Using a Scholarship Search to Fund a College Education


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Finding ways to raise enough money for college is important, whether you are a high school senior or an adult getting ready to go back to college for more education. The cost of college has never been higher than today, and the high prices are making it more difficult to afford going to college.

Today, most jobs require that you have a college education, and a quality education definitely helps people on the road to success. While you may not have money set aside for college and your parents may not be able to make large contributions, scholarships can help you get the money you need for college. There are literally thousands of scholarships out there and it may be quite daunting to know where to begin. Using a scholarships search can help you sift through the available scholarships to find those that are applicable to you.

Get Started Early

One of the most important things to remember when you are doing a scholarship search is that you should start as early as possible. If you wait until the last minute, the number of scholarships available will be much more limited and you will miss out on some great opportunities. Starting the summer before you senior year or the first semester can help you have the time you need to find quality scholarships. Many scholarships require a great deal of paperwork, and some even require that you write essays for them as well, so you want to be sure that you have plenty of time to complete them without rushing.

Online Searches

One of the best places to do a scholarship search is on the internet. A variety of great sites are available that can help you find scholarships, and they make it very easy for you to find them. Some sites allow you to fill out your personal information and then they match you up with scholarships that you are eligible for. While you may only have a few matches to begin with, most of these sites will email you when a new scholarship comes available of they find another scholarship that you may be interested in. If you are not able to search online, then check with your school guidance counselors to see if they can help you to do a scholarship search. Often, these counselors are familiar with and have access to a variety of different scholarship opportunities.

Important Information

When you are doing a scholarship search it is important that you include as much information about yourself as possible. Many of the scholarships are actually only available to those who meet a specific set of requirements. Some may require that you are a male, or some scholarships may require that you are part Indian or part Hispanic in order to be eligible. Other scholarships require that you have at least a “B” average in school or some may require that you are majoring in a science field. When you include your personal information, such as your race, gender, average grades, and intended field of study, you can be better matched to scholarships.

Instead of worrying about how college will be affordable for you, do something about it and start a scholarship search. With so many scholarships out there, no doubt you will be able to win enough money to help you out with college. When you use a scholarship search, it will be quick and easy to find the scholarships available to you so you can have the money you need for a great education.

8 Parental Causes for Denial of Special Education FAPE for Children With Disabilities!

Are you the parent of a child with a disability receiving special education services? Have you been fighting for your child to receive an appropriate education but are afraid that you are losing the battle. This article will be addressing the definition of FAPE as well as 8 parental reasons that may be contributing to your child not receiving a free appropriate public education.

Definition of FAPE

In a US Court of Appeals Case in the Third Circuit N.R. vs. Kingwood Township FAPE is defined as: a satisfactory IEP must provide significant learning and confer meaningful benefit. The definition of FAPE in IDEA 2004 states that FAPE means related and special education services that are free to the parent, and meet the standards of the State Educational Agency. Recently, many states have passed National Core Educational Standards to make the standards more uniform from state to state.

Possible Parental Causes

1. Some parents may not educate themselves about all of the federal and state laws that they can use to advocate for their child. These laws are: IDEA 2004, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, ADAAA, etc. It is critical that parents read books, and attend conferences to educate themselves.

2. Parents may be unwilling to confront or stand up to special education personnel who are refusing to provide FAPE to their child. This may be due to parents upbringing of not confronting authorities or educators

3. Schools have low expectations of what a child can learn in academic and functional areas. Parents must stand up to low expectations by some special education personnel, to the benefit of their child.

4. Not making sure that their child is held to the same educational standards as children without disabilities. If children do not learn academics and functional areas they could be hindered in their adult life.

5. Some parents may not learn appropriate remediation that their child needs to help them in their education.

6. Some parents may be unwilling to file a state complaint, 504 complaint, or file for a due process. As an advocate for over 20 years I have seen many school personnel draw a line in the sand, and absolutely refuse to listen to any parental input on services that their child needs. This situation requires going outside of the school district in the filing of complaints or due process, in a timely manner.

7. Some parents may accept lack of FAPE year after year without doing anything about it, even trying to find private services (and asking for school reimbursement). I recently read about a family in San Francisco that fought their school by filing for a due process hearing when the school district refused to provide their 3 year old child with Autism Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services, even though independent evaluators stated that the child needed this service. The parents did not wait year after year to let their child fail, they filed immediately. The family won after a 7 month fight, and was reimbursed for the private ABA services, that was given to their child.

8. Parents often approach school districts asking for the best services for their child. IDEA 2004 does not require that schools offer the best, but just related and special education services that are appropriate to meet the child’s educational needs.

How can parents turn this around? By educating themselves about special education law and research based remediation for their child. They also must be assertively persistent in their advocacy, for as long as it takes for their child to receive an appropriate education. Going outside the school district the first time they deny your child FAPE sends a message that you will not tolerate the civil rights violations to your child. Parents have a tough job, but if they work hard and advocate hard their child can receive an appropriate education.

The Definition of Autism – How Will Possible Changes Affect Special Education Services?

There has been much talk about the potential changes to the Autism Diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) when the updated, fifth version is published (the projected date of publication is May of 2013). One of the expected changes is to combine several disorders including, Autism,Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) into one category called Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although this change concerns some people, most people in the fields of medicine, community services and education already lump these diagnoses together.

The major concern is over the potential changes to the specific criteria that people will have to meet to receive the official diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In the current manual, a person can qualify for the diagnosis by exhibiting six or more of 12 specified behaviors. The proposed changes to the criteria narrow the field; a person would have to exhibit three or more deficits in social interaction and communication and exhibit at least two repetitive behaviors. The fear is that this will leave out a large group of people who are considered high functioning (including a huge portion of children with the current diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS). Currently, scientific, trial testing of the new criteria is under way and this data will be used to make final recommendations.

Although changes to the diagnosis will likely affect service delivery in the medical field and the community services field they are not projected to make significant changes in the education field because qualification for special education is not based on a particular diagnosis but on educational needs. Currently the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines the educational category of Autism as “a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.” Each state has their own interpretation of this law so it is worthwhile to search for your state’s educational definition of Autism.

Some people fear that a change to the official DSM diagnosis will give school districts a way to stop or decrease services for certain students who currently qualify for services. If schools attempt to do this, many experts believe that children who are on the higher functioning end of the Autism spectrum may still qualify for special education under the category of Other Health Impaired. It is also important to note that a school district cannot discontinue providing a service such as Speech Therapy or Occupational Therapy unless the child exhibits significant improvement and there is no longer a need for remediation in that area.