Did You Know the SAT Can Help Your Student Find and Win Scholarships?

This post is sponsored and written in partnership with the College Board.


With college tuition high, families are searching for ways to pay for their teenager’s college education. The SAT can connect your teen to scholarships and merit aid that can make his or her dream university more affordable. Many colleges use a student’s SAT score to award merit aid, with many automatic scholarships based on a student’s score.

SAT Suite of Assessments

The SAT Suite of Assessments connects your son or daughter to colleges and scholarship programs that recognize academic achievement and award scholarships based on that achievement. Students who take the SAT can opt in to what the College Board calls the “Student Search Service” to make their names and information available to colleges and scholarship programs.

In addition to providing information to colleges, the College Board has increased access to millions in combined awards through the PSAT/NMSQT for low-income and minority students through partnerships with scholarship providers like the American Indian Graduate Center and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

College merit aid

Colleges provide merit aid to students who excel academically, including those who score well on the SAT. The specific requirements of these scholarships will vary from college to college. Your teen can make the most of his or her SAT score by finding guaranteed SAT scholarships—scholarships awarded based on the SAT score. Colleges often use other criteria like GPA and class rank combined with the SAT score to determine these awards.

For these scholarships, your teen may not be required to submit any extra application information, but in some cases, he or she will have to apply by a certain deadline to be guaranteed the scholarship. Your teen should check each individual college website for the full information.

For example, Colorado State University offers an automatic $4000 scholarship per year to a student who scores 1490 or higher on the SAT with a 4.0 GPA. Students attending Texas Tech University with an SAT score of 1400 or higher, a 3.5 GPA and in the top 10% of their class receive $6000 for up to four years with a one-time award of $4000.

Colleges look for students who will succeed in a rigorous college academic environment. Typically, students who earn high SAT scores demonstrate that ability. Coupled with a strong GPA and other application criteria, SAT scores help colleges ascertain a student’s ability to do well in college. Colleges award these students by providing them with merit aid scholarships.

Note: Don’t forget the regular registration deadline for the March SAT is February 9th. Register now at the Official SAT Registration website. And, there’s still time for your student to study for the upcoming March SAT by using Khan Academy’s FREE SAT prep.

Why Your Student Should Take Advantage of Free SAT Prep


This post is sponsored and written in partnership with the College Board.

free test prep

Before your student ever enters college, there are college-related expenses. Test registration fees, college application fees, AP test fees, college visit expenses and more. For the average middle-class family, budgeting for these expenses can be difficult. Add to these the cost of paying for a test prep tutor and your family budget will explode.

Why pay for test prep when the College Board and Khan Academy have partnered to provide free test prep for every student willing to study for the SAT? Save your hard-earned money for college tuition instead.

Why choose free test prep?

Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is the best way to prepare for the test. It was created by the makers of the test and offers all students free customized practice. Students can link their PSAT/NMSQT results to Khan Academy or take diagnostic quizzes to get personalized practice exercises to improve their score. Their personalized study plan will show them the areas where they need the most work and turn those weaknesses into strengths. There are also 8 practice tests on Official SAT Practice, so students have plenty of opportunities to prep for the test and improve their skills.

What are the benefits of this free test prep?

A recent study shows that students who practice for 20 hours on Khan Academy gained an average of 115 points from the PSAT/NMSQT to SAT compared to those students who did not use Official SAT Practice. More than 16,000 students in the class of 2017 who used Official SAT Practice saw score gains of 200 points or more.

Not to mention—it’s FREE! Great test prep from the makers of the test.

How does this free test prep work?

Your student gets a personalized practice plan using Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy. Khan Academy uses her PSAT scores and diagnostic quizzes to pinpoint the skills she needs to study and improve her score. The Official SAT Practice will guide her through the personalized lessons with video lessons that explain problems and quizzes to test her progress along the way. Your student can move at her own pace and have plenty of time to master each skill.

What are the benefits of prepping for the SAT?

Students who take the time to prep for the SAT will certainly reap the rewards. Preparing for any test certainly produces a better outcome. They will know what to expect on test day. Building confidence is key. Good test scores give your student a leg up in the application process. Colleges also may use these scores as a factor when awarding merit aid.

There is certainly time before the March SAT test for your student to begin test prep. Have your student go online now and register for the test and while she is there, start taking advantage of the College Board’s free prep through Khan Academy.

Stressed About the SAT? Relax!

