For some, this has been done since spring, but there’s still time for some scholarship applications!

Are you loving college, but feel like you spend too much time stressed out about paying for it? Well, you may be able to let off some pressure with a focused scholarship search. There are millions of scholarship dollars out there. The trick is just taking the time to find them and apply—it’s definitely an investment worth making.
The Money Tree
If money really did grow on trees, the scholarship tree would be one with a whole lot of branches. Think of it this way: The more branches you shake, the better chance of finding some choice apples. Scholarships—awards of money that do not have to be repaid—can come from a wide range of sources, both locally and nationally, and eligibility can be based on wide range of criteria. You may qualify for an award based on:
• academic merit
• athletic ability
• leadership or service experience
• intended field of study
• intended career
• gender
• minority status
• national or ethnic background
• state of residence
• disability
• employer of a parent of family member
• religious affiliation
Think about the things that make you stand out—they may just qualify you for a scholarship.
Where Does the Money Come From?
From public institutions to private companies to individual donors, scholarship money can come from just about anywhere, and all sources are worth investigating. Consider:
• Colleges – Consult with the financial aid offices at the schools to which you are applying to find out what’s available.
• Federal, state, local governments – For federal money, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-4-FED-AID or online. For links to your state aid agency, click here.
• Private companies – Look particularly at your parents’ workplaces, which may offer special scholarship programs
• Unions and professional organizations
• Lodges and clubs
• Foundations
Top Strategies for Raking in the Dough
So you’re getting an idea of what the scholarship money tree looks like. Now how do you find them? Keep the following strategies in mind, and make use of as many of the online and print resources listed on this page as necessary.
• Start today. Scholarship applications are sometimes due as much as a year before the academic term, so starting early is critical.
• Visit the counselor’s office. You should find plenty of resources there, such as scholarship books and helpful staff members who can point you in the right direction.
• Stay organized and read applications carefully. Track your deadlines, scholarship deadlines and contact information, and keep it all in one place (consider a handwritten table or a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel). Make sure you closely review the application requirements—the fastest way to disqualify yourself is forgetting part of the application.
• Try everything. Utilize more than one of the resources on this page, and consider all the possible sources of money listed above. The more feelers you put out, the better chance of finding success.
• Never pay for scholarship searches. Services that require a fee are less likely to be legitimate. You should be able to find all the scholarship information you need through free services.
More Information
For further background information or to learn more about scholarship scams, visit these helpful sites, as well as the online and print resources on this page:
• Federal Student Aid
• Federal Trade Commission
• National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)


You’re in College Now!

Congratulations! — You’re in College

Take a bow. Give yourself a major pat on the back. They may not hand out diplomas for this one, but you’ve just completed one of the most difficult transitions a person can make in life—the leap from high school to college. Anyone who’s been there knows that this is quite an accomplishment.

The mystery that is college life may not yet be fully revealed, but by now you know its shape, and you know what you need to do to get the most out of your time here. This knowledge will make the road ahead so much easier to navigate.

Before you close the book on this successful passage, let’s take a quick look back at what you’ve learned—and what you should keep in mind at the start of your next term.

Remember — College is a Game of Strategy

Everything you’ve read on this Web site this term—all of the insights, tips and wisdom we’ve shared—is grounded in the same simple ideas.

  • College is a place like no other—it’s not like home, it’s not like school, it’s not like work. Sometimes the differences are obvious—like moving into a small room with two total strangers. Sometimes they are subtle and harder to see—like how a lecture class requires a completely different approach from you than your high school classes did.
  • Success requires strategy. Different students do these things differently, but every successful student’s approach is grounded in the same principles. You’ve learned, for example, that there are strategies to taking exams, to studying calculus and to writing an essay. You’ve managed your time and sought balance between academics, recreation and work. You’ve created strategies for getting along with roommates, for making new friends, for communicating with faculty. Your methods are your own—they suit your style—but they are grounded in what works well, and they represent a strategic, thoughtful process of identifying your needs and creating solutions to problems.
  • Strategy means adjustment. Like most students, you’ve probably developed your strategies through trial and error—identifying what works and what doesn’t and making adjustments. No doubt you’re still doing this. You’re still learning how to study better. You’re still figuring out the best way to get in touch with your professor, or to make the most of your time with your advisor. You’re still working on that balance between fun time and getting to class, and you’re still worrying about procrastination.

All in all, you’re getting the hang of college. Next term will bring new challenges, for sure—but with the connections you’ve made with people (like professors, advisors and tutors) and resources (like the library, the writing center, health services), information and support will be easier to find.

Make a Fresh Start

Yes, you had a successful first term. But if you’re like most students, there are probably at least some areas of your practice that you would like to improve. Starting a new term gives you that opportunity.

