Ten Tips to Sabotage Your Child’s College Scholarship Application

Ten Tips to Sabotage Your Child's College Scholarship Application - picture of arrow sign with College label

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Are you dreading the day that your kids leave home for college? Would you prefer that they live in your basement for eternity? When they’re looking for ways to help pay for their college education, make sure to give them some sage advice for ensuring college scholarship success. Here are some scholarship tips that can help your kids live at home until they’re at least 30:

1. Send out the exact same things with every application, regardless of the guidelines.  Completely ignore all of the instructions.  Trust me all college scholarships are the exact same anyway.

2. Make up things and embellish your scholarship essay as much as possible. The selection committees will love your creativity. It may take them a while to follow your story, but that’s fine.  They’ve got time.

3. Let your little brother fill out all of your college scholarship applications.  He knows all of his letters and quite a few words, right?  Put him to work.

4. Ignore all application deadlines.  Sending your scholarship application in at your leisure will let the deciding committee know that you’re an individual and a free-thinker.  Let them know who is boss.

5. Write as much as possible on the college scholarship essay portion. Trust me, more is always better.

6. Rely on spell check for all of your proofreading needs. That’s why it’s there, right?  Don’t bother going the extra mile to make sure that your application doesn’t have any errors.

7. Spend as little time as possible finding money for college.  It’s tedious, after all, and you probably have better things to do anyway.  Instead of researching scholarships and their requirements, check in with friends on Facebook or take some extra time to relax.  You deserve it.

8. Don’t worry about keeping up your grades until you graduate. After all, many highly intelligent people can’t manage to get good grades.  Some people are so smart that they just don’t test well.  If you want, you can be one of them.

9. Avoid mention of your community service work, special skills and awards that you’ve won. It’s really not that important.

10. If you need a letters of recommendation for your college scholarship, don’t ask your teachers or your coaches. Just have your mom write it.  After all, who can possibly know you better than your mother?

Once you’ve given your college hopefuls all of these handy tips, don’t forget to hide your financial information so they can’t properly fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.  If your kids aren’t able to get any scholarships, they’ll surely have to live with you for a long, long time.

Nicole is an independent writer for CollegeAnswer.com.  College Answer offers information on saving, planning and paying for

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  1. Fantastic tips for over protective parents! I think that should definitely keep the kids in the home til age 30, maybe even a little longer. 🙂

  2. I think the last fact about the FAFSA is soooo important. I remember when I was applying, some colleges didn’t calculate scholarship packages until after they had received a copy of your FAFSA, yet Declaration Day was very close to tax time. So I was running up a deadline where I needed to declare which college I was going to, but some were waiting on paperwork from my parents before telling me how much money they would give me. (And considering how important the funding was to the decision process… it made a big difference!)

    Anyhow, if my parents had done their taxes in, say, February that year it would have been WAAAAY less stressful. =)

  3. Funny :-). Seriously, though, very good tips pointing out what NOT to do. So many kids don’t understand the importance of filling out applications thoroughly and precisely, and it ruins their chances of getting in to a college they want to attend. Great way to light-heartedly point out unacceptable errors.

  4. I may be in the minority, but I looked forward to the day my children left for college! I think you bring up children to prepare them for the day they leave. Children should leave the nest! It is the parent’s responsibility to prepare their children for that day. Good

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