By Neil Allen
Scholarship season is now upon high school students who are starting to receive their acceptance letters from colleges and college students planning for the next year of college — finding money for school doesn’t end after the first year.
If you’re like most parents, the thought of your student having crushing debt after college is disheartening. There is hope — if your student is diligent. And, it can seem like it is a daunting task and a bit depressing when your student discovers that they’re not academically eligible or meet the income qualified requirements, they just need to dig a little deeper.
My daughter recently graduated from a New Hampshire college owing just $30,000 of the more than the $80,000 price tag for tuition and room and board for four years. Thankfully, my daughter qualified for a Pell Grant and federal student loans. She also found a number of scholarships and grants through local organizations and the college to cover many of her expenses. It was a yearly struggle to find scholarships and grants but it made a significant difference.
The good news is that your student’s guidance counselors have tons of information on local and regional scholarships. If you’re not hearing about them, ask your student if they’ve been getting the information. If they haven’t, then follow up with them and the guidance counselor to make sure you have the list as well so you know when the deadlines are and what is needed to apply. Also check with your town to see what they may have listed as well as local service organizations like the Rotary Club if they’re not already on the list from the school.
The Common Application for college now also offers scholarship help through Scholar Snapp under the Financial Aid Resources. The real benefit is that it will re-use the information already submitted to the Common Application on the scholarship applications, which will make the process faster and eliminate the potential for mistakes, and help you more easily identify scholarships you may be eligible for.
Once your student finalizes their choice for college, they can help reduce the costs by applying for scholarships and grants offered through the college itself. Your student will have to apply for each one of them individually as they all have different requirements and deadlines. The information will be on the college website or available through the admissions or financial aid offices.
If that’s not enough, there are tons of websites out there that list scholarships and provide links to them so that your student can see if they are qualified for them, such as Fastweb and Cappex.
And, if your student is qualified for the work-study program, make sure they start looking online early and apply for as many jobs as are available and will fit into their schedule. Most schools have fewer work-study jobs than students who qualify so students have to be diligent and watch the work-study job listings regularly for new opportunities.
Some tips to make applying for scholarships easier:
It is a lot of work and can be challenging, but it will make a huge difference when your student has graduated and is faced with having to pay for their education and the scholarships are offered for a reason—to make college more affordable. Do you have any tips for applying for scholarships or finding money to pay for college? Share them in our comments section.
By Liza Draper
In 2017, TLC Family Resource Center’s Rural Outright program helped launch a Gay, Straight, Trans Alliance (GSTA) at Claremont Middle School (CMS), which was named Rainbow Confetti by the students. It is a free, student-run club that provides a safe place for students who identify differently and their allies to get together, plan activities, socialize, support each other, and talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
Rainbow Confetti meetings are held weekly on Mondays after school in the group advisor’s classroom. The members have observed national LGBTQ days, traveled to attend PRIDE events in Concord and Portsmouth, participated in a full day youth summit at Colby-Sawyer College, and celebrated LGBTQ History month. Most recently, we all learned to knit.
TLC supplied needles and yarn, then in December, Kara Toms (a student assistance provider at both CMS and Stevens High School) helped everyone “cast on.” Since then students have been working on rainbow scarves to sell at our first Rural PRIDE event planned for June.
Think back. Would you want to repeat your years in middle school? Academic and/or athletic overload, bullying, cliques, and dating drama among other things can make this stage of adolescence one of the toughest. Now imagine the impact on young teens with an additional stressor—identifying differently.
Data from the national School Climate Survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) biennially indicate:
Studies have shown that knitting can be therapeutic, and that the benefits may actually exceed those associated with engaging in other handicrafts. Knitting is easy to learn, portable, calming and confidence building. One nurse practitioner in California saw that it helped reduce burnout in nurses who felt overwhelmed by their job, according Anna Medaris Miller in an article for US News and World Report.
“The craft’s two-handed, repetitive movements paired with its tactile, visual and emotional stimulation are among the aspects that make it especially effective, pros say. Knitting also offers a rare sense of control, in part because knitters can easily undo any mistakes and use that same yarn to try again. And, unlike many other crafts that require a stretch of dedicated attention, knitting can easily be picked up and put down again just a few minutes later,”said Miller.
The students are enjoying the chance to create something useful and feeling a bit less anxious and stronger with every row.
