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Free College Can Happen To You

Free College Can Happen To You

By Jean Burk Author of
College Prep Genius:
The No Brainer Way to SAT Success

Full Scholarship — two words that could change your life. Getting free college can be like winning the lottery. Imagine throwing away several trash bags full of college scholarships that come in the mail. That is what happened to us. For some families, getting just one scholarship offer could make the difference between attending junior college or the university of your choice. Just because you've homeschooled, doesn't mean that you have to be out of the loop when it comes to finding scholarship opportunities.

Here are five successful secrets to scholarships and free college that even many public and private schools students are not aware of:

Five Secrets to Scholarships

  1. Realize that full scholarships can be obtained by students who receive certain scores on their PSAT/NMSQT or SAT tests. You can have colleges begging you to enroll and who will gladly pay your way. There are usually several full-rides available in each department of most colleges and they love to give them to kids with good test scores.
  2. Understand that the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT tests are tests of logic. They are not about exclusive knowledge or curriculum only learned at public or private schools. Many smart kids (from all academic backgrounds) do poorly on these tests because they don't understand the test or how to look at the questions logically.
  3. Discover that succeeding on these tests can be just a matter of learning the test-taking techniques and recurring patterns found on these standardized tests. The questions very often point you to the answers and students can learn to answer them quickly once they discover the secret methods that many other successful test-takers have used.
  4. Create a successful game plan. After learning the secret strategies of decoding these tests, incorporate this information into your homeschooling. Spend twenty minutes a day or an hour or two a week practicing these techniques on actual tests from the College Board. This will also keep students from cramming at test time.
  5. Prepare your freshman and sophomore to take the PSAT/NMSQT for practice in October and definitely take it in their junior year. This is when it counts for all the big scholarship money. Students should take the real SAT test when their practice scores are above 1500 (the national average) or if they are a senior. The SAT is offered seven times a year and there is no penalty for taking it many times. Colleges usually drop the lowest scores (they don't average them) and some schools will even take the highest score from each section from different tests.

The home education decision is a life-changing experience and when homeschoolers get high-test scores resulting in incredible scholarship offers, it speaks for itself. For us, the sacrifice was more than worth it. Besides, we got free college and so can you.

Meet Jean Burk

About Author Jean Burk

Jean Burk is the author of "College Prep Genius: The No Brainer Way to SAT Success." She has written numerous articles about the SAT and PSAT/NMSQT. She has been featured as an SAT expert on Good Day Dallas (Fox 4) and KXAS (NBC 5). She currently travels and speaks about the importance of college preparation, and teaches her "Master the SAT" Prep Class all over Texas.

Both her children received incredible scholarships because of their PSAT and SAT scores. Her teaching DVD will be released in the Spring of 2008, as well as the first edition of the brand new VocabCafé Book Series intended to help teenagers and younger children increase their knowledge of vocabulary words.

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