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7 Ways to Get Scholarships at Private Universities

7 Ways to Get Scholarships at Private Universities
How do you get better scholarships at a private college? These strategies will go a long way to making sure you get the best possible financial aid package.   Demonstrate interest - visits and phone calls, or Skype if you can't visit. What Colle...
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Robin
Brilliant, Lin! Thanks for sharing that! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Thursday, 12 September 2019 22:30
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So You Have to Fill Out the FAFSA...Again?

So You Have to Fill Out the FAFSA...Again?
Yep. It's October. And, for anyone with children in college that means filling out the FAFSA every year. Whether you, the parent, or the student does it, the closer to the beginning of October you do it, the better.  If you haven't filled out th...
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Lee Binz
Dear Christy, Yes. The FAFSA application form is only sent to each school you list. So you would want to list the colleges that ... Read More
Monday, 23 September 2019 21:44
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[Free ebook] Need Based Scholarships

[Free ebook] Need Based Scholarships
FAFSA stands for "Free Application for Federal Student Aid." It's a form you fill out, much like the 1040 tax forms. Like the tax forms, these are also super-fun and well-written government prose. The US Department of Education requires the FAFSA to ...
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Super-score to Improve Scholarships

Super-score to Improve Scholarships
When planning for college, you will need to have  your child take high school tests. You can find out all about high school tests in my article, High School Subject Tests Simply Explained . When using high school test scores, some college will&n...
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How to Change a College Scholarship Policy

How to Change a College Scholarship Policy
Here is the problem. Colleges all have very unique, very different policies from one another. In addition, college admission policies can change over time, sometimes quite suddenly, it seems. That's why half the time the answer to a specific question...
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9 Tips to Earn More Scholarships

9 Tips to Earn More Scholarships
It's tempting to think that our goal is to get our children in to college. No, no! Our goal is that our children can get in AND afford to go to college. Getting admitted is only part of the problem! Here ideas to help you get more scholarship money o...
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Gail was Riveted - Ate it Up - Got Plugged In

Gail was Riveted - Ate it Up - Got Plugged In
"Today was my very first, ever, live webinar with you and I was 'riveted'. I had to do it from my phone in the car, but listened to 95% of it before I had to log off and manage the kids :) Anyway ... I loved your webinar ... I ate up every minute I c...
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How to Get Scholarships

How to Get Scholarships
Do you know how homeschoolers earn scholarships? By gaining information about the process early in high school, so they know all the pieces and are ready to go when the time comes to apply for college. Here is the quickest possible overview. There ar...
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How to Get Scholarship Offers

How to Get Scholarship Offers
How would you feel if your child sent out 7 college applications and got these results? 7 applications sent ​ 2 colleges offered half-price ​ 1 college offered quarter-price ​ 1 college offered full tuition ​ And, they haven't even heard from all the...
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Scholarship Tips for Poor Test Takers

Scholarship Tips for Poor Test Takers
When you are visiting and applying to colleges , try to convince the college that your child is a good investment for their scholarship donations. You do that by making sure their statistics look good in their view, and when future parents do online ...
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8 Ways to Increase Scholarships

8 Ways to Increase Scholarships
8 Ways to Increase Scholarships Do you need scholarships to afford college? I sure did! The key is to CONVINCE colleges you are worthy of merit scholarships by "Clipping College Coupons." What are college coupons? They are many small things that coll...
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Lee Binz
Hi, Maria. I'm so sorry, but we won't have a recording link this time around. Please watch for upcoming webinars though, as Lee do... Read More
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 17:21
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New FAFSA Available October 1st

New FAFSA Available October 1st

New FAFSA Available October 1st


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is trying to make life easier for you. They will now allow you to begin filling out your FAFSA on October 1st of each year.

You will use the prior year's tax information, so there is no waiting around to collect all the tax info that you need to complete the FAFSA.

You will get a more prompt financial award, so that you can learn about your need-based financial aid while you are applying to college.

Earlier access to the FAFSA will help you know if you can afford college sooner in the year, relieving some stress, and allowing you to adjust your applications based on the financial aid you received.

In the past, I've written a lot about the 3 waves of scholarships.
1. Financial aid based on SAT/ACT plus GPA
2. Need-based financial aid related to the FAFSA
3. Merit, skill, or interview-based scholarships

There was a long pause between the waves of scholarships. There were often many months between admission ("Yippee! You got in!") and scholarship information ("Oh No! How can we possibly afford this?")

