This week, Maggie sits down with college admissions consultant and founder of the Scholarship Shark, Pam Andrews.
If you, or your kid, wants to go to college someday, but you don’t want to end up in a pile of debt, there are other options. Maggie chatted with Pam Andrews of The Scholarship Shark about the resources you should consider.
Pam Andrews is a College Admissions Coach and Scholarship Strategist. Pam helps high school students get into their dream college and secure scholarships that will pay for it. She has earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University and a certificate in College Advising from Columbia University Teacher’s College.
Pam has been married for over twenty-three years and is a homeschool mother to four children ranging from elementary school to college. In addition to being a homeschool mother who is active in her local support group, Pam is also a board member of the Parents’ Association for Ringling College of Art and Design.
Pam is known for helping her son win over $700,000 in scholarship money that pays for his undergraduate and graduate school. More importantly, she has helped her clients win over $1,000,000 in scholarships. Because of her success, Pam is often asked, “How do you do it?” To answer this question she launched, The Scholarship Shark, a coaching company that offers parents and students a road map to maximizing their efforts to getting into college as well as finding and winning scholarship money.
To learn more about Maggie and her coaching and speaking services, visit www.maggiegermano.com.
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Maggie Germano 0:05 \ Welcome to the money circle podcast, a safe space where women can learn about and better understand money so that they can take control of their finances and create a better financial future for themselves and their families.
Hey there, and thanks for listening. I’m your host Maggie Germano, and today I’m talking to Pam Andrews, who is a college admissions consultant and the founder of the scholarship shark. I sat down with Pam to talk about how she helps students and their families go through the college admissions process and find resources to make college more affordable. We talked about the scholarship and grant opportunities that are out there and who students should be talking to in order to find all the help they can get. If you’re a student, or if you’re raising a future student, this episode is for you. Okay, welcome, Pam, thank you so much for being here today.
Pam Andrews 0:56 \ Thank you for having me, Maggie. I’m excited.
Maggie Germano 0:58 \ Me too. I think this is a really an important topic. So why don’t you just start off by telling us who you are and what you do?
Pam Andrews 1:05 \ Absolutely. So I’m Pam Andrews, and my business is the scholarship shark. I’m a college admissions consultant. So I work with families, ideally in the 10th grade. Sometimes they come in the 11th, sometimes the 12th, the beginning of the 12, but help them with the entire college admissions process to help them not only get into school, but to find and win scholarships to pay for it as well. So focusing not on just getting in, but the money parts really important.
Maggie Germano 1:35 \ Yeah, the money part. It’s a big piece of going to college. So that’s really great. And how did you get into this work?
Pam Andrews 1:42 \ Yeah. So a long time ago, years ago, I got into it right out of school, working with community based organizations just volunteering. I was working for a student lender about three years after I graduated from college. Directing I directed the startup of the operations department. So I saw on the front end with student lenders looked like, and just made a commitment that personally, even though I was working in the industry, you know, for a lender, that I definitely did not want my personal kids borrowing a lot of money, and I would help as many kids as I could. So that’s when I got started years ago. And that was about 25 ish, maybe 30 years ago, actually. And I’m dating myself now. But uh, and then got back into it. About four years ago, about two years before my son, my oldest, was scheduled to go to college, I thought, you know, let me get back into the industry to help him with college planning. And so been in it for about four, maybe five, five years now.
Maggie Germano 2:42 \ that’s great. So it sounds like you were interested in it from being on the other side of it with, you know, being on the lending side, but still maintaining that interest from being on the other side and having your own kid going into school.
Pam Andrews 2:57 \ Absolutely. I think I paid Meaning just in my heart was with helping students understand that debt does not have to be a default and not start there. Start with other ways. I mean, if you have to fill in the gap, you know, just think short term, maybe one semester, what can you do that next semester next year, but not just say, Okay, I’m just going to borrow all this money. So I was always, always committed to that right out of college all the way through. So
Maggie Germano 3:24 \ Oh, yeah, I love that. And, and that’s so important, because I know that when I was going to college, it didn’t really occur to me not to just take out the loans. I mean, there were a couple small scholarships that I call it a qualified for, but it just seemed like that was what you did. You just got your student loans. And that was what you do.
