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Suzanne Shaffer has been a member since April 8th 2011, and has created 692 posts from scratch.

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Scholarship Friday: Creepy, Freaky Scholarships for Halloween



Although these scholarships have been deemed “creepy and freaky”, any scholarship that gets you FREE money for college is anything but creepy and freaky. In honor of Halloween, here are two of the creepiest.

Are you fascinated with paranormal activity?

The New York-based Parapsychology Foundation offers young ghost hunters and those with interest in the paranormal several scholarships. There are 5 annual awards with varying deadlines

  • The Annual Charles T. and Judith A. Tart Research Grant of $500
  • The Annual Robert R. Coly Prize of $1000
  • The Annual Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship of $3000
  • The Annual Frances P. Bolton Fellowship of $3000
  • The D. Scott Rogo Award for Parapsychological Literature of $3000

You can open the PDF file attached to the link for the foundation to get all the details of each and the deadlines.

Are you a Walking Dead fan?

The Zombie Scholarship Committee from Scholarship Experts wants to know your plan to avoid the zombies, where you would hide (or maybe you don’t need to), and the top five things you would bring to stay alive.

The 2014 Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship is underway, and they are giving one successful “survivor” $2,000 towards his or her college education. Do you think you have what it takes to make the cut? But you better act fast—today is the deadline for this year’s scholarship. For those of you who are making a list for the future. Put this one on you calendar!

Why Study Abroad?


study abroadWhen my daughter started applying to colleges, one of the items on her “must have” list was that the college have a study abroad program. She has always been an avid traveler and looked forward to spending time abroad with her college friends. During her junior year, she was able to study abroad in Paris, France and travel all around Europe while she was there. She visited Switzerland, England, Italy and Spain. It was one of the highlights of her college education.

In 2011, I posted a guest blog from University Language Services about studying abroad:

Studying abroad has a tremendous number of benefits – both personal and academic. The exposure to a different way of life often serves as a catalyst for students to discover what they are passionate about. It can also immerse them in a foreign language, enhance their resumes, and prepare them to live in a world that is increasingly multicultural.

On a personal level, studying abroad is a great way for students to learn how to adjust to new environments, make new friends and experience a country’s culture firsthand.

If your child is interested in studying abroad, encourage them! As scary as it may be to send them off to another country, the benefits of living and studying in another country are well worth it.

Studying abroad can help your teen:

1. Get a Job

Students can add significant value to their resumes simply by studying abroad. In the competitive market of entry-level jobs, most resumes look more or less the same. The interest in multiculturalism that studying abroad suggests can make your teen’s resume stand out from the pack. It also shows your teen’s ability to adapt to a new environment and take on new and challenging situations – all green flags for potential employers.

2. Learn Another Language

Particularly for students who want to master another language, studying abroad is a great opportunity. Sitting in a classroom and listening to a lecture is one thing, but being immersed in a culture that speaks that language is completely different. Having to learn how to read street signs, ask for certain products in supermarkets, and make small talk with new friends certainly ups the ante for language learning.

3. Meet New People

Studying abroad will undeniably expose your teen to many new people and help open his or her mind to the unfamiliar. Getting comfortable with meeting new people has both professional and personal benefits. It will not only come in handy when meeting new classmates and coworkers, but also help him or her to have a more inclusive and diverse group of friends.

4. Get Inspired

Many students go abroad having only a vague idea (or even no idea whatsoever!) of what career they would like to pursue. Studying abroad can change that. Students often are inspired by something they encounter abroad, like a community project building schools or a behind-the-scenes look at a theatre performance. Sometimes, they simply fall in love with the thrill of traveling. These inspirations can move your teen to pursue a specific career.

Studying abroad is unlike anything else in providing students with a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether your teen spends a semester living in an ancient European city, a year helping to build housing in Africa, or a summer sailing the world, studying abroad will expose him or her to a unique and previously unexplored world.

Here’s what studying abroad means to one student who is living and studying abroad in Madrid:

Wednesday’s Parent: Are You Afraid of College Prep?


afraid of college prepAre you afraid of college prep? If you’re not, you’re one of the few. Parents, while excited about the prospects of college, are frightened by the actual process. What frightens them most? Any number of tasks: the overwhelming mounds of forms and paperwork, how to pay for the high cost of the education, being out of control and not knowing how colleges will receive their student, and the biggie—will your student be rejected.