This post is sponsored and written in partnership with the College Board.

Parents of college-bound teenagers love to compare notes. They discuss college choice, essay frustration and of course, test prep. Has your son taken the SAT yet? Did he do well? Is he happy with his score? How many times is he taking it? Are you and he stressed about the test?

It’s only natural for parents to ask these questions. SAT test-related anxiety is very real. Students are stressed because they feel their entire future is riding on how well they do on the exam. Parents are stressed because their students are stressed and want them to succeed. Both parents and students often feel the anxiety is simply part of the process and there is nothing they can do to relieve it. This is not true.

With the right knowledge and preparation, anxiety can easily become a non-issue for you and your student. Three factors can help remove the stress surrounding the test and help prepare your student for the March SAT.


Let’s face it—test scores are an important part of the college application; but the key word here is “part”. Colleges use the SAT score as a tool to evaluate the student’s readiness to attend college. However, they also use your student’s GPA, his or her essay, the quality of their academic performance, extra-curriculars and other factors. They look at the whole student—not just a test score. Keeping this top of mind should remove some of the stress and pressure.

If you want your student to feel relaxed and confident, remind him that you’re proud of the work he is doing and you have every confidence that he will succeed and get an amazing education. He is, of course, more than a test score!


Students know that taking any test without studying or preparing can be recipe for disaster. The same rings true for  taking the SAT. The more time your student spends studying and preparing, the less anxiety he will feel on test day. Fortunately, there is  free Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy available online for every student. Your student should take advantage of these resources and allocate the time to study and prepare. It’s important to remember: preparation prevents panic and it leads to confidence and score growth!


Familiarity breeds confidence. Once you are familiar with a task, it’s easier to tackle it the second time. Practice tests are available for a reason: they help students become familiar with the test. Start the SAT prep process early and encourage your student to take the timed, realistic practice tests. When test day arrives, he can take the test with confidence.

Keep all these points in mind and you and your student will be more relaxed and confident on test day. Anxiety and stress are real, but they don’t have to be a problem when you follow these guidelines.

Don’t forget to register by February 9th for the March SAT to avoid late registration penalties.


A College To-Do List for Your High School Junior


high school junior

The fall semester is coming to a close. By now, your high school junior should be concentrating on college choice, preparing for the SAT or ACT, and working on the college essay. I’m sure it’s already starting to become a little overwhelming: so many tasks, so little time. But the winter break is a great time to play a little catchup if you’re lagging behind.

Juniors who aspire to college have much on their mind. Making a college list can seem insurmountable. There are so many choices; how do you know which ones are a good fit? If money is a factor, how do you even know what kind of financial aid you can expect to receive if you apply? What are the colleges looking for in an applicant and do you even meet those qualifications? The list of unknowns can cause a good amount of stress for both parents and students.

Take a few minutes to go over this simple to-do list with your high school junior. Discuss what you can help him with and what he should be focusing on over the break. Breaking these down into small tasks should help, doing the ones that need to be completed first and following with the rest.

Are you tackling these items yet?

  1. Thinking about basic college criteria.
  2. Figuring out how to organize everything.
  3. Setting aside time to visit the colleges.
  4. Figuring out a test strategy.
  5. Keeping focused on academics.
  6. Working on the college essay.
  7. Getting serious about scholarships.
  8. Scheduling regular checkups to evaluate progress.


For the details on how to complete these tasks, you can read the original article at TeenLife Magazine: Share This College To-Do List With Your High School Junior.

Using Statistics to Find Your College Fit



You might be surprised to know that in addition to all the factors students use to choose a college, there is one they might overlook: statistics. While location, major, campus appeal, and others are certainly important statistics will help you and your student make a more informed college choice.

Why statistics? Statistics will help you determine some of the key factors involved in choosing a college. With statistics you increase the odds of your student being accepted, receiving more financial aid, and graduating on time. You can also determine the class sizes, the freshman retention rate and the odds of finding a job after graduation.

Two good sources for college statistics are College Navigator and College Data. These two resources will help you make an informed college choice. Numbers aren’t everything, but consider these eight important stats when you and your student are looking at schools:

  1. Rankings (simply as a baseline for comparison)
  2. Financial aid percentages
  3. Acceptance rates
  4. Student-to-professor ratios
  5. Freshman retention rates
  6. Graduation rates
  7. Student indebtedness
  8. Percentage of student who are employed after graduation

For an in-depth review of each statistic and what they mean, read my original article at TeenLife Magazine: 8 College Stats That Will Help You Find the Right School.