  • Rest assured. Take full advantage of your break between semesters or terms. You’ve earned it. Relax as much as possible. Give your body and mind a chance to recuperate and build new energy.
  • Day by day. One of the biggest lessons you’ve learned through your first term experience is that work piles up quickly in college—and none of it is easy. Remember Rule One about effective studying: You need to do it every day. Once the semester or quarter starts up again, avoid falling behind by studying as much as you can—even studying ahead—early in the term.
  • Time for a tune up. If you feel your planning and time management skills aren’t as good as they could be, or procrastination is still an issue, go to your college’s learning assistance center in the first week and connect with someone who can help you create—and stick to—an effective schedule.
  • Make yourself happy. Unhappy about roommates, or troubled by other personal issues? A school break is a great time to make a clean break or start a new process — visit your housing office or counseling or wellness center before things start to get busy again.


Now that you’re pretty well grounded in your college life, it’s time to explore what your school really has to offer. Sure, you’ve been hearing about internships, clubs and study abroad—but do you really know what you need to know to make the most of your college experience? Here are a few things to consider:

  • Don’t be afraid to choose or change a major. Remember, most college students either come to college without an intended major, or change their major at least once during their career. Feeling unsure of your path is normal—you’re exploring professional worlds you don’t yet fully recognize. Plus, many of the first semester courses you’ve taken may have been so broad in their scope that they don’t clearly connect to professional work.
  • Don’t sweat it—but don’t ignore it either. Take a proactive approach to deciding on a major. Talk with everyone—advisors, career services counselors, professors, teaching assistants—and use the information you gather to help you chart the most effective course. And most importantly, remember—your profession is an outgrowth of who you are as a person. You can’t always answer questions about what work you want to do in life until you can answer questions about who your are, what makes you happy and what is important to you as an individual. Begin by focusing on yourself.
  • Reconnect with your resources. Take some time to explore your college’s Web site. Look closely at all of the resources that the school makes available to students. Do this carefully. As you go through, note which resources you’ve already used (and maybe how you could have used them differently), and which ones you haven’t. Make a list of things you didn’t know about familiar resources, and a list of resources you should explore this semester. Then, choose two or three new resources and schedule a time to check them out. You don’t even need to commit to using them; sometimes just finding and seeing a place can help you feel more connected to it.
  • Join in. Did you join an organization last term? If not, now’s the time! If yes, join another! Feeling connected, active and productive outside of class helps you to do better inside of class as well. Everything seems more comfortable and meaningful when you’re involved.

It just keeps getting better. Most students agree that their first term is the most difficult in every possible way. They also agree that each term afterward gets easier and more comfortable. If you’re feeling successful but still a bit uncertain about who and where you are, stay focused. You’ve made a huge transition in life. It may not feel quite complete yet, but it will. There is no teacher like experience.

Division of Student Affairs Undergraduate Leadership Opportunities!

The First Year Experience Department within Student Affairs is searching for 6 peer leaders at Fort Hays State University. Two of those positions are Senior Orientation Assistants that will work Spring 2014. They will work with the FYE Director and Graduate Assistants in Tiger Pre-Enrollment as well as assisting with 2014 Fall Tiger Impact. You can find the application by copying and pasting this link:


The remaining four positions are 2014 Tiger Impact Welcome Coordinators which will be working with the FYE Director and Graduate Assistants to effectively develop and execute 2014 Tiger Impact for the class of 2018!  You can find the application by using this link:


Golden Beginnings First-Year experience

This post is from Cassady Holloway, she is a first-year student from Bonner Springs, Kansas and was a participant in our Golden Beginnings program:

“I attended the Golden Beginnings program during it’s first year, and I had no idea what to expect. Even on the first day, I knew I had chosen the right school and that this experience would start me off on a good foot for school.

So…. Why attend FHSU’s Golden Beginnings program?
– You get to meet new people that you really will remember and talk to when school comes around.
– You get to experience living in the dorms BEFORE any other freshman.
– You get a heads up on the “inside” story as well as what to expect during orientation and the first week of classes.
– The activities planned are really corny, but really fun.
– It’s a chance to be a step ahead and already be involved with the school.” 

Adding, Dropping and Everything in Between

College Success for Moms

Every semester it’s the same for me — I get a bit ambitious. I peruse the boulevard of classes in the schedule trying to play out the “perfect” semester for both me and my family. But even more than that, I try to find a way to go that extra mile when it comes to classes. “I can handle 15 units…maybe even 16 if I just find the right ones.”And some of you may do REALLY, REALLY well (and I commend you), but I am not one of those people! So here is my brief bullet-point list of thoughts when it comes to “Adding, Dropping and Everything in Between”

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How to Start your Semester and College Career Correctly

An Organized Dorm

Ok so I’ve been bad, I haven’t posted on the blog for quite some time now but I have an excuse. I have been at school now for a little over three weeks, and in this time I have been adjusting to my new life, making friends, doing sports, and doing homework. Now these past few weeks have been hectic, and I’m sorry that I haven’t posted until now. So here it is:

These three weeks have taught me a few things about college life. Here are my tips for a great start to college.

1. Keep your items where they are supposed to be. Don’t drop you stuff on your roommates side of the room or intermingle school stuff with food (it will only get gross). Try and make defined spaces for all of your stuff, and if you find that you need more storage while at school…

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