In order to avoid giving in to the fear, you need to change your thinking. While colleges might give you the impression they have the power, they do not. It’s ultimately your teen’s choice for which college to apply to and which college to attend. It’s ultimately your choice which financial aid award you accept. You are the consumer. The key is in how your student markets himself to the college and how he takes control of the process.

Here are 3 tips to help calm you fears:

This is just another phase in the life your child.

In the midst of it all, it seems like an insurmountable task. It is all consuming and appears to be a “life changing” decision. Yes. College is important. But it is just the beginning of the choices your child will have to make in this life. And nothing, I mean nothing, is carved in stone. Wrong college choice? In the grand scheme of life, it’s not the critical. It’s the education that matters and how your child embraces the learning.

There will be a good fit college for your child—a college that values their contribution.

It’s not about the name, but about the fit. With a little research, a little coaching, and some digging, there is a college that fits your child like a glove. It may not be an Ivy (and probably won’t), but it will be the place they feel welcome and at home. Find that and you’ve hit the jackpot.

While there may be rejections along the way, there will also be many opportunities to learn life lessons.

No parent likes to see their child rejected. But it’s a reality of life. Everyone is going to be rejected at some point and the college process is no different. It’s how you handle the rejections that matter. It’s the life lessons you can teach them that will stay with them after they go away to college. And I say this with all certainty—everything happens for a reason. Sometimes College B or College C is a much better fit, and will make your child happier in the long run.

Once you’re done, you’ll be an expert and can help other set aside their fears. What is it Roosevelt said? The only thing we have to fear is fear itself (and of course college prep).

Read Wendy’s Post: 4 College Prep Nightmare Scenarios


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Wendy and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Join @pocsmom and I tonight with a #WednesdaysParent version of #CampusChat at 9PM ET with guest Paul Hemphill (@vcollegeadvisor) of Planning for College, discussing the scary side of college prep.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from parentscountdowntocollegecoach to pocsmom.com and vice versa.

Mom-Approved Tips: Dressing Up for a College


dressing up for a collegedressing up for a collegeWhen my kids were little, Halloween was for them. They dressed up in costumes and went trick or treating door to door. My how times have changed. It’s become a family event. Parties are planned, events are scheduled for the kids, and parents get involved in the festivities. Dressing up is part of the fun and also a necessary component of the Halloween celebration.

When applying to colleges, “dressing up” for a college is more than fun–it’s necessary. What do I mean when I talk about dressing up for a college? 

Show interest

Colleges want to know you are interested in attending. They don’t want to be just another name on your college list. They want to know that if you apply, and are offered admission, there is a good chance you will accept and attend. You can show interest by taking an official campus tour, connecting on social media, and meeting with admissions officer for an interview. Colleges keep track of how many times you have showed interest.

Market yourself

You’re basically saying “pick me” to the colleges. Although you are the consumer, the ball is in their court for the first phase of this process. Take every opportunity to market yourself to them. They want to know you and see what you have to offer their college community.

Make a positive impression on social media

Use all avenues of social media positively. Post pictures of your volunteer activities on Facebook and Instagram. Converse with colleges on Twitter. Set up a profile on LinkedIn and connect with colleges there. The key word here is POSITIVE.

Unlike Halloween, you do not want to wear a costume and pretend to be someone you are not. Colleges want to see the real you underneath the costume, not a version of a person you think they want to see.

Scholarship Friday: Frame My Future Scholarship


The 2015 Frame My Future Scholarship Contest is  currently accepting applications. The prizes are as follows:

  • frame my future scholarship1 Grand Prize Winner – $1,000 scholarship, $1,000 donation check to winner’s 2015 attended college/university, and a commemorative Frame My Future frame
  • 4 Scholarship Winners – $1,000 scholarship and commemorative Frame My Future frame
  • 19 Finalists – commemorative Frame My Future frame

How do I apply?

To apply, you must create an original creative image (a photograph, collage, poem, drawing, etc.). 24 Finalists will be chosen to move on to a one-month public voting phase. Church Hill Classics will select 22 of the Finalists based on the judging criteria, and two of the Finalists will be selected based on Fan Favorite criteria.


Applicant eligibility is fairly broad. To apply, you must be:

  • Attending a US college or university full-time for the 2015-2016 academic year (including community college, undergraduate or graduate school)
  • A legal US resident

Application and deadline

You can apply online. The deadline is March 3, 2015 .