Too BUSY for scholarships !!

<p>My daughter is senior this year and is taking a college course and 3 AP classes. Her gpa is 4 . She received a 32 on ACT......I only tell you this because she's a smart girl and works hard. She's very involved in community service w/ drug/alcohol prevention and etc...but has to pass being on the board due to school being crazy this year.</p>

<p>I see her go into school by 6am some morning for tutoring then she is late from school 1-2 nights a week, either working on yearbook staff, or newspaper. Her art (which she loves) AP art....she can spend 5-6 hours perfecting it. It's taking time, but needs to. She struggles a bit in math and gets help when she can before tests. She has homework everynight it seems this year and works only at job on Thursday nights. Her weekends are spent catching up on homework and trying to find time for scholarships !!</p>

<p>I'm freaked because she is SO BUSY this year she seriously doesn't have time for a lot of scholarships. She has filled out 7-8 but she's a big time writter so she doesn't do anything half-way. She get into the research before she writes her essays, but I feel guilty for prodding her to keep at those scholarships because I KNOW she is busy all the time.</p>

<p>Are any other parents dealing with this ? I had no idea she would be so busy this senior year (she has more homework this year than any other year) . Her friends already in college laugh and say college will be easier and she will have more time.</p>

<p>to be honest with you... i would cut back on the private scholarship apps...most times they are for one year, minimal amount of money and large number of applicants...have her devote her scholarship apps to any SCHOOLS that require them... with her stats she has a good chance at some automatic merit scholarships that wouldnt even require special apps.. sounds like she has a ton of stuff on her plate already. is she applying to some schools with automatic merit aid?</p>

<p>Having been through one senior year (older D) and with another coming up, I can sympathize! It is a very stressful, over-full time!</p>

<p>My best advice, which you can take or leave--if you haven't already, find a school or two that will be affordable w/out scholarships OR (since she has high stats) find some that offer guaranteed merit. A financial safety that you can afford and she can get in, and would like to attend. Hopefully you already have a couple of these, and she's put her applications in.</p>

<p>My D w/ similar stats had some nice merit aid offers, but lots of those apps are due now/soon.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>She's going to go to MSU in Springfield. It's only 3-4 hours away and it's less money than many we looked at. </p>

<p>She earned bright flight and MSU is giving her $5000. a year. She did qualify for the competitive 12,500. yr from MSU but won't find out if she is even a finalist until end of December and then to interview process.</p>

<p>We lost most money in 529 when everything crashed, but being a middle class family, she will qualify for no grants, etc. Scholarships is the only thing she has going.</p>

<p>MSU has a couple of her best friends and she is now set on it which is fine with us. She will have an easy time transfering there because it's a great couple of friends she already knows there. </p>

<p>She's interested in social work which will never be a big money maker so don't want her to get into too many big loans. I'm into construction field so never know in this day and age how long I"ll have a job so I refuse to take out loans in my name.</p>

<p>MSU is also big enough w/ a lot of writting degrees that if she changed her mind it would be easy to change majors there.</p>

<p>there are some schools that will give her full tuition automatically for her current stats, but understand if she has already chosen her school...and fingers crossed she will get the competitive scholarship. do you have a back up plan if she doesnt get any private scholarships? ie to cover dorm, food etc</p>

<p>For D1, I found that there are very few private scholarships where the return on investment is worthwhile.</p>

<p>What I mean is for each scholarship, determine
1. The amount of time in hours it will take to apply = T
2. The probability of winning = P
3. The amount of money won = M. </p>

<p>The expected pay rate of a scholarship is dollars per hour
P*M/T</p>

<p>For most M is already low, but your expected winnings P*M is really low. Your D really has better things to do with her time. It's almost better for you to buy lottery tickets when the jackpot is big. </p>

<p>You are much better off going for merit aid at schools she is applying to. Those are much more worth the time to apply because the pool is reasonable and they do give out a good number of them.</p>

<p>I think that 32 would get her some good merit scholarships. Be careful, many schools like Ohio State have Dec 1 deadlines. </p>

<p>I don't know what MSU is (Michigan State?).</p>

<p>Regarding "its less money than many we looked at", be aware that a student with very good statistics can get a signficant amount of merit aid from many private schools. The full cost on the website isn't usually the full cost. Honestly, with her stats, she might be able to do well in merit aid at a second tier LAC that gives good merit aid. Sometimes those schools end up being cheaper to attend than public universities.</p>

