WIN SCHOLARSHIP AS EARLY AS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO STUDY WHAT SCHOLARSHIPS MIGHT HELP YOU.
Over the past 15 years, college scholarship strategist Jean O’Toole has spoken before thousands of students, inspiring them to pursue their academic dreams. Now she has a new book out that helps them afford those dreams, Scholarship Strategies: Finding and Winning the Money You Need (Morgan James Publishing, Trade Paper,128 pages, $17.95, ISBN: 987-1-64279-482-3).
“You don’t need to be academically at the top of your class a star athlete, or a student with financial need in order to qualify for thousands of dollars of scholarship opportunities,” asserts O’Toole, co-founder of Connections101, a youth empowerment company specializing in motivational tools for outside scholarship searching.
O’Toole has helped students win thousands of dollars, including some individuals that were awarded up to $200,000.
“Money for college is out there,” she encourages. “You just need to know where to find it and how to win it. It’s all about working smarter and not harder. ”
In Scholarship Strategies, the motivational speaker shares her vast knowledge, laying out 25 clear strategies for winning the money needed for college, and identifies 15 ways to reduce college costs beyond scholarships and traditional financial aid.
● How students can take a smart, methodical, organized, and disciplined approach to apply for many winnable scholarships.
● Which scholarships have less competition and lower thresholds to win?
● How students can identify their strengths, interests, connections, demographics, and accomplishments in order to be in a position to qualify for plenty of scholarships.
● Additional money students can win for room and board, books, travel, or study abroad – even if they get a full ride because of academics, athletics, or financial need.
● How parents can collaborate with students to divide and conquer the scholarship search process.
● Why guidance counselors, librarians, financial advisors, alumni, and government agencies each only know about some scholarships — and why you need to consult with many resources to get a complete picture of the scholarship landscape.
● Harmful scholarship myths that are debunked.
● How students as young as kindergarteners and middle-schoolers — or those older than 30 — can still win scholarships.
● Many examples of odd, unique, and rare scholarships that almost anyone could win.
“Higher education costs continue to rise,” says O’Toole. “Student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt in the United States reaching $1.5 Trillion dollars. Whether it costs a family$30,000 or $300,000 for a college degree, scholarship monies can dramatically reduce costs and benefit the bottom line..”
Some of O’Toole’s strategies include:
● Applying for local and regional scholarships first.
● Seeking out a series of small scholarships and not just one big one.
● Starting a scholarship search even before high school.
● Joining groups and organizations so you can qualify to apply for their scholarships.
● Asking family members and friends about scholarships from their employer, group affiliations, Jonestown.
● Talk to scholarship winners to gain insight on how they won.
● Form a bond with a scholarship buddy and share info on scholarships to apply to.
● Start applying early and often – and keep track of your applications.
● Using past homework assignments as material for scholarships as a huge time saver.
“Parents and students will be amazed at how much money is available to them for scholarships they never imagined even existed,” says O’Toole. “Anyone who follows the advice in Scholarships Strategies and uses the resources at www.Connections101.com are certain to find more scholarships than if they only rely on their school guidance offices.
“Jean’s energy and enthusiasm capture the student’s attention from the get-go, and she gets them to think about college and scholarships in new and different ways. Not only does she share her knowledge and insight with students, but she also provides them with strategies they need to take action and be successful in their pursuits. Jean provides an amazing resource; there is nothing like it out there!”
–Fran Fercara, College Counselor, Fort Hamilton High School, New York City