College Scholarship Workshop Part Three: Learn, Learn, and Learn some more!

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" -- Albert Einstein

One word to sum up the college scholarship process: overwhelming

Now, lets fix that. 

Please remember one word throughout this process: FOCUS

The goal for this part of the workshop is to gather the necessary information you need to be successful. The remainder of part three (days 2 + 3) will explain how to use the information you have gathered. 

Before we begin:

  • Take a deep breath
  • Say the word: Focus (write it on a little piece of paper so you don’t forget)

Create a document on your computer or take out a piece of paper designated as your official scholarship resource list. At the end of your research, you should have a list of the resources you have gathered. Find a resource, put it on the list -- simple. 

What is a resource? For the purpose of this workshop, a resource is a guide that will help you find the scholarships best suited for you. 

Step One: Talk to People (Google is NOT a person!)

For example, does your mom know anything about scholarships? Does your mom know of any friends/colleagues that know anything about scholarships? How about their children? Has one of them just completed the scholarship process successfully? That person would be a great resource! 

Did your sibling go through the scholarship process? Does your sibling have any friends that went through the process (or maybe watched a brother/sister go through the process)? Great potential resources!

Talk to people and find out who has knowledge about scholarships. These people go on your resource list! 

Here are some possibilities:




People within community organizations you belong to

School organization/club (even ones you don’t belong to)

School guidance counselor 

School college counselor

Potential college financial aid office



Keep a list of who you’ve talked to and who you want to talk to and then note any resources you find. Remember stay focused!

Step Two: Go to the library

There are some great scholarship guidebooks that could be potentially wonderful resources. Talk to your librarian and ask if he/she knows of any specific books that would be a good resource to have. And then put those books on your list.

Step Three: The Internet (Use Caution!)

Personally, I get lost on the internet. I will go to a site looking for one thing and an hour later end up at another site related to something totally different. It’s a huge waste of time and makes me less productive. Don’t let this happen to you. 

Separate your internet search into four chunks and stay FOCUSED. Limit your time searching the internet by using a timer. When that timer goes off, take a break and sign off the internet. 

Why separate the search into four chunks? You don’t want to rely on too narrow or too wide a field of information. So just a little of each will allow you to cover all your bases. 

The four internet search chunks:

  1. National Resources -- search for resources that are broad and not too specific 
  2. State Resources
  3. County Resources (includes your school -- they may have their own scholarships set up)
  4. Specific Resources (ex. for a specific nationality or for cancer survivors) -- more personalized resources

Take Away Message:

The resources are endless and overwhelming. 

Don’t rely on just the internet. 

Create a daily plan and remain focused

Follow the three steps outlined above and create a list of resources. This list will be your ticket to success so don’t underestimate the value of time spent researching. 

Now get started on that list :). Good luck!!



College Scholarship Workshop Part Three

I hope that parts one and two of the workshop have helped you with your college scholarship journey. 

Tomorrow, we will begin part three of the workshop. The goal of part three is to gather the information you need to be successful in reaching your scholarship goals (established in part two). 

Can't wait to get started tomorrow!

Best wishes,

PS Can you believe it's almost August??? 


College Scholarship Workshop: The Road to Success

"It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always." - Oprah Winfrey

Last week, we reviewed those pesky thoughts regarding “college.” Hopefully, you have put those thoughts on paper and feel like a tiny load has been lifted off your shoulders. This workshop is all about moving forward so lets get going! 

Today’s topic: The Road to Success. 

Before you can actually achieve success, you need to define what success is for you. It differs from person to person. 

I have gathered some definitions to get your mind moving. 

“the achievement of one’s aim or goal” - en.wiktionary.org/wiki/success

“catch per unit of effort” - www.streamnet.org/pub-ed/ff/Glossary/glossaryfish.html

“an act or occasion of winning, being victorious, or overcoming something” - encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/triumph.html

“the achievement of something desired, planned or attempted” - www.mcs.k12.ny.us/pages/srobert/new_page_1.htm

a favorable result” - quizlet.com/print/22896/

There are hundreds/thousands of definitions and articles on success. And I would tell you to read them, but don’t. You want to stay very focused on your road to success -- whatever that final destination may be. 