<p>Also, if you are truly "middle class", she may qualify for financial aid. Have you run your EFC calculation? Or you may be upper middle class (and then you are probably correct that need based aid won't be coming her way). You should apply (fill out the FAFSA) no matter what. She may get work study from it (even if she doesn't get any other grants); that will make it easier to get a job on a larger campus like MSU (lots of the campus jobs are typically reserved for work study students).</p>

<p>Agree with parent56 that a lot of those scholarships aren't worth filling out applications for. They are small $, and if there is a lot of competition it can be a waste of time. If she is going to move forward with those, she should focus in on those she has a good chance of getting (eg, local organizations or extracurricular related ones where she has very strong qualifications).</p>

<p>She will have more time in college, especially freshman year. My D1 didn't know what to do with herself first semester of college after the frantic years of high school. She figured it out, and is as busy as ever now as a senior. But they do get a breather in college. Making it easier for her to pick up a part time job and earn a few more $ that way.</p>

<p>One trick I have used to get D2 going on weekends is to bring her breakfast in bed on Saturday mornings (only after she has had 8 or 9 hours of sleep). We negotiate the time the night before, and I show up with chocolate chip pancakes (her favorite) at that time. She eats, then quite cheerily dives into whatever (SAT studying, Biology Olympiad, etc.) for a couple of hours before her sports lesson at 11:30. A bit of pampering goes a long way to motivate her. :)</p>

<p>just checked MSU website... whew if she gets that 5K it wont be terrible...leaves you 9K assuming she is instate (coa=about 14K which includes room and board)..looks like only 30 of those 12500 scholarships are offered though.</p>

<p>Yes...Missouri State University.</p>

<p>They are only about 15 k a year . It was going to be a possible back-up school because she really couldn't care less where she went.</p>

<p>She isn't into any sports, didn't want a party school, etc. We had her apply locally (where now she could probably get a full ride w/ act) and MSU.</p>

<p>Went for second visit to MSU, and she met up with old friend from HS and old friends from a gifted summer camp at Drury University she attended for two years. She fell in love with this group of friends again. She's been chatting with them on facebook for 3-4 years, but hadn't met a couple of them face to face (old friends/ and friends of friends). When we went down there we spent weekend and she got "into" the entire college idea. We were happy that she finally felt like she wanted to go somewhere because the one place she wanted to go to is really unaffordable (University of Denver).</p>

<p>She spent weekend with them, then a month later they came and spent a weekend at our house. I feel very confident that she has a fantastic group of students to hang with that are also in the Honors College that she will be in. These college kids were more than happy to hang out at a parents house which said a lot to me. One kid is so much like my daughter I'd swear he's her twin !!</p>

<p>Because of this, we feel if her heart is there she'd never be happy any where else. It has great majors (several she'd excel at). If she doesn't earn many scholarships, loans will be what we have to do. It's just shocking to see such a talented kid not recieve scholarships when they are so deserved. She's done more community service in her last few years than I've ever done in my life. </p>

<p>I appreciate all the feedback, because I know at some point we've been in the same sinking ship.( it feels like) lol I think I will tell her to stick to more local ones, but each one still has those 1000 word essays. She's good to do it, never a complaint just hate to see her work her fingers to the bone.</p>

<p>I was in your shoes this time last year. Have to tell you, I agreee with Parent56 above. Forget the private scholarships...small dollars, limited timeframe, tons of applications, and a fair amount of politics built in too. Have her focus on learning early on about the scholarships available at the schools she plans to apply to, understanding their process/timing/criteria, and spend her time there. It worked for us....although (haha) he wound up turning down a full ride honors scholarship at (another) state flagship and going to a LAC that was full pay for mom. But it was nice to have that scholarship offer and opportunity anyway. ;-)</p>

<p>We have to fill out fafsa before she can apply to any departmental/school scholarships. We will have to wait for all tax papers (1st week in Feb) before all tax junk it. We'll jump on it then. Hubby has couple of off-duty jobs so we don't have accurate figures until taxes get done.</p>

<p>I appreciate all the advice and may have her keep to the easier or more attainable ones (but so hard to tell) . </p>

<p>It'll work out, one way or anothers. :) Thanks !</p>

<p>If the scholarships are that critical, I don't see why she doesn't cut back on her extra curricular activities for a while to get them done--drop the tutoring, take a hiatus from the newspaper, put aside the art--it will all be over soon, and she can resume her normal schedule. As her parent, it's up to you to tell her she is stretching herself too thin and needs to re-order her priorities. Also, isn't it possible to use the same essay for more than one scholarship application, perhaps with a bit of massaging?</p>

<p>
[quote]
we feel if her heart is there she'd never be happy any where else.

