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Blue Gills, Bass and Scholarships-No Joke

By Dale Clifton

There are two kinds of fishing families and two kinds of families wanting college scholarships. And, there are amazing similarities between them.

Weekend fishing families do not spend time researching opportunities. They grab the kids, jump into the car, and race to the nearest bait shop. "Where is a good place to take the kids? Are the fish biting? Thanks! We'll take three dozen worms, please." Then, they head for the lake. They catch a few bluegills, have a picnic and go home.

The weekend scholarship family's search habits are sporadic. They spend no time thinking about scholarship possibilities until the junior or senior year. They believe their family income may be too high. They're convinced that their student's GPA may be a little on the low side. "We don't believe that a C or B- is good enough to win." They have never contacted the guidance office about scholarship opportunities, and they are ready to settle for government-backed loans. "Loan-aid can run from $50,000 to a $100,000 and more! Who needs it?

This haphazard scholarships family falls for two major fallacies: Students of families with lower incomes get the scholarships. Yes, 80% of all scholarships are given to students who have a financial need, but almost 20% go to students on a meritorious or otherwise basis.

Another falsehood: Only "A" students get the bucks. Again, many winners have "A" GPA's. But, winners also have GPA's ranging from C to B.And the federal government has sponsored some in the "D" category. Since the scholarship pie totals billions of dollars, there is enough money for those who prepare and apply for it.

The planning fishing family knows where the fish are. They discover a lake that produces big bass. They wait for the right weather. The boat is gassed up. The fish locator is working properly. They have a variety of baits. And one morning, a car, boat and trailer can be seen pulling out of the driveway. That lake is their destination. The boat trolls the edges of the lake catching many good-sized bass. This family finishes early before it gets too hot. They conducted research and were rewarded for their efforts.

The serious scholarship family starts early, finds sources and notifies the guidance office.

Perhaps your family has college-bound students. Will you be like the family who didn't care about what happened, expecting small results with fish and scholarships, or will you be like the family who planned their outing and scholarship searches and experienced huge financial success?

Will you settle for bluegills and accept loans or fish for bass and plan for scholarship gold?

Always remember, the scholarship effort is truly a family affair.

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About The Author

©2005-06 The Scholarship Doctor, Dale Clifton - All Rights Reserved - Dale is an educational consultant and expert at helping families win college scholarships. To learn more about planning to win scholarships, visit:


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