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This Part-Time Job Can Pay Off Big for Students

This Part-Time Job Can Pay Off Big for Students

Star Tribune, Minneapolis via Yellowbrix

December 02, 2009

Before filling out a single form, conduct a “brain dump” where you “sit down and figure out every darn thing you’ve done,” said Carrie Jo Short, director of grants and program services at the Minnesota Community Foundation and the St. Paul Foundation.

This is a worthy exercise for sixth-graders with years until college as well as undergrads eyeing a master’s degree. Include participation in formal groups such as the track team and National Honor Society, as well as informal activities such as organizing friends to regularly visit a neighbor in a nursing home.

Students should also take time to assess their electronic image. The content on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can send damaging messages. E-mail addresses can give the wrong idea, too. One time, Short read through a great application only to see that the applicant’s e-mail address was (the name has been changed).

Then there are the obvious to-dos that don’t get done, said Pei-loh Lo, director of training for Scholarship America. Turn applications in on time. Read the instructions and follow them.

Answer the questions completely. Know something about the scholarship in play. Spell-check. Use complete sentences.

These tips may sound so obvious that they aren’t worth repeating. But these are the mistakes that leave Lo and Short banging their heads on their desks.

School’s out for another month. So put down that remote control. Step away from the Wii. And start the scholarship search.