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The Truth about Scholarships

College advisor Andy Lockwood interviews scholarship search expert Jean O'Toole of on the facts, myths and urban legends surrounding scholarships. Topics included:

What's the deal with those weirdo, gimmicky, obscure or just plain wack-a-doo special scholarships that everyone talks about?

Which scholarship search websites are actually worth spending time on?

How to sniff out a scholarship scam and avoid getting ripped off

The best time to start your search for scholarships (this will surprise you)

The oddball reason corporations need you to take their scholarship money

How to win a scholarship for an "Invisible Disability"

A ninja way to "raid" high school scholarships -- Pretty sneaky, sis!

Are there really scholarships for families who don't qualify for financial aid?

The biggest mistake families make in the scholarship search process


To contact Jean, visit

To contact Andy Lockwood, go to, email [email protected] or call 516-882-546



Andy Lockwood (00:03): All right. We are live. This is a really special, special session. This is gonna be a video that we send out not just to hear this is for, primarily for the students enrolled in our summer, get college ready applications and SA bootcamp. But the topic is so important that I wanna share this with many, many other people. So what we're talking about tonight is money. And I, I spent a lot of time, you know, and, and, and so does Pearl in our business, helping figure out how to get more money from colleges, whether that's merit aid from schools or need-based aid. We're doing a lot of stuff with loans. And one of the areas that I have never focused on other than to just dump everything on my guests here tonight, , is, are, are the outside scholarships, you know, the scholarships that come from other sources that are not the college, that itself. So and that's Jean O'Toole (01:14): All I focus on . Andy Lockwood (01:16): Yeah. And you laser focused on that. Yes. So, I wanna introduce everyone tonight and anyone listening in perpetuity to Ms. Jean O'Toole from Connections one oh Jean, thank you for doing this for us. Jean O'Toole (01:31): Andy, I love having these conversations with you, and I'm excited to, you know, talk about scholarships tonight. So let's do it. Andy Lockwood (01:38): All right. So let's just talk briefly about who you are, and how you got into this. Other than, you know, you being an author of a, of a great book: Scholarships Strategies Finding and Winning the Money You Need, you have very interesting background in, in my opinion, in terms of who you used to talk to when you went around the country, and then how you got into this type of niche. Jean O'Toole (02:05): Yeah, we we don't always know the, the path that we're gonna actually find ourselves in and, and how we're gonna, you know, serve in the world. But I was, I was traveling around the country with a great organization about 15 years ago called Make an Account. And I was, you know, taught, having a lot of conversations with students, and it was I was doing assemblies at high schools and colleges, and it didn't matter if I was on the East coast or the West coast, or I was a featured speaker at a private school or a public school. The conversations off stage with students always seemed to land at some point around a concern over the cost of college. And even though at that, you know, I was, I was, you know, I, we were talking about different strategies for, you know, moving forward in life, I was like, okay, you know, there's something here that, that needs some attention. (03:11): And so, I had a really unique opportunity that at that point, I mean, I was, I, I was speaking to tens of thousands of students a year. I was visiting hundred of high schools every year. And so I had a lot of resources in terms of people that I was meeting contacts and also their, their libraries, their resources, right? And, I just started digging in to tap into, you know, all of this, you know, all, all of this, this research that around whatever scholarship research these particular counselors had. And I said, okay, everyone seems to kind of have just a little bit. And it inspired me to wanna find out what is it that everyone is missing? And pretty clear it was, there was, there was this huge gap around private scholarships, scholarships from companies, organizations, foundations and the reason why this gap was there, and I'll tell you, Andy, I I think you, you, you, you know this too from all the, the conversations you're having on a day-to-day basis, the gap is still there. (04:28): Because what happens is that everyone is so focused on the getting into college, and, and thank goodness they have you and your team and, and help them show the way, but they're so focused on, on getting into college, then the, you know, the big monstrous, you know, task of navigating the financial aid process, which, again, so glad that your team is there to support them, but this, this piece of private scholarships seems to get lost as far as priority. And so, you know there wasn't a lot of information that was getting filtered down to students and, and parents. And I just saw that as a need. I started diving in, that was 15 years ago. And since then, I've, I've, you know, met 150,000 kids across the country. I've helped students win up to $200,000 in money. And I love it. I love helping people just become aware of this other source of money and how to actually go after it. Andy Lockwood (05:28): Well, I can tell you professionally because of the people I've referred to you as well as personally, because I had two of my four kids work with you, that you truly are an expert, and you're, you're clearly effective and you love what you're doing, and that comes through. So, all right. So, there's a, I have a bunch of questions, but I also want to open up the floor to