There will still be a pause between getting in and getting the final word on financial aid. With this new system, I hope you'll have fewer uncomfortable months, and a more prompt scholarship award!

For more information, read more from the Department of Education.

Federal Student Aid

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Learn more: Complete the FAFSA for Fun and Profit




Get Your Free Ebook on "Finding a College"
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How You Can be Shocked by $112,000 in Scholarships

How You Can be Shocked by $112,000 in Scholarships

How You Can be Shocked by $112,000 in Scholarships


First, the good news! Joy's daughter received HUGE scholarships worth $112,000 toward the cost of college! Joy worked hard to give colleges just what they love. Read her note to me:
My daughter received an $8,000 annual music scholarship and an annual $20,000 dean scholarship both for the 4 full years - $28,000 x 4!! Thank you very much! We are waiting for offers from other colleges to come in before our final decision. I wouldn’t have thought she would be selected for the dean scholarship, but with your admonishment, encouragement, and suggestions we were able to present a very professional transcript and comprehensive high school record. Thanks Lee – you did it again!
~ Joy in Minnesota




Second, here is admonishment, encouragement, and suggestions for YOU, so you can get a great scholarship for your child, too!

Create comprehensive homeschool records. Records should include:


1. Professional-looking transcript with "Official" in the title.

2. Thorough course descriptions for every class. This should include a paragraph description of what you did, a list of what you used, and a description of how you evaluated each class, even if you didn't use any tests.

3. Reading list including books read for school, books read for fun, and summer reading.

4. Activity and award lists, with details about when, where, and how long each activity took place.

5. Any additional records required by your state homeschool law.

Plan ahead


You can see how those records may take a bit of time to create. While possible to write them in a week, it's unlikely to be easy, accurate, or successful with minimum effort. Instead, take the time to do the job right every single year.

Create and update each piece of your comprehensive record every single year. You'll be ready to submit it when the time comes, and will hopefully receive great results in both college admission and scholarships.

Sometimes these records are needed for college applications, so they must be ready by September at the beginning of senior year at the latest. These records may be needed even earlier, for the National Merit Scholarship application or other important events. The only way to be sure you are ready is to be ready, with records prepared yearly.

Sermon over! Admonishment - done! Now go, team, go! Get those course descriptions done!



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Soon to Be Medical Missionary Receives $40,000 Scholarship

Soon to Be Medical Missionary Receives $40,000 Scholarship


Soon to Be Medical Missionary Receives $40,000 Scholarship


Jill just emailed me an update - check out the progress of her daughter's college admission and scholarships! So exciting!
I wanted to give you an update on my daughter. She is going into nursing, and wants to be a medical missionary. She was accepted to her top 3 choices of colleges with no problem. At two of the bigger private colleges, she received a $40K scholarship merit-based on her ACT score and her current GPA. WOOHOOO!!! She has chosen a university that has a HUGE focus on missions throughout the campus, and especially in nursing. They are also rated #10 in the nation for their nursing program. We are very excited about it!! Her admissions counselor was very impressed with her and her comprehensive records.

She has been plugging away at scholarship applications to earn her half credit for Essay Writing and of course to earn scholarships. She found a great one for an Alzheimer’s teen group raising awareness. She has a great perspective to share from working in a nursing home. So, we will keep on keepin’ on with the applications. I filed our FAFSA on Jan. 1st and will complete it this week as my husband has our taxes just about done. Senior portraits have been taken, and we have a graduation party planned!

Thanks so much for your help! I have no idea where we would be without your help and guidance. I tell all of my homeschooling friends that have 8th graders about you! I don’t want them to spend the hours and hours and hours I spent in October getting all their children’s records up to date their senior year. I know you can help them!

Blessings,
Jill in Wisconsin

Plan ahead for success. Take Jill's advice, and start EARLY so you learn about comprehensive homeschool records and the college admission and scholarships process, so you can be successful too! And look for Jill's daughter on the missionary field!

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Overseas Homeschoolers and the National Merit Scholarship

Overseas Homeschoolers and the National Merit Scholarship


Overseas Homeschoolers and the National Merit Scholarship


Here in the U.S. homeschoolers can become National Merit Scholars the same way that public school students do, by taking the PSAT-NMSQT in 11th grade. You can learn everything about this process in my article, National Merit Scholarship Information for Homeschoolers.