Pam Andrews 3:43 \ Same here. I mean, I graduated with student loan debt. Same here. I got a few in high school. I don’t know how I got them. I think the guidance counselor, I don’t know felt like she put my name in a hat or I just remember getting my diploma and they read off a few and I was like, oh, okay, and I got some checks. They wrote paper checks in an envelope. And that was it. And I never thought, you know, let’s apply for scholarships. It was never at top of mind at all. So I’m with you.
Maggie Germano 4:10 \ And so So tell me about like the you mentioned you mainly work with kids that are when they’re in 10th grade, but tell me more about who you’re working with and what you kind of do for them.
Pam Andrews 4:21 \ Sure, absolutely. So I work with the families because it is a family decision. I work one on one with the student for a couple of reasons. I want them to understand the process the terminology, what’s involved I find when students have some skin in the game, they actually do better. You know, they not only get in school do well in school, they get their scholarships, but they maintain their scholarships because they know what went into it. So mom wasn’t doing all the work, you know, running around. So you know, really is a family, a family team, you know, work with the entire family. So one on one with the student but then also supporting the parents. So the meetings, the you know, the meetings with the students, there are some parents, I call them Parent University, we do that once a month, just kind of updating them on what I call now. And next. This is what we’re working on now. And this is what we’re doing next, just so they understand that the work is with the student. And it depends on the frequency 10th grade is not as much 11th grades a little bit more in senior year, especially in the beginning, it’s a whole lot.
Maggie Germano 5:24 \ That makes a lot of sense. And I love that you put so much of a priority on working with the student directly while still looping in the family. Because, I mean, I’ve heard countless people say, Oh, I don’t know, like my parents just took out these loans for me. And they were like completely separate from the process. But then they’re the ones who have to pay it back at the end of school. Right. So I love that you’re really putting a lot of the focus and responsibility on the students so that they understand what they’re doing while still having that guidance and involvement of a parent.
Pam Andrews 5:55 \ Absolutely. And I think it just comes from being a mom. I mean, I have a college kid. I have two high school. Students at high school senior high school junior and I have a little an elementary school ninth grader. I mean, a nine year old, I’m sorry, a fourth grader. And I know, you know, when I enroll them in something, I want them to do the work. So I don’t want to do it, I have to do it. I can just do it. So I want them to do the work and to you know, and just kind of update me I’m okay with that. But no, it’s it’s on you Magoo. I tell them that all the time. It’s up to you to do it. So, yeah,
Maggie Germano 6:26 \ that’s great. And it really, I’m sure that that is empowering for the student to that they’re, they really understand the decisions they’re making around financing college and all that. I agree.
Pam Andrews 6:38 \ And, and, and also to because because I come alongside the parent, a lot of times what happens is I say what you would say anyway, because I’m developing a relationship and believe it or not, because I’ve got these people in my life, you know, for my kids, and so sometimes they won’t listen to us as mom but they’ll listen to someone else’s like mom, you You’ll never believe what Mrs. Jones says and I’m like really?
So how are you get it? I really don’t care. I just want you to get the information and so so I that’s another reason why you know I and I love working with young people so I absolutely love it.
Maggie Germano 7:14 \ Oh, that’s great and and I definitely hear you with even just being a financial coach myself. I might be saying the same things that a parent or a spouse would have already said but there’s it’s a less emotionally charged coming from me because I don’t have the same stake in the game as their family might. So yeah, it sounds like it’s the same for you.
Pam Andrews 7:32 \ Yes.
Maggie Germano 7:35 \ Um, so sounds like obviously, you’ve been working in this field for a really long time and you have your own business with this. So what is like the number one thing you wish students and their families understood about preparing for college?