anyone who's joining us live right now. If you guys have any scholarship related questions, throw them in the chat and I'll, I'll ask Jean that once, once we go through with my agenda . Jean O'Toole (06:02): So bring on the questions. Yeah, let's go. Let's Andy Lockwood (06:05): Not money's, yeah, we're not, we're not quite going the lightning round yet, but I'm, I'm gonna get there, I promise. So you know, one of the things about, you know, as you described, the, the process of, of, of looking for money is that people are so overwhelmed in general with, with the whole process. They're consumed with, you know, am I applying to the right colleges? Do I write all these essays? You know, all that type of stuff. Then the whole financial aid thing is totally overwhelming, and that happens to be changing, and that's gonna be a big problem this year. I'm really nervous behind the scenes. I don't think that's gonna be an issue for our clients, but I'm vicariously nervous for Pearl . But, but but, but, but the, the, the, the process of searching for all these scholarships, like all these scammy looking websites and all this urban legend, and, you know, it's very unusual for a day to go by where I'm not talking to a either a client or a prospective client, and they ask me like, what about those scholarships for people with, you know, x, y, z ancestry or left-handed, or, you know, this or that. (07:06): I heard that there was money for kids who had learning disabilities, or, you know, they've always heard something, right? Yeah. But they don't really know anyone who's won that money necessarily. Yeah. But there's all this urban legend floating around. So how do you cut through the clutter and what's, what's your, you know, your, your best tips for actually finding scholarships that you can win? So, Jean O'Toole (07:25): So first I'm really glad that we're, let's, let's, you know, let's just get to the heart of it. There's, there's some scholarship scams out there, and and, and there are a couple of major red flags right off the bat that I want, you know, everybody to be aware of because not everything that, right, not everything that we see out there is legitimate, right? So, so, so for sure number one of, you know, number one, we'd never pay money to get money, okay? Just make sure that that is super clear. There are, there are people that are trying to, you know, scam students and their families by utilizing language, like processing fee, application fee. And that's how, that's, that's how they'll, that's how it'll be framed. Okay? And, you know, and I know, but I wanna make sure everybody knows, right? (08:22): College applications have fees, scholarship applications as a rule, do not have a fee. And all of the years, I've, I've done this. I'm, I am gonna put something though, right? Also on our conversation table. And that is I have come across four, maybe five scholarships that were all related to art that did have a, like a $10 processing fee, because it was, it was not a processing fee, it was a portfolio review fee. However, I have, I have personally told every student who came across that, do not apply to it, right? I, we, we did the research on it. It was legit. They were giving away the money. I don't know why they wanted to have this $10 portfolio fee for their grad students who are probably gonna be reviewing all of these portfolios and bringing the top ones to the decision makers. (09:17): But I will tell you right now there is, there is no, there is no reason to pay a dime going after scholarship money. Okay? The second big red flag is anything that HI has that's insistent upon a social security number, okay? Really, really important. Please, if everybody who's watching this video shares this information, please with your, with your, your, your, your relatives and your friends because there are, first of all, again, private scholarships are not part of financial aid. Okay? Not, it's not part of the, the, the government financial aid, you know, package, right? They're from companies, organizations, and foundations. So it has nothing to do. It has nothing to do with, with, with financial aid. Any opportunity that is insistent upon a social security number, that is a major red flag. If you are a student and a family finding something like that, I would, I always you know, say to my clients and, and would recommend to any student that I'm working with to let, let your college counselor know. Let Andy know, so that way they can also forewarn other families, right? Let your school know. That's really, really important. Stay away from that. Now, in terms Andy Lockwood (10:40): Of, so probably the, the Nigerian prince who contacted me, one of my bank account information and social for scholarship. Oh, you Jean O'Toole (10:47): Got the Nigerian Prince scholarship? Andy Lockwood (10:49): Yeah. I thought I won that. Yeah. I'm not even going to college . Jean O'Toole (10:53): I mean, that wasn't even an urban legend too. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. There's a there's there's, there's a lot of scholarships out there that also too, people I, I love the language that you chose to, to introduce this with Andy. You said that, I heard of, right? I heard of this opportunity. I heard of this opportunity. And there is, you know, of course there's gonna be lots of differences. Well, I'm going to put it in air quotes, the quote unquote opportunities that people may have, you know, heard of from a friend, from a Facebook post, from whatever. Here's how, here's if you want, you know, if, if there's ever, I, first of all, I always tell every family, trust your gut on what this is. Okay? Trust your gut. (11:43): But you can always dig into the history of this scholarship? Okay? What is the history of this scholarship? There are new scholarships that are created every year, okay? There are however long standing scholarships and scholarships