Where to Start
Fellowships & Grants
Is Their/Your WORST Enemy -
If they're like a lot of people your child don't consciously procrastinate,
just do it out of force of habit. But when they're talking about their future,
their education, and your money, just get them to "do it now!" When
complete an application or other important document by a certain deadline date,
don't let them wait until the last minute. You'll end up frustrated, they'll
make mistakes, you'll both get all stressed out, and on top of that they may end up missing the deadline date.
Don't put yourself through that, just make them "do it now!" Get the ball
rolling way before the deadline. Give them a deadline of at least
two-weeks before the real one so they have plenty of time.
Big jobs seem smaller when you take them in chunks -
Alright, so they've got 10 scholarship essays to write, a FAFSA to fill out, a
college to decide on, and a biology test next week? Instead of making them feel like
they'll never be able to get it all done, offer to help them break the task up into little pieces.
Take each portion one at a time and help them work through it. Don't let them
just do a little bit of
each task and not finish anything. It would be better to just get a few things
done well than to half-finish a bunch of things.
Have them write down all the sub-tasks that must be done in order to complete each
bigger project. By breaking down each project into many sub-tasks, they will
feel like they've accomplished something every time you finish a sub-task and
will have a plan.
What Do Deadline Dates Really Mean? -
Schools mean different things by deadline. Some call a deadline the date they
want everything postmarked and others call the deadline the date they want to
have received everything. Our best advice is to treat each deadline like its the
date everything must be received. Mail everything in at least a week
before the deadline date. And if possible, mail it all in even earlier and be
done with it. Don't let it hang over your head, "just do it!"
Make Copies! -
After they've signed and dated everything and are all ready to mail it off, have
them make a copy of the whole packet. Some of the information can simply be
copied off of this "master copy" to apply for other scholarships.
Also, if the original copy was lost in the mail you can use this backup to
quickly replace it.
Don't use FedEx overnight service to a P.O. Box. -
In fact, don't use any overnight mail couriers as the U.S. Post Office will not
deliver them to a P.O. Box. While overnight services are great for street
address, The USPS will not let them deliver to a PO Box. However, you can use
the USPS overnight service. Another thing to keep in mind if the deadline
is really close is the "signature waiver or release." Signing this
area of the U.S. Post Office overnight mail form will let the package be
delivered without anyone there to sign for it.
Missed a deadline?
Tsk, tsk, tsk...naw, I won't fuss at you, its not you're fault. But don't
fuss at your child either, they're probably already kicking themselves. Besides,
there is good news. Many schools and government agencies have a secret, internal
date they use to determine if someone is truly "late." This
unpublished deadline is sometimes up to a week after the published deadline.
Don't count on this being the case, go ahead and mail everything in. And
remember, have them start EARLY next time, and don't let them procrastinate,
"just do it!"