Pam Andrews 7:52 \ I really wish they understood that.. So, let me back up a bit. So there are Like close to 4000 colleges and universities throughout the US. And I really wish they understood that there really is a good fit. And if they thought a little bit broader, so a lot of times students will land on a school demo here, I have to go there because maybe they saw it in a ranking, you know, and, you know, read about it, heard about it, watch the game on television. But I really wish they understood and look bigger in terms of social fit, academic fit, financial fit, which is really important, personal fit and had conversations as a family, you know, what’s, what’s important to mom and dad as well. So I just really wish they would understand that and it’s kind of two part and then they would plan towards that a little bit sooner. Because planning in advance makes all the difference. You’ve got time on your side, and you’d probably see that you know, with in personal finance, I mean, if you’re planning to retire, maybe say for a home or get out of debt or whatever, you know, the more time you have to work towards your financial goals, the better you’re going to be at them. Same with college. You know, it’s not that it’s not doable when a student shows up senior year, you know, but it’s so much easier when they’re thinking about it. And families are intentional, and they’re talking about it and working towards it, you know, continually. So
Maggie Germano 9:17 \ that makes a lot of sense. I like both of those points that you made both that, you know, there are there is a good fit out there. It doesn’t have to be just this one place you’ve always thought about for your whole life or that a family member has thought about their whole life. And then also your point around the earlier the better in terms of thinking and planning.
Pam Andrews 9:34 \ Absolutely.
Maggie Germano 9:35 \ Yeah. And so we already started touching on this with regards to student loans and how it’s like, you know, you a lot of us think that that’s really the only option for financing higher education, especially if you don’t come from wealth where it can just be paid in cash. But so it sounds like that’s not actually the case. So can you tell us a little bit about what some of those other options areout there?
Pam Andrews 9:59 \ Sure. Sure, so, excuse me, of course, you know, it depends on the time, but families can save for it, you know, so you have your 529. So, you know, educational savings accounts, and grandparents can make contributions. And, you know, that’s always a, you know, those are great options. And I always point people back to people like you to, you know, work with your financial people to help you plan for that budget for it and, and really get in that habit. And then, of course, students can work, whether it’s a little bit, you know, during the summer, and save towards their upcoming semester, upcoming school year, or it’s a little bit after school, but I, you know, they can do that. And then there are grants, I’ll talk about the free money. So there are grants, and then there are scholarships, and I’ll end on scholarships. So grants, grants, free money that’s based on need, and I always tell families, a lot of times families will say, Oh, well, we don’t qualify. So need is, it’s subjective. It depends on not just what you earned and sometimes your assets depending on the form and what school you’re going to. But it can also another factor is the cost of attendance. So if your need is I’m just going to use easy number. So let’s say you need $10,000 a year based on the FAFSA 10,000 in the school you’re going to is 20,000. Well, now that you know, there’s like a $10,000 gap, but if the school was 50,000, then there’s a 40. So, you know, it can be more depending upon the cost of attendance. And that was kind of a very crude, rough example. You know. So I always tell families don’t think you may not qualify, you know, for some need based aid at maybe the institutional level state level, maybe not federal level, but so that’s the free money grants. And then there’s the scholarships, which I absolutely love, love scholarships, for all kinds of reasons. Again, because it’s free money, students can do something to earn them. Again, have some skin in the game, work towards them. And the thing with scholarships, you’re not just it’s not just a Senior year, you know, Oh, I didn’t do it in my senior. That’s it. No, you can apply for scholarships all the way through your entire undergraduate career. There are also scholarships for graduate school students. So this is something you can do often, often often. And you can also do it early on, there are some scholarships for students as young as 13 years old, where they’re actually saving it and you know, you’ll get it when you graduate, you identify your school. So there’s money free money available, and it’s free in terms of you don’t have to pay it back. You do have to do something to get it, which is important for students to understand.
Maggie Germano 12:33 \ That’s so helpful. And yeah, and I guess I even I’ve never fully understood the difference between a grant versus a scholarship. And so you made that very clear of like, the scholarship side is like you have to earn that in some way. You do have to do something for it. Correct?
Pam Andrews 12:48 \ Correct.
Maggie Germano 12:48 \ Yeah. And I love how you were saying that, you know, it’s not a matter of just applying once and getting it and that’s it. You can apply for it. I didn’t even realize you could apply for it as early as like Middle School.
Pam Andrews 13:00 \ Oh, absolutely, absolutely. And then different phases of even your college career. I mean, there are scholarships just for study abroad experiences. Because Because not every school will you know, if you want to do a study abroad, maybe for it during the summer, or even during a semester, there may be additional expenses that are not covered with your tuition and your room and board or there may be a remembered increase or whatever. So there are just study abroad scholarships. So there are all kinds of scholarships for all kinds of students, not just students with perfect test scores and perfect GPAs you know, or student athletes, but just win. I mean, there’s so many scholarships for so many students, different types of students, and that’s very encouraging because it lets students know that okay, I can do this, you know, because I think when we know we can do it, then we put the energy behind doing it, you know, everything else kind of falls in line, that motivation, that energy that drive. So that’s another really important point when it comes to scholarships.