How One Student Hacked the College System

A short time ago I was contacted by a college student who has written an ebook about hacking the college system. How did he do it? He took advantage of AP and CLEP testing. He did an entire year’s worth of college in just a few months! Sound crazy? It’s not. It’s a path to getting a college degree without going into thousands of dollars of student debt. His ebook is an easy to read, step by step method on how he did it.

If you’re struggling to find a way to pay for college and your student is motivated, check out this method. Imagine saving thousands of dollars by just taking some tests and never having to attend a class or set foot on a campus. Would you pay $700 or thousands more for a semester of college. I know which I would choose!

Here’s his story:

My name is Grayson. I’m a college student and author. As both college tuition and student debt continue to rise, I had to get creative to get my degree without going into debt. This is my story of saving TENS of THOUSANDS on my degree. No scholarships, no loans, no click-bait.

Student debt is now over 1.4 Trillion in the U.S. The average time spent paying back these loans is 21 years. That’s just for a bachelor’s degree! Imagine what you could do with zero debt. Take more family vacations? Start a business? I believe there is always a different way to go about things, including paying for college. This belief is what challenged me as I approached going to college: Should I follow the crowd into a life of debt or challenge the academic status quo?

I chose the challenge. By teaching myself how to test out of classes, I was able to save absurd amounts of time and money in comparison to a typical college student. Without the restraint of classes, I had opportunities to travel and work while earning real college credits. I studied history while in Tokyo, computer technologies while working in Montana, and art in Las Vegas.

Now I want to share with you how to do the same thing. I want you to crush college debt by fighting the status quo and have opportunities you didn’t think possible while in school. To learn exactly how I was able to do all this while getting college credits, check out my website, for my videos and blogs. You can find the official book there as well!

Now that you have read his story, watch this video;

The College Selection Dilemma: Big or Small?


college selection

As a parent, you have the responsibility of guiding a young and impressionable mind through some of the biggest life challenges. When important decisions are concerned, you simply can’t leave it all to your kids. They simply don’t have the experience and the know-how to select the most rational choice.

College selection will obviously have a profound impact on nearly every aspect of your child’s life in the future.

One of the big questions that needs to be answered in terms of college selection is should you go big and popular or smaller and more exclusive? Both of these possibilities come with their pros and cons.

The Pros and Cons of Big vs. Small Colleges

Comparing big and small colleges side by side is the first key consideration.

Let’s begin with big colleges like UCLA, for example. The advantages of going to a big university are numerous. They include a massive campus that features all necessary learning premises, large classes that provide excellent socialization opportunities, excellent extracurricular programs and renowned faculty.

On the downside, the huge classes could also be seen as a disadvantage because students don’t get a chance to interact with instructors regularly. In addition, the administrative processes could potentially be expected to take up more time and more introverted students could easily get lost in the crowd and lose chances to stand out.

As far as small universities are concerned, there’s an intimate feel ad a chance to know most people that someone is studying with. Students get more one on one time with professors, there are usually personalized majors and better advising opportunities (in terms of career or personal development).

Small colleges, however, often lack the diversity in terms of majors that big universities offer. The number of facilities is also limited, especially for doing quality research. The variety in housing choices will be limited and some students could potentially experience social isolation.

Is it about Size or about Quality?

When making the distinction between big and small colleges, you should also consider the status of the educational facility. Elite universities differ in size and studies suggest that pursuing such academic education makes sense in the long run.

You have to find out whether the colleges your child is interested in are accredited and certified.

The ranking of the university for a particular major of interest is also important. There are dozens of rankings out there you can review to find out more. The US News and World Report university ranking is highly esteemed because key criteria are examined side by side. Some of these criteria include tuition and fees, enrollment, SAT scores, average GPA of enrolling students, the starting salaries of graduates and the starting salaries by major.

Know What Your Child Wants

The preferences of your child should also be taken in consideration.

Some young individuals tend to thrive in the bustling diversity of large universities. Others will simply feel lost and overwhelmed by the crowd and by the abundance of choices.

Emotionality does play a role and so does the predisposition of a young person towards a certain subject or another. People who pursue certain majors will get better results by going to a smaller college. Those interested in popular, well-established majors, may want to pursue a big university (especially if the major requires lab work, the availability of equipment and tons of research).

