September 10, 2016 By: For more Click the Link Above In order to create your scholarship search strategy, you must first understand the following principles: 1. Must be flexible. Your scholarship search strategy may change as you search for scholarships and that is okay. The key is to adjust to the changes as quickly as you can to keep your momentum in finding scholarship dollars. 2. Multi-level approach. Your scholarship search strategy will require you to look beyond Google searches and books. Be prepared to put the work in searching for scholarships on websites, speaking with scholarship committees, and reading scholarship books. 3. Consistency. Your scholarship search strategy is only the first step to finding more scholarship dollars in less time. The secret is being consistent (creating a regular schedule when you follow your scholarship search strategy).

September 10, 2016 By: Do you wish there was an easier way to find more scholarships? If you can answer yes to any of the above questions, I want you to know that you are not alone. One of the most common ways to find scholarships is by searching online, but you will most likely find that all of the scholarship search websites will not have the same scholarships. So, I have created the Ultimate Scholarship Website list to help you find all of your scholarships. It is your time to find the scholarships that fit you!

September 10, 2016 By:
Free tools and calculators to help you with your plans to save and pay for college.

August 27, 2016 By: Establishing and building relationships with college coaches is one of the most important aspects of the recruiting process, yet many recruits fail to grasp that this encompasses every interaction they have with a coach. Here is a list of common mistakes to avoid when cultivating relationships with your recruiting coaches, and help put you in the best position going through the recruiting process. Sending emails that are not personalized Avoid the “Dear Coach” emails. College coaches receive hundreds of emails a week, and it becomes easy to spot the ones that were copy-and-pasted. Take the two minutes to mention each coach you email by name. Specifically mention the school and add a line about how you visited the campus once or how you’ve heard wonderful things about the town or city in which the school is located. Sending emails with the wrong information It is shocking how often this occurs. There is zero chance Texas A&M is going to respond to a young athlete who emails their coaches about loving Austin. It’s going straight to the trash bin. Recruits get focused on copy-and-pasting emails to as many coaches as possible that they neglect to realize they have sent 30 different schools exactly the same email only intended for one school. Please be sure to proofread every email you send out to a college coach or staff member. While it may not seem like a big deal, it shows respect and diligence to the school and coach. Sending emails/tweets with just your highlight film link Please do not do this. The point of communicating with coaches is to show them that you have the proper oral and written skills to succeed in college, and by simply pasting your Hudl link into an email or twitter mention, you are neglecting an excellent opportunity to build the relationship with that coach. Introduction emails with your contact information and a short paragraph on your career in addition to your highlight link will be much more well-received by college coaches. Not reciprocating interest It is a big deal to be contacted by a college, regardless of division. While you may have no interest in attending a certain school, being polite and simply responding when a school reaches out to you says a lot about your character and personality. If a school happens to be contacting you and you are no longer considering them, tell them that you are flattered, but you are going to be looking elsewhere for college options. There are no guarantees when playing athletics at the highest level. You never know when an injury or a coach leaving a school or getting a new job may put you back in contact with someone from earlier in the recruiting process. Treat everyone with kindness and honesty, and you will have no issues. Persistence vs. rudeness There is a very fine line here, and it requires that recruits and their families to display a bit of empathy for the lives of college coaches, which can be hectic to say the least. Some may not have had a chance to respond to your email or phone call, and some may just be avoiding you. In general, tone and frequency can go a long way toward hearing back from a coach or school. Contacting a coach once a week while expressing an understanding of the demands of his job will be well-received, as opposed to leaving voice mails twice a day demanding to be called back. Not talking on the phone Despite the fact that it is 2016 and everyone spends hours a day on Snapchat or Instagram, the best way to communicate and develop relationships with coaches (without talking to them face-to-face) is talking to them on the phone. It is very hard for a recruiter to understand you and build a relationship with you if every communication is Twitter direct message or a text. Setting up phone calls to speak to coaches not only allows you the chance to ask questions about the school and program, but also allows that coach to see your personality and who you are as a person. Being quiet or reluctant to talk when on the phone Nothing can frustrate a recruiter or coach more than talking to a disinterested young man/woman on the phone. College coaches are extremely busy and if they take the time to call you, it is a huge indicator of their interest in you. Treat each phone call as a big deal, because it is an excellent opportunity for you to not only ask questions about the school or program, but also let the coaches get to know you outside of your sport. SEE ALSO: The Brotherhood of Football is Unbreakable These are the most common mistakes made in communicating with college recruiting coaches today, but are by no means the only ones made by young athletes. Being recruited to play college athletics is a big deal, and as long as you treat it as such and give each communication the proper respect it deserves, you can easily avoid these common pitfalls in the recruiting process. This blog was originally published on