that have, that have been going on, going on for years and years and years. There's, there's history there. If you also, you know, a simple, fast thing you can always do is just Google the name of the scholarship by last year, last year, right? Was it going on? Right? you know, what, what's, you know, is there media attached to it announcing who the recipients were? Right? You can look at the history. If there was a scholarship that is brand new, it's never, you know, happened before you know, I and it is a, an opportunity that you know, you know, is, is from a source that you trust, then you can, you know, I would, I would lean in, and again, maybe if you, you're unsure, feel free to email that e email that source to confirm. But again, major red flags. Never pay money to get money. Don't give away the social security number and trust the history, Andy Lockwood (13:01): And don't fall for the Nigerian Prince fax . That's now, that's now an email. And Jean O'Toole (13:05): Now you know, Andy. Yeah. Now, you know, , Andy Lockwood (13:07): All these years, you know, I've been responding to those faxes. Okay? So, where do you look? I mean, that's really you know, the, the biggest issue, because people spend so much time, you know, people that I talk to, which is probably a fraction of the ones that, of the number that you speak with so much time on these websites. The guys who want Shark Tank, the, you know, and then there's these local scholarships too, yeah. That sometimes guidance counselors at high schools put out. So what, what's your best advice for finding money? Jean O'Toole (13:39): Hands down. You always want to l be looking at this through a hyper statistical lens. Okay? I want everybody to think about numbers, okay? We're talking about money, but let's talk about numbers. So numbers, because where you should be looking first is always where the numbers are gonna be best in your favor, okay? And that means local, I want you to look local first. Always. If you're gonna put time and energy anywhere, it's gonna be local, okay? Because you're going to have a higher statistical chance of getting those dollars any day, ev everywhere, no matter where you're at. Local, local scholarships in terms of, you know, not just not just connecting with your, you know, your guidance office. But definitely I would lean into resources like moms and dads groups on Facebook, a really great opportunity. (14:50): Parents love to talk about their kids who especially have won scholarships in the past utilizing hyper local resources and platforms like even Next Door that are really gonna bring you to the town, the county really helping you see what might be available that is only for you. And it's not open to students across even your state, across even your you know, across the nation, across the world. I'm not saying don't go for those opportunities. There's a lot of enticing opportunities out there, which I'm sure you and I are gonna talk about with. But you know, the more that we can actually look local first, the better it's going to be. So here's a little rule of thumb, okay? And then, and then I'll talk about some other resources that you should dive into. (15:44): But I think that one of the best actions anybody could take especially if they are, let's talk about the, you know, the ninth grader, the 10th grader, the 11th grader, even the a 12th grader. Maybe they're in their first year going into their first semester of senior year. Okay? I would recommend that you make it a priority to pop an email to your guidance secretary at your school, and to find out, get a copy of last year's senior awards nights program. Okay? everybody doesn't, it's not all, it's not always called the Senior Awards Night. Andy, I don't know. Did your kids have a senior awards night at their school? Andy Lockwood (16:35): It was a senior awards night that was three hours of 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. So it wasn't just seniors. Jean O'Toole (16:43): Okay? So, so awesome. Even better. Andy Lockwood (16:48): Not how I would describe it. Jean O'Toole (16:48): I hope it was on Zoom. But , you're good, dad. I will say that if you can get a program from last year, from the previous year, and that's a P D F sitting on, on the guidance secretary's computer, have that emailed to you, you'll have a list of all of the awards that are at least, at least in the past year, currently given out in your area for, that are directed to students at your school. That is an am that's a major starting point Andy Lockwood (17:20): To be able to start you even for people who are in the process of applying to college now, right? They, it's not too late to do that. Jean O'Toole (17:25): Oh my gosh, definitely not too late. Yeah, definitely not too late. Okay. I will tell you if a student is, so, so, you know who we're talking about with, with that list, that's gonna be, that's for that that's for that, you know, rising senior who's right, who's applying for college now, the junior, the the 10th grader, the the ninth grader. But I will say you know, getting that list, you can, you can then start looking through, okay. Alright. some of them you might have a general idea about what it's about. Oh, this is a scholarship for stem, this is a scholarship for the arts, whatever the case may be. And you can start asking questions, who decides, you know, how do you apply? What are they looking for? If you could take advantage, like your, your Edge and an advantage is always getting information before other applicants. (18:19): If you know that you're not gonna be competing against everybody in your state or everybody across the country, like, take a couple of extra minutes, that is worth your time and energy. Students who I, who I work with and have worked with over the years, are the students that walk away with five figures of money just from those awards nights. And that is a nice addition