[/quote]
Honestly, it's a shame you let things get this far and are encouraging her narrow approach. The choice isn't between scholarships or loans for MSU, it's between being overly focused on a single "dream" school and exploring the opportunities at other schools where she could do better financially and, I guarantee, would have a happy and fulfilled four years.</p>

<p>OP, may I infer that English is not your first language? Are you Asian, and if so, the gmsp.org would be the best scholarship for your daughter to apply for. It covers all unmet need at ANY school.</p>

<p>if you dont expect that your numbers for fafsa will be much different...as soon as its available to sign in, you can submit using last years data and update when the new figures come in. or even just use a calculator on the website to see if she even qualifies for need based aid for now.. looks like you will need to find about 10K per year... does msu have monthly tuition plan...that way you dont have to have the lump sum up front...just sign up for monthly payments (usually a very small fee about $50)</p>

<p>mommaj... as msu is really a good price for instate (15k for everything)...this may be a great deal for the op... ie i can think of a number of schools she would qualify for automatic merit for full tuition but she would still have the same amount left over to pay out....so if she loves the school and wants to go there i think the op has done a great job</p>

<p>MammaJ......This has become the school she wants go to. She wants to help people and become a social worker. No money in that but it is what SHE WANTS.
Newspaper is senior class and she is editor in chief....no getting out of it. Same with yearbook if she want to maintain a gpa of 4. Her college math class if she wants to do well she needs to have a tutor if she feels that way. Her tutor is only when needed.</p>

<p>It's fine if you want your kids living with huge debt, I dont' want mine to.</p>

<p>Don't speak of a situation of being "narrow" minded when you really don't know . I was insulted by that comment since you don't know her or her personality.</p>

<p>I certainly didn't mean to insult you, but many of CC have cautioned against becoming mentally committed to one school. I also didn't say you were narrow minded, just that this is a narrow approach to college selection--and I'll stand by that. In any case, if she is not willing to consider other schools, wants to minimize debt and is not willing to cut back her schedule, I guess there are no answers, are there? I hope the scholarship process is successful for her--I do know of one girl in my D's high school (a good, but not great student) who, with the guidance of a private counselor, managed to accumulate a huge number of small, rather obscure scholarships by putting in a ton of effort. She was attending her state flagship and put a big dent in tuition that way, at least for her first year. She was never known as one of the school's shining stars, and everyone was stunned at Senior Night when the list of her scholarships was read off.</p>

<p>You said she had a job that she works at on Thursday night. Can she forgo the job for the next month and have "Scholarship Thursday?". Also, I truly understand overworked Seniors. My daughter had 20 plus hours in her EC and 8 AP courses in her Senior year (College freshman now). The workload can be massive. With that said if she has time to spend with friends on the weekend she has time for scholarship applications. It's about priorities. If you need her to obtain scholarships, she needs to readjust her prioritites. It was not unusual for my D and many more kids on these boards last year to sleep 4-6 hours per night to carve the time...healthy...maybe not, but there are times that you do what you have to do.</p>

<p>Depending on where you live, those small scholarships can certainly add up. DD was awarded 16 or so of them and they paid for her first 2 1/2 years in full at her excellent state school. Most were things like Kiwanis, Elks, etc, which are easier to get when you live in a smallish town than in a huge metro area. She worked 15 hours a week, was captain of two sports teams, playing on a travel team, president of a couple of clubs, doing community service and taking AP classes. Some of those essays were able to be used more than once with some minor changes. </p>

<p>If your DD has decided on her school for sure, they could very well be worth her time and no kid can't find any time at all to work on them. Your family just needs to decide if they are a priority if there are decent odds at all of winning any.</p>

<p>My daughter didn't have any time either, her senior year. I used to bug her sometimes, but whenever she had any extra time, she slept. She did get a scholarship from where she worked, the rest was just merit aid. There are only so many hours in a day.</p>