August 27, 2016 By: What’s the rule? The NCAA bans eight different classes of drugs, from stimulants to diuretics to street drugs. Testing takes place at NCAA championships, plus year-round on campus in Divisions I and II. The penalty for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug: one full year of lost eligibility for the first offense. All remaining eligibility is lost with a second positive test. For street drugs such as marijuana and heroin, where intervention and counseling are considered more important than penalizing the user, a student-athlete must sit out a half-season of competition. A second positive test for a street drug results in the loss of a year of eligibility and withholding from participation for 365 days from the test. How did that become a rule? The NCAA first tested for drugs in November 1986 at the Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships in Tucson, Arizona. Championships testing gradually expanded to include year-round testing on Divisions I and II campuses, often as a supplement to an athletics department’s own drug-testing program. Why does the NCAA care? Through the National Center for Drug Free Sport, the NCAA tests for drugs for a number of reasons. First, drug use can threaten the goal of protecting college athletes’ health and safety, one of the tenets that led to the Association’s creation more than 100 years ago. Performance-enhancing drugs also jeopardize the integrity of the competitions themselves, allowing one athlete an unfair advantage over another. The testing program is one part of an NCAA drug-use deterrence program, which also includes an education program that teaches college athletes about both the health consequences of drugs and what happens when they break the rules. Will it always be a rule? In recent years, NCAA member committees have reconsidered the Association’s role in monitoring street drugs such as marijuana and heroin. Based on the recommendations of the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, which oversees the drug-testing program and is made up of physicians, a sports psychologist, athletic trainer and other experts, the three divisions recently reduced the penalty for a positive street drug test from one year of eligibility to half a season. The reason: Data showed losing a year of eligibility led many of the offending students to drop out of school. The committee continues to examine recreational drug use policies and will consider future recommendations in this area.

August 27, 2016 By: What’s the rule? In most sports in Divisions I and II, coaches can begin placing phone calls and sending correspondence, including electronic correspondence, to prospective college athletes Sept. 1 of the junior year of high school. In-person contacts can begin on a specific date in the summer between junior and senior year. There are significant exceptions in a handful of sports, such as men’s and women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey, and there are no limitations on the timing of phone calls and electronic correspondence in Division III. How did the rule come to be? NCAA members understand the need for coaches to develop relationships with prospects during the recruiting process but want to ensure recruits have a normal high school experience and fully explore their college options as students first. As a result, members elected to place restrictions on how early coaches can contact prospective student-athletes, defining such recruiting timelines for the first time in 1991. Why does the NCAA care? By limiting the amount of time that coaches can recruit, the NCAA hopes prospective college athletes can live more balanced, normal lives in high school without being continuously bombarded by recruiting pitches from colleges around the country. Will this always be a rule? The Division I Student-Athlete Experience Committee is reviewing proposals from the lacrosse community to address early recruiting issues. Committees made up of representatives from member schools regularly revisit recruiting rules to evaluate whether current rules are enforceable, relevant with current technology and in the best interests of prospects.

August 27, 2016 By: What’s the rule? Coaches in Divisions I and II cannot contact prospective student-athletes off-campus or allow a student to visit a school’s campus during the “dead period” of a recruiting calendar. Those coaches are allowed to have written or phone contact with recruits during this period, however. Division III does not have dead periods or a recruiting calendar. How did that become a rule? NCAA members try to strike a balance between unreasonable intrusions on the lives of prospective college athletes and the opportunity for coaches to develop relationships and make sound recruiting decisions. They also try to help coaches find a balance between their work and life demands. As member schools began to examine the recruiting process, they determined a dead period in the recruiting calendar was appropriate, and a variation of this rule was first adopted in 1994. Why does the NCAA care? Several sports have recruiting calendars, and each has a different dead period at a different time for a different reason; however, it generally comes down to allowing both prospects and coaches to have time away from in-person contacts. There are standard dead periods for a few days surrounding the opening of the National Letter of Intent signing periods, so coaches do not put in-person pressure on students at that time. Will the rule change? NCAA member committees regularly revisit recruiting rules to evaluate whether current rules are enforceable, relevant with current technology and in the best interests of prospective student-athletes.

August 27, 2016 By: What’s the rule? Incoming Division I college athletes must earn a 2.3 GPA in 16 core high school courses (English, math, science and social studies) in order to compete in sports their first year of college. Beginning Aug. 1, 2018, a 2.2 GPA in core classes will be required for incoming Division II student-athletes. How did that become a rule? In search of the right spot to draw the academic line, Division I administrators, student-athletes and faculty members examined the question for more than a year. They weighed many issues: Could raising the GPA requirement lead prospective college athletes to take high school more seriously and be more prepared for college? How would such a standard impact segments of society already battling limited access to higher education? The Division I Board of Directors settled on the standard because students coming into college with a high school GPA below 2.3 in specific academic courses were among the least likely to succeed academically in college. Why does the NCAA care? If student-athletes are to be students first, high school GPAs in specific academic classes are the best predictor of future academic success in college. Will it always be a rule? Academic standards for both incoming and continuing students are reviewed regularly in Divisions I and II, the only divisions that can award athletics scholarships. The 2.3 GPA is a new standard – students entering college this fall are the first to face the requirement – and the 2.2 GPA standard will be new for Division II in 2018. The divisions will review the impact of the new rule and potential unintended consequences, considering those when making future recommendations for academic standards.

