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  Welcome and Introduction

Hi there! Welcome to your college and scholarship planning essentials course! I am Jordan Schanda. I am the Founder of ScholarPrep, where we help parents and students prepare for the college and scholarship application process. I will be your instructor, so today I want to take a little bit of time to introduce myself, tell you about my story and then we will get into how this course is organized and what you can expect over the next several weeks.

So, my mom and I started ScholarPrep a couple of years ago based on our personal experiences with the college and scholarship application process. When I was in high school, I invested a lot of time and effort into filling out applications, and while I was very successful and ended up receiving about $50,000 in scholarships, it was an extremely stressful experience. Afterwards, I found myself saying things like, I wish I would have known this, or I could have gotten more money if I would have done that… and during this same time, my mom was reviewing applications for some local scholarship boards. So she was seeing what students were doing wrong, which parts of the applications they were really struggling with the most and even seeing several scholarships go unawarded because not a single student applied. So, it quickly became prettyy obvious to her that there was a wide gap between students who knew how to fill out applications and those who seemed to have no idea what was involved and had very little information to put on the applications themselves.

But if you want to know the real inspiration behind ScholarPrep... It would be my little brother Jett, who is 7 years younger than me. As my mom and I were learning all of these lessons about college and scholarship applications, I found myself telling her: make sure you do this differently with Jett, don’t forget to keep track of that, remind him to do this.. Because we just didn’t want to make the same mistakes with him. So we began writing down all of these lessons that we learned so that he would have an easier time with the process than I had. And by the end of it, we had put together a binder with all of this information arranged into categories complete with folders for keeping everything organized. My mom then began sharing my brother’s binder with other parents and found that they were extremely thankful because they didn’t know any of this information either. Most of them thought that the high school counselor was taking care of this. But it turns out that most counselors are extremely busy with other job responsibilities, like standardized testing, interpersonal issues and they really just don’t have the time to work one on one with students, especially early on to help them create that college prep plan and ensure that they are prepared for the application process.

So we decided that there had to be a solution to this problem but we couldn’t find anything out there that was really helping parents and students prepare for the application process without stress, without getting overwhelmed, and without missing out on opportunities. So, we created our ScholarPrep Organizer, which is a comprehensive college planning and organizational system for parents and students. It covers every section that a student will encounter on a college or scholarship application, it provides helpful tips and information, helps you set goals and track everything that you will need when it comes time to actually fill out applications. It also will keep track of all your college application materials, keep them organized into folders so that everything is together in one place.

But after working directly with families, we found that parents and students were needing a little bit more than this organization and tracking system, they needed some help creating a custom college prep plan to ensure that they were doing all of the right things during high school in order to create a competitive application.

So, in order to reach as many students and parents as possible to help reduce the financial burden of higher education on families, we have created this college and scholarship planning essentials course.

Over a series of modules, we will help you put together your specific organizational system that will help you prepare for the application process. We will also provide you with brainstorming activities to identify your student's interests, passions and unique qualities so that they can effectively focus their time during high school, while also having fun. The planning and the preparing doesn’t have to be stressful or boring or overwhelming, it can actually be fun because they will be participating in activities they actually enjoy.

By the end of the course, you and your student will have the inside scoop on how to stand out against the crowd of other applicants and be well on your way to creating impressive applications!

So, let me tell you a little bit more about how the course is organized and what is included and what you can expect:

Within each of the modules will be a series of “lectures”. These lectures will be introduced by a video, just like this. Many of the lectures will also include downloadable checklists, activities, schedules, other resources for you to download, print, to work with interactively on your computer…

To make it a little bit easier, we have included a Downloads Module at the very end, which will include all of those materials and resources in one location. This will allow you to easily find them again if you need to print another copy, rather than having to look through all of the lectures to find the one you need.

If you need help as you are working through the course, or if you experience any technical issues, simply send us an email at [email protected] describing the issue in detail.

If you purchased a package that includes a one-on-one session. We recommend waiting until you have gone through at least the first 4 or 5 modules before scheduling your session. This will ensure that you will receive the most value from your session because we won’t have to go through a lot of the information that is covered in the course. We encourage you to make a list of questions you have as you go through the course. The one-on-one session will be the perfect time to talk through these questions. If you did not purchase the option that included a one-on-one session, but you decide you would like one, simply send us an email and we will help you get that scheduled.

That covers the introduction to the course. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments below or via email at [email protected].

Now I have an assignment for you. Don’t worry, its an easy one this week.

First, introduce yourselves in the comments below. We encourage you to provide the specific information we have listed in the prompt above the comments section, but feel free to add anything you feel is necessary. We want to get to know you and your student and we hope you will also get to know the other parents and students taking the course

Second, if you haven’t already, be sure to join our private Facebook group. This is a great way to get to know each other and one of the best ways to receive additional support through the planning process. The link to join is below.

That’s it! In the next module, we will cover how to create your perfect organizational system. That is a really important module for both you are your student to participate in because the organizational system that works for you may not be the best system for your student. We are going to help you figure out what is the best system and how those can work together for you and your student. So, we will see you then!

Module 1 Assignment:

  1. Please introduce yourselves in the comments below! We encourage you to provide the following information, but feel free to add anything you like.
    1. Parent name(s)
    2. Student name(s)
    3. Student grade(s)
    4. Where you are from
    5. Other fun facts and information, such as your student's hobbies, interests, special talents, dream school, career aspirations, etc…
  2. Join the ScholarPreppers Facebook Group.

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