Saturday, September 21, 2013

NBC Sundays #2-Scholarships

This week's post is about how to find those scholarships.  (I had much more to say about this than I anticipated so I'll save my discussion on entry 4 for next week.)

The easiest way to look for scholarships is to go straight to the NBPTS website.  On their fees and financial support page they have direct links to many different scholarships. On that page (click here to get there) they have listed links to state and local funding and corporations/foundations who will fund. It is IMPORTANT to note that in order to qualify for these scholarships you MUST pay your initial fee FIRST.

So let me tell you MY story about getting full funding.  I got the $1200 state scholarship with no problem  (this has since been suspended in the state of CA).  To get the Amgen scholarship I had to act quickly.  I can't quite remember the process exactly but it was something like you log on to the NBPTS website and click a link or send a message.  They open up those scholarships at a certain time at a certain hour and it's first come first serve. I MISSED IT.  Yes, I missed it!  I had too much going on and I just plain forgot to sign up.  

Luckily, my friend who was also going through the process (thank you Aun!) found out that we could get the very same scholarship through National University!  
National University

They have a free support program and were also allocated funds from Amgen for scholarships.  Even after her and me (and 2 other colleagues of mine) received scholarships from National University there was still scholarships left!  So while the scholarship money allotted to NBPTS had run out quickly, National University still had plenty.  We were lucky thanks to the hard investigative work of my colleague.

They also mention loans offered by NEA and for veterans but obviously I encourage you to seek out scholarships.  It is not a cheap process!

So briefly I want to mention that there are free support networks out there for you.  As mentioned earlier National University carries out a program on campus or online.  I could never make either of their sessions.  I did however make it to CTA's (California Teacher Association) 3 day seminar last summer and that was probably THE BEST thing I did to get familiar with the process.  Our presenter got us organized and started on entry 4.  CTA's support is also free.  It is run by Stacy Begin who was the presenter at the 3 day seminar and she held meetings throughout the year as well as online classes. (Stacy is on twitter at @STBegin) Both of those programs are funded through a grant (if I remember correctly!) which allow it to be free.  My district offers a support program but it was going to cost $500 and I really didn't want to pay anymore expenses.  

At this 3 day seminar by CTA they encouraged us to seek out other funding from local businesses in our school's community.  They talked about writing letters, setting up meetings and networking with people in the community who would like to help the local school.  One suggestion was to approach real estate agents.  Make your case as having a nationally board certified teacher in the local school would be a good selling point for them, possibly increase home values as the schools had highly qualified teachers.  Another suggestion was to approach any business who funds little leagues, such as pizza parlors.  They could also market that they helped fund a teacher which in turn helped the children of the community.  The best way to get this type of funding is to be creative and to be personable!  

Good luck in finding a scholarship for yourself and I'll see you next week to talk about entry 4!


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