiding, and direct your teen there.
And then, for the sake of Pete, help your teen Keep. Things. Organized.
Use my Scholarship Application Organizer Worksheet.It’ll help your teen to keep track of which scholarships she’s applying for, what criteria each scholarship requires, award amounts, when deadlines are and what she needs to submit to be eligible.
Like this article? Subscribe to my email list to get more great info like this, including my college planning checklist! I’ll keep you updated all year about what’s happening college-planning-wise to ensure you and your teen are on top of it all.
Let’s continue the conversation! Leave a comment below.