Just sit down and have a conversation to make sure that your priorities are aligned. If you can come to an agreement, you will get to work as a team in the pursuit of great academic opportunities.

Somewhere in the Middle?

A large university and a small boutique college aren’t the only two options out there.

A medium-sized college could be considered the best of both worlds. It brings the diversity and the academic options available in a large university to the comfortable peacefulness of a medium-sized campus and manageable class sizes.

Medium-sized colleges in the US are defined as those that have anywhere between 5,000 and 15,000 students. As you can see, there’s some variety here, as well. Understanding the strengths of the respective university will be the key to getting the best of both worlds without missing out on anything.

Do the research on the basis of the academic programs that your child is interested in. some medium-sized colleges could have an excellent education for a specific program while other courses may be seen as subpar. If you have a pretty good idea about what you’re looking for, you can make adequate inquiries about curricula and faculty qualifications.

There’s no universal answer to the big versus small college dilemma. The truth of the matter is that you know your child and your financial situation best. Take some time to explore the possibilities and keep an open mind. A rational approach will pay off in the end.


Today’s guest post is contributed by Laura Buckler. Having an amazing approach on life, Laura Buckler is one of the greatest writers at Essays.scholaradvisor team. Her motivation and passion for her work makes her a valuable contributor. Follow Laura on twitter to gain extra-confidence!

Should You “Follow the Money” When Choosing a College?


choosing a college

I’ve said over and over again to parents, “You’ve got to look at the statistics when it comes to paying for college.” Before the list begins, before the college visits start and before the applications are completed, you MUST know how much it costs and if you can afford to pay for it. You should “follow the money” when choosing a college!

Where can you find the statistics? You can do your own research on College Navigator or CollegeData, or you look at these compiled from a survey by the Princeton Review.

Look at these statistics from the Princeton Review’s 2018 Edition of Colleges That Pay You Back:

  • “Best Financial Aid” #1 Bowdoin College (ME) / #25 Macalester College (MN)
  • “Best Career Placement” – #1 Harvey Mudd College (CA) / #25 Cornell University (NY)
  • “Best Alumni Network” – #1 Pennsylvania State University / #25 Union College (NY)
  • “Best Schools for Internships” – #1 Northeastern University (MA) / #25 Gettysburg College (PA)
  • “Best Schools for Making an Impact” – #1 Wesleyan University (CT) / #25 Kalamazoo College (MI)
  • “Top Colleges That Pay You Back for Students with No Demonstrated Need” – #1 Harvey Mudd College (CA) / #25 University of Michigan—Ann Arbor

These are more than statistics. They help you decide if your college investment will be worth the cost. Your student may not be thinking along these lines, but it’s your job to bring them down to earth.

When choosing a college, ROI (return on investment) should be part of the decision mix. Take a look at these Top 50 colleges with the highest ROI.

What does the survey tell us?

Among the 200 colleges (135 private and 65 public) in the book:

  • the average grant to students with need is $26,800
  • the median starting salary of graduates is $55,700 and mid-career salary is $108,700.

Among the book’s 65 public colleges:

  • the average net cost of attendance (sticker price minus average grant) for in-state students receiving need-based aid is $12,700
  • the average admission rate is 53% and 12 colleges admit over 70%

Among the survey findings, 99% of respondents viewed college as “worth it,” but 98% said “financial aid would be necessary” to pay for it (65% of that cohort deemed aid “extremely necessary”).

Why should you consider these factors?

Before my daughter chose a college, we didn’t examine any of these factors. We compared financial aid packages, but we didn’t look for a college that was a good return on our investment. When it comes down to it, you spend a good amount of money on a college education. It’s an investment in your student’s future. We would never knowingly throw money into a bad investment or purchase a home high above market value, but every day parents invest their money in a college that won’t pay their student back.

Whether it’s career placement, networking, internships or tremendous financial aid, you should consider some of these colleges when making that final college list.

Why We Need Private High Schools


private schoolsThere was a time when the United States was at the head of the class when it came to the quality of education in this country. As of January 2015, the United States ranked in 14th place out of 40 countries scored, and that is not saying much for the state of education in this country as it now stands. This was one of the major issues during our current president’s campaign and something he has vowed to ‘fix’ during his administration. Can anyone blame him?

Why the United States Scored So Low on the Scale

The debate continues on what we have come to know as “The Core Curriculum” and how this is holding our youth back from attaining the education they deserve. However, this is specific to public schools, for the most part, because private schools have much more leeway in how they teach, if not what they teach, per state requirements.