Maggie Germano 13:57 \ Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree with that. And Where are some of the places that people can find these scholarships? Because I feel like that’s another piece of it’s like, Where do I Where do I even start? Where do I even look?
Pam Andrews 14:08 \ You? Sure. So I’ll give you a couple. I will start with like, right in our own backyard and then go a little bit wider. So for high school students, definitely check with your high school guidance counselor. And I know it sounds so basic, but you’d be surprised sometimes students only meet with their guidance counselor for, you know, to make their core schedule in the spring for the upcoming school year, or if there’s a problem of some sort. And many students do not realize that their guidance counselor’s have access to scholarships, mostly local scholarships. And here’s why. Let’s say if I own a shoe store, and or a dental practice or my pediatrician or whatever, if I have a local business, a lot of local businesses give back to the community through scholarships, so they’ll write it off. It’s no biggie important is that education is important to them. And you know, they want to give, you know, a scholarship to a local student or a few students, you know, right An Essay of some sort. The best way to get the word out about that scholarship is through their local high schools. And so they will contact that high school guidance counselor directly. And, you know, and trust them to get that word out. And so what students should do when they meet with their guidance counselor, they want to ask a few things. Where do you keep the scholarships? Sometimes they’re online. Sometimes they’re in a binder, I’ve seen binders with three hole punches and clear sleeves. I’ve seen bulletin boards when I visit high schools, if I’m speaking at a school, I always want to go I asked them to like Hey, where are your scholarships? Because I’m always curious. So I’ve seen them on bulletin boards and then they’ll have like little banners with who’s gone where in the past you know, some schools do different things. I’ve seen old fashioned the three drawer filing cabinets or five drawer you know, those old metal like who has those anymore, right. So I’ve seen that as well. And so, but unless you know, then you won’t know where to look at some some guidance counselor. will email students and that’s what I see a lot with my clients I say, Oh yeah, my guidance counselor emails of scholarships. Some of them really don’t have a clear, easy system. It’s in a pile. So it’s important to talk to your guidance counselor to find out where do you keep them? That’s really important. And and I always tell not just for seniors, but underclassmen, do this your freshman year in high school, find out where are they? And a nice, I don’t know, I don’t say fun activity, but maybe necessary. If you’ve got time. Again, if you’re in the ninth and 10th and even the 11th grade, find out what are some of those scholarships that are going to come around next year? Get a copy. Now this is like a like a little secret tip, okay for your listeners. But go ahead and get a copy of it asking, Hey, can I photocopy it or write down that information? What questions are they asking because I’m going to tell you most of the time, because I see a lot of national scholarships over and over. They don’t rewrite the questions or the eligibility requirements. If they recycle or repurpose. It’s the same thing over and over. If you’re a small business, you’re not going to be creative and come up with a new question, you’re going to ask the same question like, you know, what do you want to major in? And why? Or why do you need this money or whatever it is, you know, if it’s sneakers, if you could design the perfect sneaker, what would it be? Who knows? They come up with all kinds of questions. But if you know that, then maybe in summer or maybe during breaks, or just sometime prior to senior year, you’re thinking about that question. And just keep it in a little journal, or on your computer in a Google Doc, you know, so it’s in the cloud, you don’t lose it, but begin thinking about it. So that’s one really good way and begin to build that list. Because senior year is so overwhelming with exams and friends and your goodbyes and prom and you know, all kinds of stuff, football games and all that, you know, your last fun stuff. But you’ve already been thinking about it and been working towards it. And you’ll be one step ahead of the game, if you do that. So that was local. That was like a really long response.
