BEST OF BONUS: How to Be College Savvy

The College Savvy Coach

We have a special guest for this BEST OF BONUS episode – Sia Knight, The College Savvy Coach. She is a former teacher, counselor, administrator turned entrepreneur (founder of The College Savvy Coach) and educational consultant. She brings us some “pearls of wisdom” about scholarship and college admission in general.

We are very fortunate to have her as a guest.  She shares some college admission secrets with us such as how to maximize your HS counselor to your advantage, how to compose an application strategy for college and some of the biggest mistakes that lead to less money for college.

[spp-tweet tweet=”It’s not Who You Know, it’s really WHO KNOWS YOU!”]

She has a brand new APP – COLLEGE BOUND PARENTING.  Find it in ITunes or Google Play Store.

Tips from The College Savvy Coach:

  1. Get to know your H.S. Counselor. When they need to recommend someone for a scholarship, let it be you.
  2. Teach your child to be their own best advocate.
  3. Start your child with an internship or leadership building activity in middle school or early high school.
  4. Teach your student to foster relationships early with other volunteer organizations if you are not that academic super star (to leverage later for scholarships). An example would be Boys & Girls clubs, Urban League or youth groups of fraternal organizations.
  5. How to be a GREAT student – Good isn’t good enough! Colleges are looking for GREAT students: Grades, References, Extracurricular, Avatar (online presence) & Test Score.
  6. Take courses in high school that are rigorous enough to let colleges know you can handle challenging courses.
  7. Get recommendations from school counselor and supplementary ones as needed.
  8. Don’t rush senior year and load up on extracurricular activities. Plan for that earlier in high school.
  9. Believe that college reps do look at your online (google, Facebook, instagram etc…) image!
  10. Be aware of the upcoming changes to the SAT and ACT.

How to contact Sia Knight:

website – Sia Knight, The College Savvy Coach

FACEBOOK – The College Savvy Coach

Instagram – College Savvy Coach

Ep. 73 Need College Money? Start HERE…

College Money for YOU!This is the second part of our ” A to Z” Scholarship episodes and talk all about college money for all kinds of students. We do however, start the episode discussing a recent article about an athlete who had his scholarship rescinded at the last minute from the University of Connecticut. Can you imagine how he and his family felt?

The rest of the episode get more on a lively tone when we go over the second half of the alphabet and announce the following college money (scholarship) opportunities (you’re welcome):

NJCS – National Jewish Committee on Scouting

$1000 Award Open to HS Senior’s active in Boy Scout and received the Eagle Scout Award.

Deadline 1/31/17


New England FEMARA Scholarship – Open to those with a background in amateur radio (with a license)in the New England States only   $1000 Award

DEADLINE 1/31/17


Otto and Isabel Frings Memorial Scholarship 

Deadline 3/25/17  $1500 Award


Parr Family Memorial Endowment Scholarship

$700 Award Open to HS Seniors in the Mid-West states

Deadline 2/1/17


Pearl Scholarship – Psi Mu Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.  Charlotte, NC area

$500 Award  Deadline 2/1/17


Quill and Scroll Scholarships

$500 Award Open to HS Seniors who are incoming journalism majors

Deadline 3/10/17


Return2College Scholarship

$1000 Award Open to all undergraduate and graduate students

Deadline 1/31/17


Sidney R. Baer Jr. Reintegration Scholarship

$1000 Award Open to students diagnosed with BiPolar Disorder or Schizophrenia (or in recovery)

Deadline 1/31/17


Technology Addiction Awareness Scholarship

$1000 Award Open to HS Seniors, undergraduate or graduate students. Respond to topic – What would you do instead of using technology?

Deadline 1/30/17


University of Delaware Trustee Scholarships and Grants

$3000-$5000 Deadline varies


Unpublished Writers Award

$1000 Award Open to WOMEN ONLY HS seniors, undergraduate or graduate students

Deadline 3/15/17


VSGC  Virginia Space Grant Consortium STEM Bridge Scholarship

$1000 Renewable Award to sophomores enrolled in one of the Virginia Space Grant Universities STEM program. Deadline 3/13/17


Wisconsin Minority Undergrad Retention Grants

$2500 (Renewable) Award  Open to Wisconsin resident undergraduates ONLY

Deadline 3/15/17


Xerox Minority Scholarship

$1000  – $10000 Need and merit based for STEM Majors

Deadline 9/30/17


Young Christian Leaders Scholarship

$1000 Award Open to HS Senior who are active in their church (any faith)

Deadline 3/1/17

Ep. 72 Scholarship Succes Story: $100k for Adult Students!

