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Scholarship Gold Consulting- Helping students prepare for college and compete for scholarships
                                             Elizabeth Hartley, coach/consultant/author 
March 2015
Vol 2, Issue 1


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"College Wise


 a free monthly newsletter by Elizabeth Hartley,  



 Word to the Wise


 Hi College Bound Friends!  


Now that we're thawing out, there are many things for the college-bound to do!  See this newsletter for articles below on:

  • Upcoming workshops and March college fair dates- see below
  • Final steps for seniors before they make their final college commitment
  • Great Summer College-based camps for grades 8-12
  • Brand new scholarship for York County Track & Field runner- application attached


Students- As you plan your courses for next year, attempt to find that balance between challenging yourself and overwhelming yourself.  Colleges really do weigh the rigor of your high school courses as part of their decision process so choose wisely.  On the other hand, if you take a full schedule of AP courses, you may find yourself sleep deprived and miserable.  Excel in the areas in which you are strongest but don't feel like you have to be perfect at everything.


Parents- This is a time of year when I get to celebrate with my seniors- so many happy success stories and wonderful awards and scholarships- but I also encounter many families of juniors who are just starting to panic with the realization that the have a lot of work ahead of them and some complicated decisions.  I encourage you to keep the lines of communication open with your student, don't confuse encouragement with pressure and talk through the details together.  A well-organized system of deadlines and checklists can take the stress out of the process.  And, know that you have resources like me around to help smooth out the wrinkles and answer questions.




NOTE- The Essay Writing workshop and Rising Senior Essentials workshop that was scheduled for April 25th had to be moved to April 18th due to a conflicting event at the church where it is being held.  To help students who won't be able to attend due to the ACT that day, I will repeat both classes on June 13th.  My apologies for the inconvenience.  If you have already registered for either class and can't do April 18th, please email me so I can help create a solution for you. 


Lots of important events and college fairs are coming up this spring!  Mark your calendars for the events below.  (NoteAll Scholarship Gold Events are held at at Good Samaritan Church, Lake Wylie) Click on the blue event title for details or to sign up.


College Bound Essentials- LAST CALL FOR THIS SATURDAY- Feb 28th- 9:00-noon


Financial Aid Simplified and Maximized-  Feb 28th- 1:00-4:00- An event offered by Safe College Funding owner Heath Walters.  Since this is not a Scholarship Gold event, please direct questions to Heath@walterscpagroup.com. 


College Fair!- March 8th- noon-4:00 at the Charlotte Park Expo, March 10th in Raleigh


This is the biggest touring college fair each year and it's coming to NC in early March. Great idea for 9th, 10th and 11th graders.  Get there early!  Tip- The schools are arranged in alphabetical order.  Most people will start with the A's and go through in order.  Why not start at the end of the alphabet and work backwards and avoid the crowd?  


College Bound Essentials- April 11th- 9:00-noon


This is absolutely one class that every 8th-11th grade college bound student and their parents should attend! Come learn how to navigate scholarships, financial aid, how to pick a college, test prep tips and much more! This event may totally change how you approach what lies ahead!

Good Samaritan United Methodist Church- Lake Wylie


Junior Year Essentials   Saturday April 11, 2015-  1:00 PM to 4:00 


For current sophomores! Your upcoming junior year is arguably the most important of your high school career. Join us for this essential workshop covering all of the critical items juniors need to cover in order to be best prepared for college admission and scholarships. We will cover course selection, SAT/ACT prep, college tours, leadership & more!


Essay Writing for Admission & Scholarships  Saturday April 18, 2015- 9:00-noon


There is a fine art to writing a compelling and insightful essay for college admissions and scholarship applications. This class will cover all of the elements of an effective essay and assist students as they create their own unique creative work.


Rising Senior Year Essentials-  Saturday April 18, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 


For current juniors!- The senior year is packed with time sensitive tasks to make sure you get all of the options you want for college. Come learn exactly what you will need to do starting on Aug 1st of your senior year. We will cover applications, scholarships, interviews, financial aid and more! Come take the stress out of what lies ahead!



I hope the information in the newsletter below is helpful!  



  Elizabeth      head shot 2012


 Seniors- What to do Before Committing to Your College



Getting accepted is by no means the end of the process.  There is still much to do!  Once you are accepted, make sure to follow up through some of the steps below.

1) Plan to attend "Accepted Students Days" at the schools to which you have been admitted. Most schools will have days for students and parents to visit the campus, perhaps experience a class, attend some orientation talks, etc.  It will give you that extra bit of information that can allow you to make the most informed decision possible.

2)  Find out if it is necessary to put in a deposit in order to secure housing.  Technically, colleges are not supposed to require a commitment from students until May 1st.  However, they often provide motivation for students to put in a housing deposit in order to secure their best housing for their freshman year.  Find out if that deposit is refundable or not before you send it in.  

