Don’t Let Your Parents Apply to Scholarships For You

Definitely don't let your parents apply to scholarships for you

Flickr user Jose Kevo

You’ve got homework to do, tests to study for, prepping for the ACT/SAT, revising college applications, basketball practice, and a handful of other things to do as well. All in all, being a student can be exhausting. It can be tempting, then, to ask or even let your parents help out with some of the load. Help is great, doing everything for you, however, is not. There’s a reason why you shouldn’t let your parents apply to scholarships for you.

Don’t let your parents help

Even the most well-meaning parents can get a little carried away when it comes to helping their kid. With college costing what it does, earning scholarships can ease the financial strain for parents as well. Therefore, many parents submit applications for scholarship on behalf of their student. But since this is the student’s education and future, it should be the student’s responsibility to take control of the process. If parents fill out everything, the student will be less involved and less independent. The student won’t learn how to find and apply for scholarships themselves. They may even feel more detached from the process and financial aid because they weren’t involved. Your student is close or is an adult at this point; parents shouldn’t be taking over as much at this point, especially when it comes to college. Help and guidance is great, but not controlling the entire process.

For students:

Students, if you need help searching for or applying to scholarships, have your parent(s) sit down beside you and do it together. But you should be the one “in the driver’s seat” so to speak. College is a time of great independence. Your parents won’t be there to nag you to study, or clean your room, or be punctual. That’s all up to you. By filling out your own scholarship applications, you can get a bit of self-disciplined practice in. It’s also not a bad thing to learn how to apply for scholarships and involve yourself more in your financial aid.

For parents:

Parents, don’t apply to scholarships for your child. This is a great opportunity to transition some financial responsibility to your child, all while still being there to guide them. They’ll be (mostly) on their own, soon, and have to learn to stand on their own two feet. If you file out everything for them, you’re just enforcing the training wheels, and not letting them try out an adult bicycle. Let them have some independence and learn to do some things themselves, particularly when it comes to college-related things. That extends past scholarships; help your student file out their FAFSA but don’t take over completely. Let them look over their award letters and help them figure out which school is offering the most aid. There are plenty of ways you can help and guide your student without taking over the process entirely and leaving them with nothing to do.

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