Money for Adult StudentsThe majority of those searching for scholarships today are high school students or their parents. Believe it or not, adult students need scholarships too!

Today’s episode is a great conversation with Shay Spivey who tells us how to earn over $100,000 in scholarships for adult students. She is living proof that it is possible.

Her story is one of determination, focus, disappointment but reassurance that there is hope for adults who return to school to further their education.  She has written several books about her journey which details the steps that it takes to be a scholarship success which applies to high school and adult students alike.

One great time she share for adult students is to not be intimidated with attending classes with younger students. Get a mentor within your major department to help with focus on your goals and visit the multi-cultural center if looking for scholarships.

Here are some tips for parents or students getting started:

  1. Start at least 1 year in advance (no later than junior year). January through may is the “THE” optimal time to be filling out scholarship applications.
  2. Meet and talk with the H.S. Guidance Counselor. They are there to help with the transition. Many schools even have a College/Career center located at the school with resources.
  3. Contact the scholarship office at the colleges that you are applying to. Many students do no utilize this office. Most know where the financial aid office but not the scholarship office.
  4. Online search websites such as FASTWEB or

Tips on how to create a winning scholarship application:

  • Collect 1-3 letter of recommendation IN ADVANCE. Don’t want until the last minute and make numerous copies.
  • GET ORGANIZED with a binder or folder to keep track of letters from colleges.
  • Put together a GREAT ACADEMIC RESUME. It contains not only grades or test scores, but also extracurricular activities such as clubs or sports. This is just one page summary.
  • Get involved in community service – THIS IS KEY!

“Foundations want to give back to students who give back to someone else!”   Shay Spivey

Tips to Parents who have “UNMOTIVATED” kids:

  1. DON’T GIVE UP – it is worth it. They will thank you later. Don’t let their attitude deter you.
  2. Start with 1/2 hour each night. Any more than that will turn them off.
  3. Have your student write out their “personal essay” NOW, ahead of time. You can recycle it within the numerous scholarship applications. The purpose of the personal essays is to have the student articulate their career goals, academic goals and describe what having that higher education would do for them.


Contact Shay Spivey:

Twitter – @ShayMSpivey


Email –


Ep. 71 Happy New Year: Scholarships A-M

New ScholarshipsHAPPY NEW YEAR! 2017 has finally arrived with NEW SCHOLARSHIPS just for you. Regardless how you feel about 2016, a new year is ahead of us with new adventures and possibilities. We want everyone to seize the opportunities that come before you this year. Start fresh. Make new goals. Recommit to excellence in everything you do and demand no less from everyone around you.

Our goal for 2017 is to stay focused on what our passion is – finding new scholarships and sharing them with the world. We will be loading the first two episodes of this podcast for the new year with nothing but scholarships – from A to Z. Literally.

It will be broken into two separate episodes for easier digestion. YOUR WELCOME. HAPPY NEW YOU!


Selecting the Right College – Using DATA to Make Better Decisions

(w/ Bill Phelan of College Factual) @CollegeFactual



Aceable Scholarship – DEADLINE 2/1/17 $500 Open to HS Seniors, Undergrads and Community College Students. Submit an essay on your thoughts on being an “ACE” driver.

Bart Kamen Memorial Scholarship – DEADLINE 2/1/17 $10k Open to HS Seniors who are interested in career in BioMedical Engineering or Pre-Med.  They also have to be a participant of either FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge or FIRST Robotics Competition Team. (FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology)

C-SPAN Student CAM Documentary Competition – DEADLINE 1/20/17 $5k Open to students in grades 6-12. Submit a short video on their message to Washington. @studentcam

Deborah Canon Partridge Wolfe International Fellowship – ZETA PHI BETA SORORITY, Inc. DEADLINE 2/1/17 $1000 Open to Undergraduate students studying abroad and foreign students studying in the United States. #ZNEF1975 #Zphibhq #zphib1920

EngineerGirl Essay Contest – DEADLINE 2/1/17 $500 Open to Girls and Boys Grades 3-12. Complete an essay on a topic related to working as an engineer.

Full Ride Scholarship (Tom Joyner Foundation) – Various Amounts DEADLINE 1/20/17 Open to students accepted at HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities). @tomjoynerfound

GIRLS IMPACT THE WORLD Film Festival Scholarship – DEADLINE 1/20/17 $5k Open to High School and college students up to age 25. Submit a 3-6 minute short film on the awareness of a critical issue affecting women and girls (or propose a solution).

Healthcare Leaders Scholarship – DEADLINE 1/29/17 $1000 Open to college students enrolled in a nursing or medical related program. Submit an essay on career goals.