Don't feel compelled to send in a deposit to every school- choose carefully.  For example, out of the seven schools my son has been accepted to, we have sent in one deposit while we await the other colleges' admission decisions. The one we sent in is non-refundable but we were willing to risk it to make sure he has great housing at the school that is his best option thus far.

3) Follow through with any remaining scholarship processes and make sure you have completed all financial aid forms.   Some colleges require FAFSA and others require both FAFSA and CSS/Profile as well. Make sure you research the Financial Aid sections of each school's website and follow the proper procedures.  There are many reasons to file FAFSA, even if you think you will not qualify for federal financial aid.  There is a very helpful workshop being offered by Heath Walters of Safe College Funding on the afternoon of Feb 28th.  You can click HERE for details.

4) Get the financial aid/scholarship offers and weigh them all.   It's a great idea to make and Excel spreadsheet listing the total cost of each college, the scholarships and aid offered at each one and the family's net cost.  Keep in mind that some colleges are worth paying a bit more for.  If College "A" has a strong history of retaining their students and getting them out in four years but College "B" has a high transfer out rate and typically gets students out in six years, it may be worth a few thousand more each year to attend school "A". 

If you are not comfortable with the offer from a private school and would like to ask for more money, consider filing an appeal letter with the financial aid office, explaining why your family needs additional need-based aid or why your student would warrant more merit-based aid.  State schools rarely entertain a financial aid appeal, except in extreme cases. 

5) Make a commitment and notify the other schools that you are not coming.   You must put down a deposit and commit to your school of choice no later than May 1st.  Give your other schools the courtesy of an email to tell them that you appreciate their offer of admissions (and possibly scholarships) but that you have made the decision to attend another university.  

6)  Submit health forms, housing forms, search for a roommate and attend orientation days over the summer.   These are a few of the activities you'll need to pursue once you have made your decision.  The school will make sure to notify you of all of the details.  Embrace your decision, get excited about your new adventure and move forward.  Make some great memories with your family over the summer!



 Time to Plan a Remarkable Summer!




Although it is still icy in many places, it is time for students to plan their summer activities.  What a student does in his or her down time and summer vacations says a lot about them.  Here are a few of my favorite options locally.  Registration is open now but spots fill up soon!


I highly recommend filling a summer of something enriching, like the items below, plus something involving community service and, of course, something just for fun.


BROYHILL LEADERSHIP CAMP- click here-  Every college asks about students' leadership experience.  If that's not something you're particularly strong in, then let's help you get some experience so you are all set when we're completing your applications.  The most reasonably priced and outstanding program around here is the Broyhill Leadership Camp (sponsored heavily by Broyhill furniture) is June 22-26 at Queens University in one of the prettiest sections of Charlotte. 


Since Broyhill Company pays for a large portion of it, your expenses for this experience (5 days, 4 nights, all meals) is only $255 if you sign up soon.  I've had a number of students do this experience in the past and they loved it.  My own son, Jackson, is doing it this year.  If you have any hesitancy about your leadership experience, please take advantage of this sooner than later since it will fill up quickly. 


Landry Summer Camps-  Click here to see a complete list of the variety of week-long camps offered this year.  (Pre-law, Anatomy/Physiology, Photography, Camp CSI, and more.)  Held at Lees-McCrae University in Banner Elk, NC- not too far from App State Univ.


Boys State and Girls State-  Each state has their own Boys State and Girls State camps, hosted by the American Legion.  Google the one for your state to find out details.  You will need to talk with your guidance counselor about being nominated by your school.  This is an excellent program, is widely recognized, can give you leadership training and will sometimes translate to automatic $5000/year scholarships to certain colleges.  Those nominations usually go in around February.


Volunteer work-  If you are struggling to find meaningful volunteer interests, consider how you can channel what you love doing already into something that can help others. Play soccer? Host a drive to collect gently used equipment to donate to a youth outreach program. Play an instrument? Volunteer to play at retirement centers.   Get creative and find something you will enjoy and that will make use of your unique talents!


 Pre-College Camps at various colleges around the country-  You can explore special interest, hobbies and potential career fields on college campuses around the country.  For example, you can run a google search for "Pre-College Camps Engineering" or "Pre-College Camps Writing"  and find the options available.  Most camps run 1-3 weeks.  


 College Scholarship Announced for York County Track Students




I received the following announcement this week from the Ft. Mill Running Club, along with the request to share it with my readers.  This $1000 scholarship is for a college-bound senior who was a track or cross country runner.

Click HERE for the details and application.  Please follow up with the running club directly, not with Scholarship Gold, if you have any questions.  

I'm always happy to share information about local scholarships.  If your organization would like me to spread the word about a scholarship they're offering, please let me know!


Elizabeth Hartley                 

Scholarship Gold Consulting                                         


 HartleyGold@yahoo.com                                                  www.ScholarshipGold.com 

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