What Private Schools Can Offer that Public Schools Can’t

Private schools can offer a more open approach to education because they are not bound by the exact same laws as public schools are. While many may receive funding from government sources, private schools are not accountable to a county school board as are public schools. So, while all students must meet minimum requirements, private schools have the freedom to reach far beyond those minimums. They may even be able to do away with the Core altogether as long as their students can master the concepts contained in the Core.

A Misguided Mindset

With a national mindset of “No Child Left Behind” and minimum requirements in the curriculum, is it any wonder why our educational system is falling through the basement? Instead of setting minimum goals for students to attain, why not set those goals higher? Why not set up classrooms where every child has the opportunity to grow at his or her own pace? That’s something to consider and why a greater number of private schools are keeping their classroom sizes small enough to accomplish this.

With more one-on-one time with students, teachers can help them work at their own level of competency, and that is the way forward. Keeping a broken Core Curriculum is holding our future leaders back and why so many parents are thankful to have the wherewithal to send their kids to private schools. Wouldn’t it be nice if every child had that opportunity?

Raising up a New Generation of Educators and Administrators

The guiding light, the ray of hope, in all this is that there are forward thinking universities that are raising up a new generation of educators and administrators. Check out to see how we can change our future and why private schools may be one of the best ways to meet the challenges ahead. Sometimes it’s not about what we are required to teach our students but how we teach them that makes a difference. Whether or not the Core can be done away with isn’t quite as important as training teachers to bring out the best in their classrooms.

Do You Know Your Child’s Personality Type? It Matters for College Acceptance


College is often the next step for high school students. In fact, 2016 research from the National Center for Education Statistics found that 70 percent of high school students enrolled in college the same year they graduated. However, competition is heating up. Research from the National Association for College Admission Counseling found that 39 percent of institutions reported using a waitlist in Fall 2016. It also found that the average selectivity rate was 66 percent for Fall 2015. As college admissions professionals are getting more selective, they’re using new strategies that look beyond grades and test scores. For example, Columbia University uses a ‘holistic’ admissions process that also looks at aspects like candidate fit, character, and personality.

The experts at KudosWall wondered if the use of personality testing and character skills assessments in the admissions process favored certain personality types. So, they conducted a survey to find out: Making the Grade: A Look at How Personality Affects College Admissions.

Key Findings

Nearly nine out of 10 admissions professionals say personality and character skills assessments are important to a candidate’s admittance. Aside from academic achievements, admissions professionals value college resumes and admission essays the most. Introverts are better equipped to highlight their traits and strengths on paper through materials like college resumes, admission essays, and online portfolios. Extroverts let their unique traits shine through other aspects of the application process, like earning recommendations that highlight their teamwork skills.

Every person falls somewhere on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, possessing traits from both personality types. High school students who are preparing for college should understand what personality traits they possess so they know how to stand out in the college admissions process. Our report found that 86 percent of admissions professionals say an applicant’s personality and character skills assessments play a big role in the admissions process. To make the most of their personality traits, students need to think like admissions professionals and understand how to leverage their personality.

Looking Beyond GPAs and SATs

High school students who focus on academic achievements — like earning high grades and scoring well on standardized tests — are preparing for college. However, admissions professionals look at more than just these aspects. Our survey found that admissions professionals put the most value on college resumes, admission essays, online portfolios, and recommendations.

What’s more, a whopping 66 percent of college admissions professionals say they use personality testing and/or character skills assessments during the admissions process. For those without formal testing and assessments, they still evaluate for character and personality through other practices, like conducting interviews, reviewing admission essays and recommendations, and looking at college resumes.

personality type

How do admissions officers assess personality?

When admissions professionals need to know more about a student’s personality, they look at two aspects: what students say about themselves and what others say about them. Students should build an online presence that is consistent and easy to access. Use a personal website to share a portfolio of accomplishments and display recommendations from teachers or employers. Also, don’t forget the value of putting a face to the name. Students can record short vlogs to explain how they completed a project or what they learned at an event. This way, admissions professionals can see and hear from applicants even before they contact them.