National Italian American Foundation Scholarships – DEADLINE 3/1/17 up to $12k Open to High School students through post-graduate. You must be able to demonstrate that at least one ancestor immigrated from Italy.

Justice Empowered Scholarship – DEADLINE 1/20/17 $2500 Open to current college students. Submit a video on a topic related to justice (social justice interests).

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Foundation – Various Amounts, Open to college bound High School Seniors and current college students. Local Chapters provide scholarships. @kapsi1911

Lint Center for National Security Studies – $1000 DEADLINE 1/31/17 Open to college students pursuing a career related to national security ( i.e. counterintelligence).

National Multiple Sclerosis Society Scholarship – DEADLINE 1/18/17 $3k Open to High School Students who have been diagnosed with MS or have a parent with MS. @MSSOCIETY

BONUS BEST: Selecting the Right College: Using Data to Make Better Decisions

Selecting the right college

NOTE: This is a “BONUS BEST” episode to start off 2017. ENJOY…

This episode is an interview with Bill Phelan, co-founder of College Factual to discuss how data can help a student make a better decision by selecting the right college. This site is a data driven website that allows you to discover your unique strengths, matches you with the best major and begins selecting the right college according to that information. They publish significant data on their site for athletes, first year students as well as work with the Veteran’s Administration to identify veteran friendly colleges (@studentvets).

“An adult can make a bad decision and file for bankruptcy. A student at age 18 that makes a bad decision can’t walk away from their debt, student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy court”.

The goal is to have the most updated information about the true cost of a college, determine the value of selecting that major and what are the best colleges for that major and the outcome of your earning potential. This is also a great resource for Asian students since they have an office in #Beijing for the Chinese parents and students.

Changing the course while in college can be costly. The latest statistics suggest that 76% of students change their major once and then 50% of those students change their major for the second time.  The COST of each change is about $45,000

Links mentioned in this episode:

College Factual @CollegeFactual

Contact them:  FACEBOOK, Twitter, LinkedIN

USA Today College Rankings @USATodayCollege


Scholarship SpotlightThe Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship (in honor of Beyonce’s new album – Lemonade) @ShawnCarterSF

They offer varies scholarships for students up to the age of 25.  You must be at least a high school senior, received a GED, undergraduate or graduate student, U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a 2.0 GPA to qualify. @beyonce @S_C_



Ep. 69 How to Get Scholarships via Text: #GenZ

Scholarships via Text for #GenZ


If you don’t know what to call your teenager, don’t call them a Millennial.

#GenZ (or  also known as iGeneration)are profoundly different.  Born after 1995, have grown up with amazing technology, are more entrepreneurial and less focused than the previous generation.

Today’s guest has found a great way to service #GenZ with info about scholarships (via text messages) and more efficient ways to pay for college:

Kelly Peeler is the founder and chats at length about her business and how she is delivering scholarships, advice and assistance to high school and college students all over text message communication. She has a team of trained college students that she call – MONEY MENTORS who are paired with a student and help them with whatever is needed.

The average attention span of #GenZ is about 8 seconds! NextGenVest gets their attention by using various tactics such a delivery of pizza, DD gift card or other incentives to get your kids to do the things that YOU (the parent) can’t get them to do.

NextGenVest also has a robust SNAPCHAT channel in which students can view college campuses virtually through tours conducted daily. How awesome is that!

The overall mission is to erase student loan debt and help students get through college with no debt. She believes that students can easily digest complex concepts around money or finances  in 140 characters.

Links mentioned in this episode: (Use the promo code MONEYMAZE for a discount!!!!)

Connect via SNAPCHAT

Connect via INSTAGRAM

Connect via FACEBOOK

Ep. 68 Reconsidering Community College? They Have Dorms Now!

Community College with Dorms

Community College w/ Dorms, a new concept

We have a brief overview of the article and the topic of community college with dorms and meal plans across the country. I first came across a great article from the website, Cutting College Costs: 209 Community College with Dorms.

This might change the game for some people. Community colleges are admittedly less costly than a traditional four year institution. A community college with dorms might be able to compete for attention now. The reason for this expansion is simple, dollars and sense. It makes sense because it can bring in more dollars!

Students can take their core general courses, take supplemental courses, take specialized certification programs, take remedial courses to get up to college level etc… There is something there for everyone to take advantage of. Community colleges are trying to improve their image. They now have honor programs, honor societies and even sports for students to participate in.

Considering a list from your state of a community college with dorms allows you to stay on campus, focus on your studies without the hassle of commuting. Currently, Texas has the most with 29 followed by New York and Kansas. NJ has 1 and PA has 7 schools.

