Never give up in the pursuit of scholarships

going-to-collegeWith one college student (a junior) and my soon-to-be-high school graduate heading to a state university, my wife and I have been encouraging both children to keep applying for scholarships. However, my seemingly well-based declaration for more work came to a head one night. While completing yet another scholarship, my son decided that he had had enough and blurted out, “Dad, why am I still doing this? All the winners have been chosen already!” When this outburst of futility finally ebbed, I realized that I had been hounding my kids, him especially, how vital it was to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible because, “you never know when an opportunity will drop by.”

Then, ironically, two days after my son’s statement my daughter (the junior) received a $500 scholarship (after filling it out way back in August) from a credit union that stipulated as one directive, “For College Juniors Only”. Not only was this unexpected, it came when the second semester began, thus, giving her enough money to purchase books for three of her classes. Dad’s credibility rose after receiving this information. Yet, in reality, it just proved the point of not giving up the search even if some scholarships have been won, others haven’t responded, and still others are out there waiting to be accessed by students with drive and determination.

Now, even more than ever, my wife and I drop hints to both kids that the time spent filling out applications and scholarships has not been completed just because they have been accepted to the college of their choice. I would hope they now realize that they still need to continue their investigation into potential money opportunities even after they have filled out numerous forms. Just like the credit union scholarship that was unexpected, there could be more avenues to tap. Even though the height of the scholarship season is January through June, it doesn’t mean that my kids are done pursuing potential monies.

Indeed, there is money to be distributed out there. The problem as we see it, as parents of two college students, is to make our children aware of it too without the need for constant prompting from us. When the unexpected happened in the form of the scholarship surprise it opened our daughter’s eyes to the idea that there were still avenues to search. We hope she will take her brother down that street in the next few months.

By Rick.


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