Where introverts prevail

Those with introversion qualities tend to have advantages in several aspects of the admissions process. In fact, when it comes to written materials and aspects that don’t involve one-on-one interaction, they shine. In college resumes, online portfolios, admission essays, and online presence, most admissions professionals favor one introvert trait: creativity. What’s more, creative applicants might even outshine those with better grades: 72 percent of admissions professionals say they accepted applicants who submitted a creative admission essay over those who have better academic qualifications but failed to convey passion. Additionally, introverted students tend to have better focus for longer periods of time. Their focus and natural attention to detail pays off: 71 percent of admissions professionals say they reject candidates who do not follow all the directions in the application process.

Introverted students can create and share a presentation that highlights what they know about a university’s values, culture, history, and mission. Then, they can describe how their personal values fit the culture. This shows their enthusiasm through a creative project.

personality type


Where extroverts prevail

Extroverted students also have advantages in the college admissions process, especially their ability to take action. When admissions professionals reach out directly, 94 percent of them prefer applicants who take the initiative to follow up.

Also, team-players, which align with extrovert types, stand out amongst the competition. Nearly half of admissions professionals say they highly value applicants who submit recommendation letters that describe the applicant as a team-player. What’s more, 87 percent prefer applicants who demonstrate success in group environments. Another aspect admissions professionals look for is potential, and seven out of 10 say applicants who exhibit leadership skills have the highest potential.

Extroverts are often the go-getter. The social butterfly. The project leader. This comes out naturally in person, but it’s hard to showcase on paper. Instead, students should develop a personal branding strategy that showcases their leadership qualities through various forms of content. For example, they can post videos of their accomplishments, like leading a debate team or playing a team sport.

personality type

How can you use this information to help your student?

The good news is that students who are naturally introverted or extroverted have plenty of opportunities to stand out during the college admissions process. First, determine where your personality traits lie. There are several personality assessment tools and tests to take, such as 16 Personalities. From there, identify an action plan for showcasing your traits as strengths to college admissions professionals. This includes personal branding. It’s never too early to start building an online presence to share accomplishments and connect with communities online. Use your online presence, which includes social media, online portfolios, personal websites, and more, to present the most authentic version of yourself. By the time admissions professionals reach out to you, they will know you’re the perfect fit.

KudosWall is an online achievement portfolio and resume builder designed for kids, teens, and their parents to keep track of achievements.

Dealing with Senioritis (The College Dream Killer)



Senioritis. Yes. It’s a word (and a disease). It hits most seniors the last semester of high school. It usually strikes after all their college applications are completed and submitted, and grabs total hold after they have received offers of admission. Senioritis says, “The year is almost over. I’ve been accepted to college. It’s time to take it easy and P-A-R-T-Y!” It is no respecter of persons and hits almost every senior at some point after they return from winter break.

What should you look for?

When senioritis begins, you might not notice the symptoms. It could be an unusually low grade on a test. Or you might notice she is studying less and less, with a complete lack of motivation. More severe symptoms include skipping class, a major drop in grades, and often accompanied by an “I don’t care” attitude. More so than your typical teenage defiance and resistance.

Why is it “deadly”?

Senioritis can “kill” your student’s dream of college. The colleges that offer admission are closely watching your student to see if she continues to excel until the end of her senior year. A drop in grades or even disciplinary action can be a red flag, signaling to colleges that your student isn’t ready to be on their own and handle the rigors of a college education. If she can’t commit and stay the course with all the adult supervision around her, how will she stay the course in college without anything except self-motivation?

Colleges have been known to withdraw offers of admission if a student exhibits any of these signs during the final months of high school. Hence, senioritis can KILL you student’s dream of college.

What is the cure?

A reality check. If you see signs of senioritis setting in, it’s time for a cold, hard conversation. Lay it all out on the table. Explain that colleges are watching. She won’t get a second chance. Once the offer is pulled, it’s pulled, for someone else who is committed. It’s a harsh reality check for most students, but one that needs to be made clear. The final months of senior year are just as important as the previous ones. Your student needs to keep her eye on the prize and realize once she walks across that stage with her diploma in hand, she can take a deep sigh of relief and spend the entire summer relaxing. Not until then, and only then, can she rest on her laurels.

Is Your Student Interested in Pursuing a Skilled Trade?


skilled trade

Is your student looking for a hands-on career that pays well but isn’t on your traditional college major radar? With an estimated 31 million skilled trade vacancies by 2020 and a potential oversaturation of IT employees, the following jobs are smart choice for young adults.