Maggie Germano 17:56 \ No, that was really great. I love those tips are awesome. Yeah,
Pam Andrews 17:59 \ yeah. And then national, I’ll give you a couple of websites. So fast web, fa s t web fastweb.com is a national resources, databases, database. And students complete like a quick profile. And I tell them try to be as accurate as you can. Because it’ll do a sort based on maybe what you think you want to major in some of your activities and some things you’re interested in. So we’ll sort some of that in terms of, you know, give you some some of those scholarships. scholarships.com also scholarships with an S calm is another one of those resources. So those are databases. So you do have to provide some of your information up front. And you will start to get marketed to, you know, just I wanted to let students know about that. So you’ll get college information, not just some random marketing, but you know, basically if you’re interested in engineering or maybe nursing, you’ll start to see nursing schools and nursing programs. popping your you know, in your your snail mailbox. So just know that you know you will get that. So you’ll you’ll see that kind of mail. So you know you have that those matching databases and then there are other sites that I really like like unico you and I geo comm where you can then they list scholarships, and you can begin to sort look by date, I always think it’s good to start with the one that’s coming up first, you know, and then work on the rest of them by date. So that’s a great one. Another one I think students often overlook, and that’s the College Board. So the college board.org has a scholarship website. And typically students are on the College Board for one of two reasons for their AP exams, or for the LSAT that they overlook the little scholarship link and even when I tell my students that, you know, we’re going through it, and they’re looking for scholarships, and I didn’t know that was there, and I’m like you’re here all the time registering for the PSAT or checking your scores. And you never notice that word scholarships. So that’s another great place to search for scholarships, as well. So just a few places to get your listeners going.
Maggie Germano 20:10 \ I know those are wonderful. And I’ll definitely link to all those on the show notes too. So people have easy access. How about with grants? Are there specific places like central places for people to find those?
Pam Andrews 20:21 \ Yes, so with grants, so there are federal grants that are need based, so that would be driven off of the FAFSA. So that would be the Pell Grant. It’s probably the largest, but there are state grants. So one of the best places and I’ll send you the link for this, well, I’ll send you the link, but because it’s a pretty long link, or that you can type in your state, and you know, plus, you know, grants, you know, maybe for college, something like that to look for grants at your state level. And a lot of times what I like about those especially even state scholarships, you typically just have to fill out the application once and then depend Getting up on your major where you’re going to school. For instance, if you’re going I know in our state if you’re one of our colleges is big on education, so if you know you’re going to major in education, you know, once you put that in, it then pops up and says, you know, you’re eligible for this. So that’s a really nice place to begin to look as well. And those typically happen in your senior year.
Maggie Germano 21:23 \ Okay, that’s great. Now, that’s so helpful, because I know for me, I wouldn’t have necessarily known where to look. And so having these places of starting point, I’m sure, it’s very helpful.
Pam Andrews 21:33 \ And the school is so great to one students, you know, know where they’re going in the fall, talk to your financial aid, I mean, begin to develop that relationship with your financial aid officer and see if there are any institutional grants that are based on need as well.
Maggie Germano 21:50 \ That’s great. Yeah, I think having those those relationships is really important too. I know. When I was in school, I did a summer program in DC before I leave live down here. And I found out about a scholarship through one of my professors who like really wanted me to go through this program and help me get that scholarship. So there you go.
Pam Andrews 22:10 \ Yeah.
Maggie Germano 22:12 \ And so you briefly mentioned 529 accounts earlier when thinking about you know how to plan ahead and save. Can you talk a little bit more about what a 529 is? And if there are other savings vehicles for people to plan ahead for saving for college?
Pam Andrews 22:29 \ Yes. So I always I know to stay in my lane. So I know what they are just in general. But I always refer I tell people to talk to your financial advisor, your financial planner. And it’s terrible because I know we have them for our kids. And that’s about all I know, but I know that they that they provide opportunities for families to save for educational related expenses for school, so yes, I’m here. I am not good at that.
Maggie Germano 22:58 \ No, no, that’s totally fine. Yeah. And I can add to that, too. So yeah, so it’s basically an investment account that is tax free. So you’re not any gains you’re making off of that you’re not going to have to pay taxes on because it is a non taxable investment vehicle specifically for college savings or trade school and those sorts of things for your kids. So they’re helpful.