August 27, 2016 By: What’s the rule? A school may apply for a waiver on behalf of a college athlete when extenuating or extraordinary circumstances are present. NCAA national office staff has authority to grant waivers using established standards and guidelines, and when schools or conferences disagree with a staff decision, they can appeal the decision to a member committee. The average time to decide a legislative relief waiver is 21 business days, but the time required varies depending on the details and complexity of each case. Urgent waivers are processed within five days. How did that become a rule? The waiver process was created in 1993 after member schools expressed a desire for more flexibility in how rules are applied. Why does the NCAA care? Sometimes, waivers just make sense. In fall 2014, Mount St. Joseph University received a waiver to move up its women’s basketball season opener so freshman Lauren Hill, who had terminal brain cancer, could compete in a college game. Just this year, the University of Kentucky received a waiver that allowed high school swimmer Madison Winstead to compete in a scrimmage before enrolling at the school so her mother, who had cancer, could see her take part in a collegiate event. But not all waiver cases are easy. Applications may be denied if they would give a school a recruiting or competitive advantage, or if the circumstances that led to the request were within the control of the school, student or coach. Often privacy laws prohibit the NCAA from making public all facts of a case, such as instances involving mental health or medical records. Will it always be a rule? As long as member schools continue to believe that not all rules can apply in every circumstance, some situations will continue to call for a waiver.

August 10, 2016 By:
Private scholarships are great and can really help when it comes to paying for college. However, there are some things students should keep in mind about private scholarships. With the huge amount of outside scholarships available, students can spend an enormous about of time applying for the scholarships, and in the end, the scholarships might not help as much as they think they will. Here are four truths about private scholarships you should consider before applying. 1.There is no guarantee you will win. Students are encouraged to apply to less competitive scholarships because they have a better chance of winning. However, if there are two or more applicants, you have some competition. Therefore, with all scholarships, do your best to make your application stand out from the crowd. Students who submit applications and essays that stand out from the crowd are typically more likely to win the scholarship. 2.Most scholarship providers only notify the winner. It can be discouraging when you spend your time applying for a scholarship and you never hear back from the scholarship committee. However, most scholarship providers cannot contact every student who applied, but will list a date they will notify the winner. Keep note of the notification date and if you don’t hear from them, let it go and keep applying to other scholarships. 3.The majority of financial aid comes from federal and state governments and the institutions. Many students and parents focus on trying to find private scholarships and do not realize that for the majority of students, the majority of their financial aid will automatically be awarded to them after being accepted to the institution and doing the FAFSA (and CSS Profile if required by the institution). Undergraduate Student Aid 2014 - 2015 | JLV College Counseling Blog Full Undergraduate Student Aid 2014 -2015 Report When searching for colleges that are a good fit for you, take into consideration the financial fit of the college. Research the financial aid options and see what type of financial aid you may receive if you were to attend the institution. Don’t just focus on the outside scholarships; find a college that can offer a good financial aid package for you. Dig into the financial aid page of the college to learn about the scholarship opportunities and how you may qualify. In addition, fill out the net price calculator to see how much financial aid they may award you if you attend. 4.Private scholarships may affect your financial aid award. I have never seen a scholarship provider that discloses that their scholarship could affect the student’s financial aid award from the institution they are or will be attending. The main reason many do not disclose is probably because they do not know. However, many financial aid offices will deduct the outside scholarship amount from the amount of financial aid the student would have received if they had not received the outside scholarship. For example, if you receive a $1,000 outside scholarship, the financial aid award from the college could become $1,000 less. The hope is that the outside scholarship will take the place of some of the loans offered to students, but that is not the case. Sometimes, private scholarships replace institutional grants the college would have awarded. Therefore, here are some things to consider: 1.Ask the school how outside scholarships affect financial aid awards. It’s good to know this information as you are making your decisions to apply to outside scholarships or not. 2.Non-need-based scholarships from the institution will probably not be affected by outside scholarships. If you are attending an institution that awards merit scholarships based on your GPA and/or test scores, the terms usually say the student will receive these scholarships if they have financial need or not. In addition, talent-based scholarships from the institution, such as an athletic scholarship or music scholarship, are usually not need-based. Therefore, if an outside scholarship comes in, your merit and talent aid should not be affected. However, just to be safe, always check with the financial aid office for their policies. In no way am I discouraging students from applying for outside scholarship. For many students, outside scholarships can be a tremendous help when it comes to paying for college. However, students should do their research and find out how the institutions they are attending or considering attending will use outside scholarships when awarding financial aid. In addition, follow these tips to increase your chances of winning a scholarship is you do choose to apply.