Do you use knitting for therapeutic purposes? How does it help you? Where can people learn to knit locally? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
A note from Home Visiting Policy Network about the passage of MIECHV:
As we all know, MIECHV (Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting) still must be reauthorized. Our commitment to seeing that it happens has never wavered and has been strengthened through renewed resources and mechanisms to increase our educational work to stakeholders. As well, we have all seen that the media is joining our push to get MIECHV reauthorization done.
One of the areas of dialogue that has opened up traction is the opioid epidemic. Simply stated, lawmakers are being challenged to demonstrate their commitment to combat the national opioid addiction crisis. The immediate renewal of MIECHV for 5 years would be a fruitful and effective starting point.
Accordingly, we at Home Visiting Policy Network have prepared a brief on the correlation of the MIECHV program and opioid addiction/substance abuse prevention. The following is an excerpt of that brief:
“The opioid crisis in our country is quickly spiraling out of control. This is mainly due to a disconnection between the science of addiction and the treatment of addiction. The medical field has identified addiction as a disease and developed drugs to aid in “kicking the habit” but treatment of the disease has not been effectively implemented as a health crisis. In many cases, proper attention has not been given to early detection and the behavioral implications of the addiction cycle.
For the most part, programs and efforts designed to reduce opioid addiction in the United States have largely focused on providing individuals with drug replacement therapy. Simply swapping out an addicted individual’s drug of choice for an alternative, without the proper corresponding behavioral treatment, has not only proven ineffective in the preventing substance abuse, but has likely contributed to the opioid addiction epidemic. While traditional approaches may have contributed to the current epidemic, MIECHV, through the implementation of its built-in benchmark and underlying constructs, has quietly and steadily been addressing the illicit drug and substance abuse crisis through maternal and infant health programming with demonstrated reductions in illicit drug use amongst families served.
In addition, reauthorizing the MIECHV program for 5 years with bolstered resources, could prove to be a serious step toward tackling the opioid epidemic. This is attainable due to the outcome measurements that are embedded in the MIECHV design. These are known as the benchmark area constructs (constructs) which are used to both guide home visiting models and to evaluate their effectiveness. The constructs tie MIECHV to evidence based behavioral treatments for substance abuse. This is done by including elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI) in the constructs…” (Read more…)
By Neil Allen
Recently my daughter received a post card in the mail stating she had a package at the UPS office in Keene. There was only one thing it could be — a $2 container of hand sanitizer. We could have decided it wasn’t worth the 90 minute round-trip but we reassessed our plans and opted to go get it as it was the only day available to us before they shipped the item back.
We groused about the trip the whole way down to the UPS facility. And, once we got there, things did not go exactly how we’d planned, either.
When we got inside, there was a man at the counter trying to mail a package. He only had cash and the UPS facility only accepted debit or credit cards (sensible given their remote location). The poor guy was really upset about it. Being a problem solver and a bit of a busybody, I stepped up and offered to have him give me the cash and I would use my debit card to pay for the shipping. It was the only reasonable solution for his predicament that didn’t require him to leave and find a way to get a card.
The gentleman seemed to be shocked at my offer to help and he thanked me more than a few times. The woman behind the counter was very grateful, too, as there was nothing she could do to help. I was happy to have been of assistance and able to do a good deed. We were soon on our way.
Then, on the way home, just after we passed through North Walpole, we saw a blue-green fireball over the Connecticut River. It lasted only a few seconds but it was fantastic to watch. The neon green streak behind the small meteor lit up the sky until the fireball extinguished itself with a small burst of bright orange then disappeared. This was the second one I’d seen on Rt. 12, the first time was two years ago on the way to Keene late one night, and the first time my daughter had seen anything like it. It was something to talk about.
The trip, which seemed like such an inconvenience at the outset, turned out to be one I am now thankful for.
We may not always be prepared to follow the changes the universe has set up for us but being able to be flexible is an important skill to learn for ourselves and to share with our children. Knowing how to not overreact and to reassess your plans as you move forward in a completely different direction. This is true for just about every aspect of our lives — including work, school, children, and relationships.
Here are some tips to make it easier:
Hopefully these tips will help you find peace and acceptance for the chaos that can be life and make going with the flow a bit easier. Do you have any tips that help you when life changes unexpectedly?
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