Pam Andrews 23:24 \ Yeah, and this is why you need a whole team of people now because everybody knows, like, I know what I know. I know and what I don’t know, I’m like, Okay, let me see what state are you and I’m gonna refer you to this person. So,
Maggie Germano 23:35 \ yeah, exactly. It’s gonna be different in different states. And yeah, everything’s a little bit different. So you’re totally right with that. So as we’re recording this, we’re in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis. And, you know, the economy is a little bit uncertain and everybody’s kind of freaking out and unprecedented time at the moment. And so do you have any thoughts on how this This current situation could possibly affect people’s ability to be planning ahead and saving head for their kids going to college or, you know, having those scholarships and grants and resources for their kids moving forward.
Pam Andrews 24:14 \ Yes, absolutely. So one thing I just want to say, and I’ve been telling my family’s we’re going to get over this, we’ll get through this together. You know, it’s not, it’s not going to be here forever. And it’s important that families continue to plan, continue to think ahead, because it’s going to be behind us and what you do now really will determine where your student ends up in the future and kind of so whatever you do, you know, just keep planning, you know, but with that said, some things have changed. So campuses have closed many campuses, not all, but many have closed and have gone to online learning and even for my son whose school is he was scheduled to graduate this May this year and from college and he doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I mean, he I just picked them up yesterday. He’s so he’s home now. And but even with him, I say keep college planning. I mean career planning, I’m sorry, you still continue to reach out to your LinkedIn networks, a couple of places where he had applied, you know, they sent emails out there scaling back and recruiting and things like that. I said, that’s fine. You’ve got time now, you know, because your online class is only going to be so small. So with students who are home with family still trying to figure it out, keep planning what it looks like, practically. So you may not have the traditional campus visit that you normally do. That’s okay. You can go online. A lot of schools have a lot of videos online. One of my favorite platforms is u campus y o u. Let me see is it you want to say as you campus you visit, I’m sorry, you visit. You visit that calm so it’s y o u? b is it calm? And you can do a college search there and they’ve got great videos, and it’s The 360 experience where you can slide the mouse around and you know, kind of walk down the courtyard and the grassy thingy. And they have a little person that pops up who’s like, Hi, I’m so and so and I’m, you know, majoring in whatever and they kind of walk you through the campus. So that’s a, that’s a workaround, but I say even do that in your ninth and 10th and 11th grade anyway, just to kind of warm the student up. So that’s what it looks like testing is also impacted. The College Board has been very gracious in terms of you know, a lot of testing centers have closed, a lot of cancellations. So, at this point, you know, family should just keep going back to the College Board. org, they’re updating if they’re offering additional tests when they’re going to happen, or if you should just take a future test. So that’s probably another big thing. And that’s both with the AP exam, as well as any essay T and the AC T is well on their website at ac t.org. But what I’m finding And this is the fun thing. I’m finding the scholarship judges because a lot of this stuff happens online, you’re hitting submit, you know, online, and their their deadlines of not finding deadlines are shifting at all. And so I, you know, my students are still working on their scholarship applications. I’m still reading essays, I’m still providing feedback. And all right, give me that next draft. And I’m telling them you’ve got all this time at home. I know you’re at home, so. So I would still at the deadline says what it says still trust that deadline in terms of scholarships. I don’t think they’re going to shift that much. Because I think they’re anticipating, you know, we need to tell our donors that we’ve cut these checks by this date, this money is going out for the students in the fall. So they’re I it looks like they’re still maintaining their timeline in terms of deadlines, and awarding money and processing and all of that. So yeah,
Maggie Germano 27:52 \ yeah, no, that’s helpful. And so it sounds like the main takeaway is just continue as if things will be Going back to normal eventually keep planning keep submitting your application time.
Pam Andrews 28:05 \ Yes, yeah, just keep moving forward. That’s kind of all you can do. Right. Right. Exactly. And I think it helps students, you know, because when things are out of control, at least me anyway, you know, I think when you, whatever you can control, whatever you can do keep doing that. I mean, certain things we can’t control, but you can determine you can control whether or not you write an essay, or you decide to, you know, kind of go through your list of schools that you’re considering and look at their videos. You know, you can do that and that you feel that sense of accomplishment, like I’m working towards something, so do what you can do.
Maggie Germano 28:39 \ That’s really good advice, because I think you’re absolutely right, that, you know, especially when we’re in a situation where things feel out of control, it can be grounding, to feel like you’ve done something. Yes, I agree with that for sure. So is there anything else you want to make sure that listeners take away both just for themselves for future planning for their children or for The students themselves.
