Once the celebratory clapping has drifted away at the high school senior awards ceremony, you might be thinking, “How am I going to make up the difference once this freshman-year only scholarship from our community disappears?”
Once your son or daughter is a Rowan University student, they are eligible to apply for Rowan University Foundation and Continuing Student Scholarships.
Applications generally open in the beginning of the fall semester and close in mid-December, around final exam time.
Screech to a halt. Sear that in your brain. Yes — once you kiss your darling freshman goodbye as they head out the door to live on campus or commute, it’s around that time of year that you need to plan for the upcoming year of scholarships.
Mom and Dad, we know your student is an adult, but my advice is to be on top of this. New adults are still fine-tuning their time management skills — throw into the mix getting used to college, making new friends and having a whole new routine, and something is bound to slip through the cracks. Do NOT let it be your student’s scholarship opportunity.
More than 200 scholarships are available, all funded through private donations (not tuition). To get these scholarships, students need to … apply! You would be surprised at how many students do not! Last year over $2 million in support was awarded. Get a piece of that!
Check in with your student to make sure they are setting the time aside to complete the application. It requires three letters of recommendation and, yes, it can be super awkward to ask someone for a letter of recommendation — especially a new teacher or academic advisor who you recently met. Reassure your student that this happens all the time. Literally, all the time. Tell them they can’t push off asking for letters — the people they are approaching may not say it, but I will: “A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”
Encourage your student to develop a relationship with faculty and advisors. They are people too! Visit during scheduled office hours or schedule an appointment, stand out in class by participating in group discussions and … for many faculty and advisors, December is a busy month. It’s simply not possible to say yes to a scholarship applicant looking for a letter of recommendation with a deadline of tomorrow.
One last helpful hint: encourage your student to get involved on campus. Community service and school involvement weren’t just to bolster their chances at getting into college. In addition the social, emotional and health benefits, many scholarships consider campus leadership and participation in on-campus and community activities.
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Story By: Brandi Blanton, financial literacy expert