If they are trying to compete with larger state institutions such as RUTGERS UNIVERSITY who now is focusing on attracting higher achieving low-income students with their Future Scholars program is a losing game. They will get swallowed up. Making themselves nimble and more attractive with dorms and meal plans, allows that low-income student to stay close to home at a lower price point.

I suggest you take a look at the original article with the list and see which schools in your state now have dorms.

Links mentioned in this article:

Essex County Community College

Rutgers University Future Scholars Program

Ep. 67 Making Good Credit Decisions ‪#‎preparingtheyouth‬

Credit Decisions

Your Credit Teaches You how Alive You Are…


Today’s conversation is like being back home. So warm, comfortable even if we are talking about credit. Our guest, Timika Massey is an Account Executive and Sales Director with FES. This is a credit counseling service that also has a 501C3 nonprofit foundation that provides scholarships for high school seniors and college freshman.

You will have to pardon the background noise and laughter but we had a great time prior to recording reminiscing and continued into the podcast.

The purpose for having her on is to promote their scholarship ( and encourage students to apply for (one of the 40 awards) up to $25000. DEADLINE DECEMBER 15, 2016.

The other conversation I initially wanted to talk about was the importance of credit education, youth financial literacy but time got away from us – we will definitely have her back in a couple of months.

She does talk in the beginning of the dangers of students making poor credit decisions at college, it can ruin your future and saddle you with debt that can take years and years to pay off.  Don’t make the mistake of falling for the t-shirt or shiny tech gadget in return for applying for a credit card. It is not worth the headache. USE CREDIT RESPONSIBLY.

Her mantra is – EDUCATION IS POWER! ‪#‎preparingtheyouth‬

Your Credit is Your Other Vital Sign!  Timika Massey, Ms. CREDucation

Here are links mentioned in this episode:

SCHOLARSHIP Opportunity!!! – Youth Financial Literacy Foundation

Financial Education Services

Timika’s email –

Contact her – TEXT the word “BESTSCORE” to #76626

Ep. 66 Out-of-State Colleges: Yea or Nay?

Out-of-state collegesThis episode is for you if any out-of-state colleges are at the top of your list. We discuss the pros and cons of why students migrate to schools in other states and why they might stay home.  There are advantages and disadvantages of both.

Let’s just assume you have at least 5 colleges on your list that you are looking at attending. We will assume that it includes at least one in-state public university for the lower cost factor, one flagship larger in-state private college and three out-of-state reasonable public universities. For the sake of this example, this would play out that the in-state public school would not offer you a lot of financial aid or scholarships because your average or even above scores are what they expect. You look more attractive to the out-of-state public university because of the diversity and the “allure” of being from somewhere else. These schools offer you MORE money to cross state lines and enroll with them.  The only thing to consider is your transportation expenses if it is not within driving distance for you to travel back and forth home.

This is not a hard and fast rule.  This is merely an observation. I suggest you prove me wrong and apply more than one in-state school and see what king of offer you get in terms of financial aid and scholarships (don’t look at the student loans).

Connect with us on our Facebook page and let us know how things turn out.

Colleges mentioned in this episode:

Arizona State University

Ohio State

Penn State

Rutgers University



University of Alabama

University of Pittsburgh

University of South Carolina


Ep. 65 Assess Your Kids Skills NOW for College & Career Options

career options

Career Options

Today’s episode is a discussion on how to get your child to figure out a college major and/or career path.  GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

Have you tried to get an answer to this question from a teenager: What do you want to study in college? All you get are blank stares and shrugged shoulders.  They don’t have a clue.

You don’t know how to guide them through the process.  Another question you would ask would be: What do you like to do? SAME ANSWER.

We have a different approach.

Try having them take a skills assessment test or exercise.  A great place to start is at BIG FUTURE, part of The College Board website.  They have a section on career planning that allows them to input some of their skills (using specific keywords) plus interests, and the website suggests a college major, helpful high school courses to take NOW as well as a list of related careers.  It is not overwhelming for them.  They can explore different areas, which opens their mind to the potential that is inside them.  Isn’t that what we are hoping for? That THEY are able to discover what they want to DO?

Using this as a planning tool for the rest of their high school course selection is a smart way to get ahead of others, keeps them focused on their goal and ultimately helps in the college selection process. Knowing what you want to major in will enable them to narrow down their choices to the best “fit” college that has the major/program that they want to participate in.

This does not have to be a forever choice. Just a starting point. Many people, such as myself, started college with one major, graduated with another major and have not had a job in that field since. It is not the end of the world. JUST THE BEGINNING OF THEIR FUTURE!

1 2 3 4 9