Tag Archives: scholarships

I recently had a chance to speak on the Your Daily Scholarship podcast with scholarship expert Dave Peterson about a topic close to my heart. For nearly thirty years now, I’ve been counseling families on managing different aspects of college admissions and have encountered the same issues over and over again. One of the most detrimental yet easily avoidable mistakes in putting together a competitive college application is waiting too long to address certain influential elements. Consider these five tips before or during but definitely not after junior year if you can: 1. Select Classes Carefully Academic rigor matters, but don’t take on the toughest classes you can just because you have Ivy League aspirations. Make sure you commit to honors classes you are truly interested in, or else you’ll be spending hours a week regretting your choices. By the same token, make sure you think about all the classes…

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The PSAT that high school juniors take every October offers more than just a glimpse at the actual SAT. This test may not directly impact college admissions, but top scorers can earn special recognition and even scholarship. That is why that 11th grade test (not the PSAT 10 or PSAT 8/9) is known as the PSAT/NMSQT. Students who take the PSAT/NMSQT are automatically screened for the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships. All kinds of opportunity is on the table for students who score high enough. Thus, the obvious question is, “How high do I have to score for National Merit Scholarship recognition?” If only the answer was that easy. National Merit Scholarship recognition is based on a student’s Selection Index, which is based on a student’s PSAT score, which is similar but not the same as an SAT score. Simple, right? The SAT is…

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Does your inclination, endearment, and infatuation for the English language lead you to consider yourself a word nerd? My dear friend Jeanne Lucas was a self-professed word nerd herself. Jeanne was also a spirited educator and supportive friend who left this world far too soon. The National Test Prep Association, the non-profit organization of which I am the founding president, is proud to commemorate the life and legacy of a tremendous teacher through the Jeanne Lucas Memorial Scholarship. One-time $500 scholarships will be awarded to multiple students, and all language lovers in the high school graduating class of 2023 are invited to apply by submitting a response to the following prompt in 300 to 500 carefully selected words by May 1, 2023: Our dear friend Jeanne Lucas frequently referred to herself as a word nerd. She reveled in using lesser-known vocabulary in everyday settings. Jeanne’s love of vocabulary and grammar…

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The National Merit Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships. According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which was established in 1955, over 1.5 million students in about 21,000 high schools enter the National Merit Scholarship Program each year, with about 50,000 entrants qualifying for program recognition, and approximately 8,050 outstanding students receiving scholarships valued collectively at over $35 million for college undergraduate study. The primary way students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), almost always in 11th grade. For many students, a shot at scholarship recognition may be the only good reason to sit for the PSAT. After all, the PSAT is not relevant in college admissions, is not exactly a practice SAT, and doesn’t provide test scores early enough in junior year for many students to act on. That said, there are plenty…

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One of our greatest pleasures at Chariot Learning is helping students unlock the substantial scholarship opportunities tied to outstanding grades and test scores. It’s no exaggeration that an investment in test prep often comes back tenfold in merit aid. However, when you help as many motivated, authentic, and endearing students as we do in the college admissions process, you can’t help but want to find more ways to support them. From that thought arose the Tests and the Rest Counselor Select Scholarship. My podcast partner Amy Seeley and I both wanted to add something new to the constellation of local, national, and organizational awards students contend for and consulted with scholarship expert Monica Matthews on the best way to proceed. The concept behind the Tests and the Rest Counselor Select Scholarship is to provide a way for one student per school in multiple states to be nominated for the scholarship…

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This time of year finds us answering a lot of questions about the PSAT, from parents eager to arrange prep to others wondering if their teens should take the the October test at all. And, really, the question deserves consideration. Just about every high school has its juniors, and sometimes even sophomores, sit for the PSAT. Schools have good reason to administer these tests, thanks to the wealth of score data the College Board sends back. But is the test worth any single student’s time? Why take the PSAT? The College Board describes many benefits to taking the PSAT, but only a couple of them seem persuasive. Consider each one: Discover Your AP® Potential BAD IDEA, at least if you are already a junior. By that time, qualified students with access are already enrolled in several AP classes. 10th graders who haven’t already tried AP European or World History might…

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