HVAC technician. HVAC techs don’t just provide tune-ups to residential heating and cooling systems. Many HVAC professionals work on industrial refrigeration equipment, boilers, heat pumps, and air handling systems. The Advanced Technology Institute reports that HVAC jobs will grow by more than 20% through 2022 and claims the top professionals in the field earn more than $68,900 annually.

Machinist. Creative minds that lean toward problem solving might like a career as a machinist. A machinist repairs or creates large machines and often makes their own tools to get the job done. A high-school diploma and some manufacturing experience can help a budding industrial machinist take home $42,000 each year.

Electrician. Electricians are the men and women who work to ensure that buildings, vehicles, and ships are wired correctly and that that wiring is safe. Earning more than $25 per hour in the early years, an electrician can charge $75 per hour or more as an independent contractor or business owner in less than a decade.

Plumber. Plumbers are the people you call when your toilet, drains, or hot water heater fail to function. But they are also important in construction as these professionals are knowledgeable in everything from drainage to pipefitting and how a building’s design might affect its plumbing system. Plumbers help create blueprints and may work alone or with a team on large projects. With an expected $50,620 salary and 12% job growth through 2024, it’s a career that isn’t going down the drain any time soon.

Brick mason. A brick mason gets to build things with their hands, from mailboxes to courthouses to chimneys. It’s a job that requires heavy lifting, a keen eye for detail, and the ability to follow detailed instructions. There is little room for errors in this job, as a brick mason’s handiwork is literally set in stone.  Although many in the industry work as an apprentice instead of undergoing formal education, there are a number of college programs that offer certification in masonry. Brick masons that work for local governmental agencies can earn more than $93,000; the median salary in the private sector is $46,650.

Civil engineer. A civil engineer works on a large scale to create infrastructure plans in towns, at airports, seaports, and along the highways and byways. There are virtually no areas where civil engineers don’t touch. These construction and architectural experts are the ones responsible for keeping tragedy at bay and must understand natural disasters, such as flooding and tornadoes, in order to minimize their impact on the community. Civil engineers can earn up to $100,000 or more depending on location and expertise.

Industrial engineer. An industrial engineer works to increase operational efficiency. This job offers the best of both worlds: the ability to work on-site as well as time in the office. Industrial engineering jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 10% through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And with a median salary of $84,310, it’s a high-paying career with growth opportunities.

Construction and manufacturing industry experts hope to fill these and other open positions with new workers in the coming years. And each of these industries is adding jobs quickly as Baby Boomers begin to age out of the employment pool. This is good news for young adults is that job growth has a positive impact on the economy today and builds the foundation for tomorrow’s homebuyer. More jobs leads to higher wages, which leads to more people buying homes, which ultimately leads to lower interest rates and more favorable loan terms across the board. Getting in the door to these fast-growing careers now is one sure way to pave the way for a bright financial future.

And believe it or not, there are scholarships available to help you pay for this type of training:

2017 Technicians in Residential Plumbing, HVAC or Electrical Scholarship & 2017 Troops to Trades Training Grants and Scholarships

2017 Skilled Labor Shortage Scholarship

Women in Skilled Trades Scholarship Program

National Housing Endowment Student Scholarships

World Plumbing Council Scholarship Program

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers Scholarships

Capture High School Memories Before College with a T-shirt Quilt

t-shirt quilt

We’ve been talking about it for years–doing something with my daughter’s old t-shirts. Too many memories to just toss them and storing them was becoming an issue. We wanted to use them and make a blanket, but we didn’t have the sewing skills to accomplish it. We researched options but they all seemed so expensive. Until we found Project Repat.

This Christmas I was able to give my daughter a gift of memories. When she opened the box, her face lit up. There on a quilt were her favorite t-shirts from high school and college days. A shirt we purchased on a family vacation. A memory of her 18th birthday trip to Six Flags. One she purchased during her study abroad in London and Paris. Another her brother purchased for her while he was in the Marines. Her sorority and college shirts reminding her of some of the best memories of her life.

When your college-bound teen signs that letter of acceptance from his or her dream college, she will be leaving home in the fall. Homesickness almost always sets in. It would be great for your teen to have a little bit of home with her every day. She can choose the shirts that hold her favorite memories from childhood and high school to take with her to college. The t-shirt quilt will remind her of happier times and comfort her during those moments when she misses home.

Click on the text below for a chance to win a FREE QUILT and a DISCOUNT COUPON CODE from Project Repat.

Yes. I want to order a t-shirt quilt for my college-bound teen.