Step One: Begin to map out some possible destinations

Begin right where you are. Don’t think a week from now, two weeks from now, or what would have been last week. Think about NOW! 

At this current moment, answer these questions (with regard to your college scholarship process):

  • What is the worst case outcome? What will happen if that outcome occurs? Why do you feel that outcome could occur? What are your fears associated with that outcome? 
  • What is the best case outcome? What will happen if that outcome occurs? Why do you feel that outcome could occur? What are your thoughts associated with that outcome? 

After you have let yourself ponder the worst case and best case scenarios, you have created a broad outline for your map. You should know two things now: where you don’t want to end up and where you would love to end up. 

I don’t like to think in extremes, but rather find a middle ground. 

What are some possible outcomes between the worst case and best case scenarios? Think about two or three. 

What is all this critical thinking for? To start thinking about less than “perfect/best-case” scenarios that are actually pretty good! In sum, begin to think beyond the perfect end-result to decrease stress and anxiety. 

Step Two: What are my needs?

The answer to this question will take some thought. I am definitely not an expert in defining your personal needs; however, I know that people often stop too short when thinking of their needs. How so? They neglect to think outside the box. How can you decrease your needs? Now we’ve moved on to creative thinking! 

Make a list of your financial needs and then assess from there. Some things to keep in mind: what type of institution are you planning for financially? Have you thought about the options available to you? For example, private vs. public, 2 vs. 4 year, geography (cost of traveling or living expenses), institutional financial aid. 

Some resources to get you thinking creatively!

Jean Chatzky on Oprah & Friends -- Affording College

Tuition without Tears

Tuition without Tears: Money-Saving Strategies

Step Three: Paving the Road to Success

By this point in the workshop, you have a pretty good handle of your thoughts regarding “going to college” and the costs associated with college. You have thought and thought and thought about possible scenarios. And finally, you have a pretty good idea of what your core financial needs are. 

Now we need to get from here (point a) to obtaining your core needs (point b). However, this road is definitely not straight-- there are twists and turns along the way. To get to point b, we are going to break the process down into chunks. The purpose of chunking is two fold: you don’t get knocked down during the process and you don’t get overwhelmed. 

In parts three through five of this workshop, we will actually be navigating the process together. Each part is broken down and spread apart so everything is practical. I will provide concrete steps to take and activities to help you along the way. 

To prepare for part three of the workshop, I want you to review part one and part two. Make sure to keep notes. After you have reviewed parts one and two, decide how you are going to get organized for the scholarship process. You want to determine where you are going to keep all of your materials (notes, links, dates to remember, etc.). For some people a simple notepad may work. However, I suggest creating a binder divided into categories (by tabs) so the papers don’t turn into piles and overwhelm you. You can start by putting a calendar at the front of the binder and noting any important dates. Add your workshop notes to the binder and you are ready to go. 

I look forward to working together to create a successful college scholarship journey! 

Best wishes,



Review the Workshop:

Introduction to Workshop

Part One [Day 1]: Decision Making (You are in Power)

Part One [Day 2]: What is my role? -- For Parents

Part Two [Day 1]: The Good and The Bad


Drumroll please.... and the two Scholarship Handbooks go to...

Congratulations to our two lucky winners!! I took photos of Whitney choosing the numbers out of cup so you could see there was no cheating!! 

We labeled the comments with numbers so.... 

#4 is Collegebound12
#8 is y.villela@yahoo.com

The winners should email us their mailing information to: info@cccscholarships.com. 

And the extra surprise, since there were so many people who wanted this book-- we are going to give out another free copy next Friday. Just comment again to this post!! 

Happy Friday :)


College Scholarship Workshop Part Two: The Good, The Bad, and The Road to Success

The Good, The Bad, and The Road to Success
"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking." - Albert Einstein     
"No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking." - Voltaire

In part one, you did a lot of thinking about “college” in general. Okay, so you decided, “I want to go to college.” 

Give yourself credit that is a big step-- you have actively taken control and made a powerful decision. Now what? Do you have some doubt filling your thoughts? I often hear, “I really want to go to college, BUT I can’t afford it.” In this part of the workshop, we are going to focus on the outcome of your decision (wanting to go to college). By focusing on this outcome, we will look at positive and negative factors that cloud your mind and determine your road to success! 

