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Are you a Scholarship Snob?

My youngest daughter is a money magnet. Whenever we go out, she finds money.

Sometimes it’s a penny. Sometimes a dime. Sometimes a quarter. It doesn’t matter – money always finds her and she picks it up.

There is no amount of money that is not worth bending over and picking up. And when she picks it up, she shouts at the top of her lungs “I’m a money magnet!”

On the other hand, my oldest daughter understands the difference between coins and she is starting to think pennies aren’t worth picking up. In her mind, they don’t have the same value as other coins. So I see her stepping over the same pennies that her little sister races to pick up.

What does picking up coins have to do with scholarships?

Like my oldest daughter – some parents and students step over applying for the smaller scholarships while investing all of their time on the competitive large dollar scholarships. They don’t see the value of the smaller scholarships. I call them scholarship snobs.

What is a scholarship snob?

A scholarship snob is a parent or student that can’t be bothered applying for the small dollar scholarships because they are focused on pursuing the big money scholarships.

But what they are overlooking is – money is money. No scholarship money is better than others. And the only person who is being harmed by you not applying for the smaller denomination scholarships – is you and your family.

What you don’t realize is . . .

You are more likely to get a $250 – $1000 scholarship than you are to receive a $10,000 scholarship.

That’s because when applying for scholarships, you are have the least competition for the smaller dollar amount scholarships. And you may have to apply for $30,000 worth of scholarships to obtain $10,000 worth of scholarships because you won’t get every scholarship you apply for.

Where is the best place to apply for scholarship money?

In a word – locally. Or through a relationships you already have. If you are looking for scholarships, now is not the time to be shy. Talk to your guidance counselors to find out about scholarships graduating seniors received. Explore fraternities, sororities, and service organizations like Elks, Kiwanis and Rotary. Your local school board may also have scholarship opportunities. Tell anyone and everyone you know that you are interested in applying for scholarships – no matter how big or small.

Why are you more likely to get smaller denomination scholarship?

Because your student is most competitive at the local level where there are fewer applicants and fewer students that are as bright and talented as your student.

The length, competitiveness and anxiety of the college application process has everyone relaxing once the first acceptance letter arrives. Both parents and students have spent their energy focusing on getting into the right college academically, so much so that applying for scholarships occurs for many like an after thought. And when they think about applying for scholarships, the investment of time seems to be better suited to applying for large dollar amount scholarships.

Parents and students who think there is no value in applying for smaller dollar amount scholarships are like the farmer in the Acres of Diamonds story who sold his farm to go out looking for riches when he had a field of diamonds in his backyard.

All scholarship money obtained is money that you don’t have to pay out of your pocket.

So the next time a scholarship application crosses your desk for $250, ask yourself “Am going to be a scholarship snob?

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