Monday, March 23, 2009

College--still a good idea


I thought when all this started that a good, expensive, single "change" would be to make college and post-grad school free for all qualified students. Period. Free. Spend the money on that to change America.

Instead, the college funds are sifting like sand through an hourglass and kids are having to drop out or shift to cheaper schools—and out here, the cheaper schools are downgrading to meeting in shacks and trailers, almost.

When they can’t ding old or sick people, they go after students.

Megan Gordon, Arizona Republic (March 1, 2009) has some tips for kids still hoping to enter the ivied halls—or any halls.

The key to trying to educate yourself in this environment, kids, is to find obscure scholarships no one has heard of (if the bank won’t lend). It is like a part-time job chasing these, said one guidance counselor.

First, you probably have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form at fafsa.gov. (The deadline for that one has passed, but not all scholarships require it.)

But, yes, you need to start early—maybe this year for next year.

Make sure the scholarships pertain to you—many are very specific, such as Native-Americans whose parents are on the reservation, and that sort of thing.

Read the fine print and follow it EXACTLY.

Practice essay writing—show your essay to people, get advice. Do not ask writers like me to ghost essays—that’s cheating going in. (There are bloodsucky companies that will not only write essays, but your papers for you once you get in. Have some shame!)

Be original…If you have wacky interests, get into those (the legal ones).

Proofread and re-proofread.

Oh, and don’t copy someone else’s—they have ways of checking.

Apply for a lot of these—it’s a numbers game.

Come off as a go-getter and achiever, although not too vain and self-centered—you know, someone who would do well in college. These places love that.

Parents love that.

I love that.

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