Fill in the blank. I want to go to college, but ____________. 

When you think about “going to college” or “sending your child to college,” you are likely bombarded by thoughts: positive and negative. And you probably avoid recognizing these negative thoughts (I definitely find myself doing this!). Who wants to spend time thinking about adversities? But by not recognizing these thoughts, you are actually giving them more power against you. They sit beneath your consciousness and are ready at any moment to weaken you. 

However, you have the power to recognize these thoughts and stop them in their tracks. Lets get started! 

Step One: Read this powerful article.

Negativity: Don’t Even Think of It

With practice, you can learn to recognize your repetitive and negative thoughts. And keep them from becoming all-consuming. (Article from Psychology Today, by Kathleen McGowan)

Step Two: Record your thoughts (good & bad) 

Sit down and think about “going to college.” What thoughts come to mind? Record them on a piece of paper (all of them). Don’t judge your thoughts -- we’ll look at them later. All you need to do is be aware of the thoughts that come to mind and jot them down. You don’t need to set aside time to do this. Take a piece of paper with you and jot them down as they come to mind. Do what works best for you. You will notice when you begin to recognize your thoughts and put them onto paper, you will start to feel lighter and less of a burden. And don't forget to write down the positive thoughts that come to mind as well (not just the negative)!

Take these actions and you are on your way to success! Congratulate yourself on getting to this point. You are doing a terrific job! 

* * *

Tomorrow (Friday, July 25): Sunday Scholarship Surprise Winners Announced & Another Surprise! Stay tuned :) 

Coming up in the workshop:

Day Two of Part Two: The Road to Success

Part Three (three days): Learn, Learn, and Learn some More! 

* * *

Please post a comment or email me if you have any questions! 

Best wishes,
And don't forget....  


College Scholarship Workshop: What is my Role? -- For Parents

"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings." Hodding Carter, Jr.

Something you likely don’t want to hear: You create your OWN role(s). Some parents take on all the pressure of getting their child to college -- some parents are not involved at all. My recommendation: be an active participant in the process, but don’t do it all yourself. The guilt alone of feeling like you are letting down your child is enough to crush any parent. Work with your child so it’s a group project and no one is holding all the responsibility. It’s a great family experience and learning process for kids and parents. 

And right now you’re probably thinking, “yeah... okay... just tell me what I need to do... my child has been through enough... I couldn’t put something else on her plate.” And those thoughts are completely natural-- thoughts most parents in your position feel; however, the college transition is important for a young adult’s sense of autonomy and identity. All of the parts leading up to it are like baby steps that ease the transition. While going through cancer, many kids are left with very few decisions of their own and little sense of “normal.” There is nothing more normal than filling out scholarship applications-- think of it as a small pre-college gift :)! 

Some Tips:

1. Include your child in the scholarship process and give him/her responsibility.
2. Remain positive -- you want to model a positive outlook for your child (Remember over $10 billion dollars is available for college funding)
3. You aren't the applicant. Make sure that your child communicates with scholarship programs-- especially smaller programs.

Now, lets turn to a few more resources to get you ready for the scholarship journey. 

Start Here: Advice for the Parents of Scholarship Seekers 

Time for a Quick Laugh & Some Great Tips: Don’t make me turn this car around!!! (8 Things Parents Can Do on the Road to Higher Education) 

One Resource you Cannot Ignore: College Parents of America 

Note: Some of the resources on this site require a fee. I don’t recommend paying for something unless absolutely necessary (try to find a similar option for free). However, the site is full of free resources as well!! Take advantage of those resources. 

Your Final Stop: College Board for Parents 


Coming up in the workshop:

Part Two: The Good, The Bad, and the Road to Success


Review the Workshop:

Introduction to Workshop

Part One: Decision Making (You are in Power)


Sunday Scholarship Surprise!

Once a month, we feature a Surprise on the CCC Blog! You don't want to miss the opportunity to receive this month's surprise.

We are giving away 2 free copies of the College Board's Brand New 2009 Scholarship Handbook-- just released! 

