Motivating your student to apply for scholarships

Rising education costs are resulting in more students dropping out of school. One thing you can do to keep your students from doing that is to encourage them to go for scholarships. Here’s what you can do to motivate all your students to try out for educational grants. And by all your students, that means even the ones who might not have stellar academic standings.

1. Make a List of Programmes

Start with a list of programmes that your students can apply for. But customize that list for each one. Too many students suffer from the misconception that all scholarships look at academic records and scores. That’s why most of them never bother trying out for an educational grant. By letting them know that there are grants geared towards sports, writing talent, or even a skill in the performing arts, they will be much more likely to try out for those programmes.

2. Encourage them

Motivate your students by giving them feedback on their performance. For this to work, though, you’ll need to have detailed notes on each kid. With that in mind, start taking notes of every encounter you have with each student. That should contain your observations on their strengths and weaknesses, as well. By going over the skills and weaknesses, by talking to them about how they can improve, you give them a ton of encouragement to apply for a student scholarship or two.

3. Build Them Up

Not all teachers have the skill to know the right way to talk to their students. It takes time and experience for some. But one skill in particular that you’ll need to learn is how to build up your students. If they have a hard time with math, for instance, don’t sugarcoat your feedback. Tell them how it is. But don’t be brutal. You can provide feedback without hurting their feelings. Know how to build them back up again when you touch on areas for improvement. If you only focus on the negative or deliver that feedback in a way that’s biting, sharp, and painful, you will only succeed in discouraging the child. Learn a positive approach.

4. Know How to Discipline Them

You might have naughty students, students who engage in disruptive behavior in class, or kids who don’t seem to listen. It can be tempting to humiliate them during a lecture to get them to stop whatever disruptive behavior they’re engaged in. However, that will only lead to negative feelings. Don’t encourage resentment. Instead, call out the student in private. Discipline them but don’t step all over them to do it. Let them know that you respect them. That approach often gets a positive reception from the students. 

When you talk to them about their plans for the rest of their years in high school or for college, they’ll be more receptive to you when you talk to them about going for scholarships. Why? Because they trust you. You haven’t done anything to hurt or humiliate them and that counts for a lot in their book. As a teacher, you’re building up that level of trust and that contributes to a more positive outlook on the students. They know you have their best interests at heart. When you tell them to go for it, they’ll have no choice but to believe you.

5. Do the Math

Another practical way to encourage students to go for scholarships is to do the math for them. Enumerate all the expenses involved in pursuing higher education. Let them imagine how much they would save if they win a scholarship. With so many options out there, if they try for a grant that’s a good match for their skills and talent, they stand a good chance of being awarded one. 

Keep in mind, though, that not all students are motivated by numbers alone. It’s different for every child, so keep that in mind when you talk to your students and encourage them to apply.

6. Use Rewards

You could also use mini rewards. For instance, those who get the form or send a form will get additional points for their project or final exam. Or it could count as one exam. Making the submission a part of your class will encourage them to apply. However, be careful about making it an assignment or task. Your students shouldn’t be forced into this. It could be worth extra points, so those who don’t want to participate won’t feel like they need to.

7. Connect Them with a Buddy

Get them to find an application buddy. Someone who will partner with them and check over their work and help them meet deadlines. That’s one way to encourage them to keep going when things get tough and busy.

8. Cultivate Positivity

Create the kind of learning environment that trains your students to think positive. And by positive, that doesn’t mean blind positivity. Rather, it’s positivity that knows how bad things can get. It’s positivity that acknowledges that there are bad days and that sometimes, things aren’t alright, but you still keep going anyway. In the wake of the pandemic, more and more of your students will understand this sentiment. 

They understand what’s happening out there and how the virus is killing thousands. To stay hopeful, in the midst of all that’s happening, is the real meaning of positivity. That positivity is key when you encourage them to apply for educational grants. Some kids will tell you: “What’s the point? The world seems to be ending any time soon.” But the kids in your class, the ones who stay hopeful, will know and understand your logic. They know that the scholarship is more than an opportunity for them to get to college and make their dreams come true. It’s an opportunity to change the world for the better. 

That’s where hope comes in. They believe they can do something to change the world. By doing their part, they can do something to make sure the world doesn’t end any time soon, not if their generation can help it. That's one way to raise a generation of leaders, of hopeful and responsible global citizens who care enough to invest in their communities and the world around them.

9. Talk to the Parents

You can’t do this all on your own, though. You’ll need help, so get in touch with the parents. Explain the situation to them. Get them the list along with all the information necessary for them to get started on researching those grants. By working together with the parents, you can both come up with plans on how to encourage their kids and aid the growth and development of the children even further. If there are any incidents that stand out, that tell you why you believe their child is suitable for a particular grant, talk to them about those instances. Make them see what you see: a child full of potential.

Help your students get those scholarships. Provide them with as much information and assistance as they can. Talk to them. Go over their strengths and weaknesses. Enlist their parents for help. And always show your support for them. Make them understand that it’s okay even if they fail. They can always try again. What’s important is that they care enough to try.

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