Pam Andrews 29:01 \ Yeah. So I know I, you know, I said, and I always say it because I think it’s important for families to know in here, you know, early is always better. But I do want to encourage families that it’s never too late, you know that you may think, Oh, it’s too late, I didn’t do whatever you may not have, but just start where right where you are, and, you know, move forward. So it’s, like I said, there are scholarships for students at the end of their senior year and this summer, going into fall and, you know, once you hit campus, so just keep applying, and, you know, it’s never too late.
Maggie Germano 29:35 \ I love that. And I’m sure that that is really helpful for people to hear too, because, I mean, I hear that a lot for personal finance in general, or it’s like, well, if I’m not already in the perfect situation, then I can’t do anything different. It’s like that’s not true. You can always do something differently moving forward.
Pam Andrews 29:52 \ So true. That’s good to hear.
Maggie Germano 29:54 \ And is there anything you would like to promote to listeners from you know, the work you do
Pam Andrews 30:00 \ Sure, so I’ll just maybe two things. So one, I have a podcast, the scholarship shark podcast. So if families want information on college admissions and scholarship tips, definitely check that out. And they’ll see that the scholarship shark podcast and and then on the services side, I have two core programs, college admissions Academy, and that’s for students in the 10th 11th and the beginning of the 12th grade year. So it’s the college planning portion. It’s a very, like I said, it depends on where you are, how often we meet, so seniors, we’re meeting weekly in juniors twice a month, and then sophomores once a month, with the college planning process, different pieces that they’re they’re doing and they’re applying for scholarships along the way. And so that’s, you know, they’re doing that all throughout. So that’s if you have time on the side if you’re a high school senior about to graduate, so with maybe less than six months before graduation date, or your college student than I have scholarship mastery Which shows you how to find apply and win scholarships. And it’s not just focusing on finding scholarships, but I do a lot with essays because you can build a massive scholarship list. You know, once they learn my scholarship search secrets, they’re like, okay, it’s not that hard to build a list. But so how do you present to judge? What do you need to do? Who do you need to be who, you know? How do you show up? And what does your story need to say in order to really grab them? So we go through different types of essays, how to think like a judge. So it’s a lot of the other things, those other critical pieces, which is why I think my students win and have such great success. And because they know what, what to what, how to share their story, and what that reader wants to read. You know, how to present them themselves authentic, authentically. So
Maggie Germano 31:46 \ yeah, that sounds invaluable. That’s amazing, so helpful.
Pam Andrews 31:51 \ Yeah. And I always say this too, because I’m finding it with my students who are now in their senior year and you know, or have recently graduated that the skills you acquire, you know that I help you. And this is another reason why I like working with young folks. You know, you’re going to need this when you’re applying for your internships when you’re applying for jobs. So searching for scholarships is no different than searching for a job. And, you know, completing your scholarship application and writing an essay is no different than interviewing for your job or, you know, being able to share your story and you know, what makes you you. So it’s a skill that I think is not only transferable, but it has such distance, you know, they can use it over and over and over again. So,
Maggie Germano 32:28 \ yeah, so it’s Yeah, it’s going so much further beyond just the college admissions process. Absolutely. That’s wonderful. So how can folks get in touch with you?
Pam Andrews 32:38 \ Yeah, so my website is www.thescholarshipshark. So thescholarshipshark.com. And then I’m also on Instagram, @thescholarshipshark and Facebook as well as the scholarship shark.
Maggie Germano 32:53 \ Great. And I will link all that in the show notes so people have easy access to that as well as your podcasts and services and everything. Thank you, Maggie, of course. And thank you so much for taking the time to be here. This is a topic that I think a lot of people kind of cross their eyes that they don’t really know where to start, and it feels really overwhelming or hopeless and from what you were saying, the information you provide and the services you provide are invaluable and can really demystify the process and help a lot.
Pam Andrews 33:22 \ Yes, Yes, for sure.
Maggie Germano 33:24 \ All right. Well, thank you so much.
Pam Andrews 33:26 \ Thank you Have a great one.
Maggie Germano 33:27 \ You too.
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