Not all homeschoolers are living in the U.S. though. Some expatriats can't find a place to take the PSAT at all. So you can see how it can be more complicated when U.S. citizens are living overseas, where the PSAT may not be available. But if that's you, there is still hope!

Overseas homeschoolers can bypass the PSAT and apply for the National Merit Scholarship using SAT scores alone! Recently, I received an email from Kristen who had successfully negotiated the system. Her daughter became a National Merit Scholar Commended student without taking the PSAT in 11th grade. She shares her story here, so if you are living overseas, please read this carefully!

National Merit Scholarship for Overseas Students


~ Kristen

In case you're asked again about overseas folks qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship, I've just been through that process & will share the steps here. I’ve attached the Request for Alternate Entry form. In our case the PSAT was not available to our daughter in junior year because we live overseas, and homeschooled (the international schools only allow their enrolled students to take the PSAT and AP exams).

Step 1: Contact the NMSC.
First I spoke to someone at NMSC on the phone, and was instructed to email scholarshipadmin@nmerit.net with the student’s name, age, address, college board case ID number, school info including code, plus an explanation of why we were requesting alternate entry into the NMSQT program.

Step 2: I was contacted by someone in the Scholarship Administration department, who – after the October PSAT was officially finished in the US - attached some forms by email and wrote: “Per your request, a copy of the Alternate Entry materials for the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program is attached to this email. This material includes three documents: a letter explaining how to enter the competition on the basis of SAT scores, the 2016 program entry requirements, and a Request for Alternate Entry form. This material is approved only for those students who have already been granted Alternate Entry by NMSC, either through written request or as the result of a testing irregularity. Should you have any questions about the attached material, please contact NMSC.”

Step 3: After submitting the Request for Alternate Entry form, register for & take the SAT test. I don’t recall nor do I have record of any correspondence from the Scholarship Administration saying “You’re approved, go ahead & register”. We just registered and went ahead with the SAT. *Note that if the student takes the SAT more than once, they will take the best overall score in their consideration for the NMSQT - they don’t super score.

Step 4: Submit the SAT score(s) to the NMSC (code 0085). We used that code as one of our 4 free score submissions.

Step 5: If the SAT scores are high enough, you’ll get a letter in the mail either with the Commended status or Semi-finalist status.

Three considerations about using the SAT for alternate entry into the NMSQT program: 1) The NMSQT is only an option for U.S. citizens. 2) Using the SAT to qualify means a much longer and harder test than the PSAT. 3) Taken internationally, the minimum selection index cutoff is quite a bit higher than most U.S. states. The international index number was the highest cutoff at least last year, in fact.

Our daughter received “Commended” status on her 2nd SAT test session, and we’re so grateful! But had she been in the U.S. taking the PSAT, she might’ve gone on to be a finalist. Nothing we can do about that. On the flip side, two different colleges awarded her scholarships amounting to $4000 per year each for her significant overseas experience. (This is in addition to the academic merit awards).

This process is similar to what happens when your child misses the PSAT for medical reasons. If you are scheduled to take the PSAT in 11th grade, but your child is hospitalized and misses the test or experiences a catastrophic event, the National Merit Corporation does have a system that can allow you to apply without that critical PSAT score. According to NationalMerit.org:
If a Student Misses the PSAT/NMSQT
A student who does not take the PSAT/NMSQT because of illness, an emergency, or other extenuating circumstance, but meets all other requirements for NMSC program participation, may still be able to enter the competitions. The student or a school official must write to NMSC as soon as possible after the PSAT/NMSQT administration to request information about procedures for entry to NMSC competitions by alternate testing. The earlier NMSC receives the written request, the greater the student’s opportunities for meeting alternate entry requirements. To be considered, a request must be postmarked no later than March 1 following the PSAT/NMSQT administration that was missed. NMSC will provide alternate entry materials including an entry form that requires the signature of a school official.

This can only work in case of serious emergency, though. Simply missing the test is not enough to enter the competition. It requires significant effort on the part of the parent, in addition to stellar SAT Test scores. If you plan to request an alternate entry this way, follow their directions very carefully, and be sure to be exceptionally clear and concise. Good luck!



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Lee Binz
Hi KML! When you register for the PSAT, they ask you for your school code for your state you will return to.... which isn't always... Read More
Thursday, 04 April 2019 16:42
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