Going Back to School: Funding
(Continued from 1)
Another wonderful resource in locating funding are
free scholarship searches. You complete some personal
as well as some academic information and then search
for scholarships that are compatible. The possibilities
and the supplemental income are endless. FastWeb,
for example, sends you an update whenever a new scholarship
that fits your situation is available and you decide
whether to apply or not. Some of the scholarships are
offered by major corporations such as Calgon.
Many are offered by not-for-profit organizations
such as Jeannette
Rankin or The
Sunshine Lady Foundation. Others are offered by
businesses in the interest of advertising, such as Textbookx.com.
You might also find local scholarships, such as the
Sheriffs' Association Scholarship. So you see, the
range is unlimited.
The next wonderful step in funding your dream with
these types of scholarships, is the essay
that most require with the application. This can be
quite competitive since they are advertised nationally
and the eligibility is extensive. If youre new
or returning to school after some years, writing an
academic essay can be a daunting experience. Whats
more, these organizations ask you to do something that
older women, women in general, are not comfortable doing
your own horn. Once you get into the swing of this though,
it can be a freeing and rewarding activity. By the time
youve reached the ages of 30 or 40, youve
accomplished quite a few things and have probably seen
at least a little of the world and life. They want to
know about it. And since they will fund your dream for
telling them, tell them!
And dont be afraid to include hardships. They
want to know youre able to overcome obstacles
because realistically, when you return to school in
middle age, you will encounter obstacles. These organizations
corporations need to feel comfortable that their money
will not be wasted. Make them comfortable! Tell them
what they want to hear.
Keep two very important things in mind when writing
1. Make it personal.
2. Answer the questions.
If, for example, they ask you how your life experience
has contributed to your goals and how it will affect
your future, dont be vague or generalize. Dont
just write that raising a family has taught you to be
flexible. Tell them about the time your husband planned
a business dinner at your home on the same night of
your daughters prom, which was the same weekend
that you needed to complete the million dollar project
due at work the following week, and what you did to
pull it all off splendidly. Dont tell them that
struggling to raise children alone taught you how to
persevere. Explain how you worked two jobs, spent hours
helping with homework, attending extracurricular activities
and then stayed up all night to wash the clothes and
clean the house.
In other words, be specific. You did it! And you are
still doing it...you are accomplishing what you want
to do. Its exhilarating and because you desire
it, the realization of your dream will be a success.
Donna Kiser retired from a ten year sentence in corporate
America to follow her passion for writing and creating.
She is currently a student at Columbia
College Chicago, in pursuit of a bachelor's degree
in creative writing.
Tips for Adult Students to Maximize Financial Aid.
for Re-entry Students: Grants and Retraining Assistance
for Adults Returning to College.
Special 89 page report available for immediate download.
Find the money to go back to school today.