Here is the book's description from amazon.com:
"The Scholarship Handbook 2009 is an ideal resource for students and parents who need help paying for college.  It provides complete, authoritative facts about more than 2,100 scholarship, internship, and loan programs offered to undergraduates by foundations, charitable organizations, and state and federal government agencies.  Each program is clearly described, and indexes help students quickly find scholarships for which they qualify.  Included is a planning worksheet to help organize applications and meet critical deadlines."
How can you receive a free copy of this book? 

Post a comment to this blog and let us know why you want this book -- easy enough! The two winners we will be posted on the blog this Friday July 25th. 

Happy Sunday!!

PS Check back tomorrow (Monday July 21) for the rest of Part One of the Scholarship Workshop!


College Scholarship Workshop Part One: Decision Making (You are in Power)

College Scholarship Process-- From A to Z for Young Adult Cancer Survivors

Part One: Decision Making (You are in Power)

“Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.” -- Anthony Robbins

A Loaded Question: Is college for me?

You have likely made an immediate decision one way: Yes or No; however, have you actually thought about the reasoning behind that decision? Thinking about this question will lay the foundation for the outcome of your decision-- you can think of this part of the process as your warm-up. 

Evaluating this question will allow you to:

  1. Take Control -- Decision Making is a very powerful activity 
  2. Know why finding money for college is worth all the work. 

Keep options open. Don’t say “yes” or “no” immediately. 

Walk through “thinking about college” with the help of this great presentation: 

Archived - Think College? Me? Now? Handbook

Explore careers (find out which careers are in demand today) and learn what the best route to take is for achieving your career goal: www.careervoyages.gov 

Time for a Quiz! Take this 20 question quiz to evaluate if college is for you: 

College Prep:Should You Go to College?

These sites and activities should get you to start thinking about the question: Is College for Me? To personalize your decision, you need to now go one step further and pull together what is going on in your mind.

Why would you want to go to college?

Why would you not want to go to college?

What are pros of going to college?

What are the cons of going to college?

Activity: To answer the questions above, you should try creating a pro + con list. It doesn’t need to be perfect; however, it will get your thoughts down on paper. Don’t be judgmental --- jot down everything so you can evaluate the big picture! 


Coming up in the workshop:

Part One -- Day 2: What is my Role? -- For Parents


College Scholarship Process - From A to Z for Young Adult Cancer Survivors

A Workshop you don’t want to miss: 

College Scholarship Process-- From A to Z for Young Adult Cancer Survivors

I got engaged almost one month ago! I am so excited about this next phase in my life, but I’m also completely terrified and overwhelmed. It is a wonderful time in life... and yet I feel like I missed out on Wedding 101 in college! The engagement/wedding process is a complete sub-culture that is unknown territory for me. I have visited all the popular websites and even read a couple magazines. It’s a field full of experts and brides that seem to know everything from A to Z. Except me! 

Going to college is another wonderful time in life that should fill anyone with great pride and happiness; yet, all the details that go into the college application and scholarship process are overwhelming (much like a four year wedding). I have been working with students (young adult cancer survivors in particular) for over five years facing financial barriers of college so I know this process pretty well. Yet, I often forget that each year, there is a whole new class of students that face this process for the first time (at point A). And it’s absolutely terrifying. There could be a zillion dollars out there, but just the process of applying for scholarships is scary and complicated. Where to start? What to do first, second? Of course, there is no perfect formula, but as someone who has been through the process -- I want to help! I want to provide that point A help that you so desperately need. I knew this prior to getting engaged, but being thrown into this strange world has really affirmed what I was feeling: there are a ton of resources and experts; however, the navigation of these resources is enough to scare someone from not attempting to tap into them. 

What I want to do is guide you through this process (and then with your help) -- guide the next class and the next through this process as well-- and as a result-- decrease your feeling of isolation. It’s a maze-- but one that can be navigated with great success. So tell that voice that is screaming-- “hey.. what about me-- help me”... that help has arrived and you will be given the tools to start and end strong in your college scholarship process. 

Here is my plan (which we can update as we go along-- and please do ask questions-- I promise to answer each and everyone)... now lets get started! It’s never too late or too early to start. 

College Scholarship Process: From A to Z for Young Adult Cancer Survivors

Part One: Decision Making (You are in Power)

Part Two: The Good, The Bad, and The Road to Success

Part Three: Learn, Learn, and Learn some More!

Part Four: Application Process

Part Five: Waiting + Scholarship Decisions... Then What?