to whatever financial package that maybe, you know, you and your team have put together for somebody. But, you know, the, the, those, it might be smaller amounts of money 500,000, you know, 1500. But those things add up to the people who are really aggressive about it. And I encourage people to get that information. Andy Lockwood (18:58): So speaking of aggressive, I, I think you mentioned this in years past, but don't, don't limit yourself to your own high school. I mean, you might, you might be able to get advice or, intel from other high schools too. Why, why stop at your Jean O'Toole (19:12): Own? Absolutely. Yeah. I mean you know, is there, are, there, there, is there you know, I, I would, I would go to, I would kind of, you know, connect with any schools that are in your region. So the Catholic schools, the charter schools, the, the private schools the, the homeschool network also great, is a, is a great opportunity as well. So not just a public high school. Yeah. And, you know, just kind of you know, we just kind of, you know, kind of directed people about the first step of where to go to kind of find scholarships that they're gonna have a higher statistical chance of winning who are in high school. If you, if there's anyone who's watching this right now who might be going into their first year of college, okay. Or, you know, who's already in college lemme tell you something, it's not too late, but here's where I want you to go. (19:59): Okay. Anyone who is already in college, a great first place to start hitting up and and really, really you know to take some actions, to get some, some scholarship additional scholarship information that could be very applicable to you, are really gonna be targeting the organizations and associations that relate to your field. Okay? it could also be a union that relates to your field. So, you know, whether it's the arts, whether it's you know, business, whether it's healthcare, there are organizations, associations, unions that attach to those fields. And if you are a, a, a student who's already in college and that means that you are, you know, 18 years old and and older in your head, you're those are gonna be opportunities. Feel free, by the way. I'll just say this. Anyone who wants to reach out through connections one-on-one, I'm happy to send you a free template of what, what to write, . (21:03): I've got lots of templates. I'm happy to send a free template to anybody about what to write to these organizations and associations, what email to write, so that way you can find out about any scholarships that connect to that industry. That's an entire team of people that they, literally, their job is to connect people to what is going on in the industry. So it's like a built-in scholarship army that you can tap into. They can then send you not just scholarships, but also too, you can start making those connections for future internships, future jobs, future mentors. I mean, that's another whole thing. Andy Lockwood (21:41): Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So that's gene Jean's website is connections one oh, , just, just in case she was talking to Effusively and, and Fast . But that's good. You, you always bring it. So, okay, so, so talk a little bit more about these I don't know, affinities or one thing I remember when I was EEA eavesdropping on or I should say attending your meeting with my, with my youngest Sammy is you, you were constantly encouraging her to expand on the types of things that she might be eligible for. So it's very easy to get a kind of tunnel vision and say, well, I do these three extracurricular activities. That's it. Are there any, you know, scholarships for whatever mock trial or for whatever. So talk, can you talk a little bit about that? Do you know what I'm, you know what I'm referring Jean O'Toole (22:32): To? Yes, I totally do, and I'm so glad you're bringing it up. So yeah, I, I call it the, i, I call it the scholarship blinders, okay? And sometimes in, in others, you know, and sometimes in, in different webinars I've done and in conversations I've had I might even call it the scholarship blinders. I call it the College Five. What happens is, and what happens then is that again, why, you know, why are people missing out on so many, so many private scholarships is because everyone is almost . They're just used to focusing on the five things that I know that you're, you're having your students focus on. This is because this is what gets people into college, right? What's the G P A? What are your college majors? What are, what are the clubs or, and things you're doing outside of the classroom? (23:20): What community service are you doing? And what leadership have you demonstrated? Right? That's the five. That's the five you are interested in. That's the five that college applications are interested in. So what happens is, you know, repeated behavior, repeat becomes habit, and it's in everybody's mind that those are the five things I'm looking for, for scholarships. Well, what happens is that it becomes a blinder. It becomes a blinder if you only focus on those five things. I mean, let's be clear, there are scholarships for those five things, but if you only focus on those five things, you miss out. So let's talk about expanding. That's where you're, you know, and what I do with, with, with families, what I do with students, what I've, I've taught your kids to do, Andy, is it to, is to do a process that I call money mapping. And I, and I'll explain it. The, the, the, the general of it right now here, okay? So this is where everybody gets a pen and paper. 'cause I want you to like, really understand this. This is a, a, a really important process for you time, right? Andy Lockwood (24:20): Hopefully, we're writing notes before this, by the way, , Jean O'Toole (24:24): So, three, money mapping is a process to expand your own awareness of what you are potentially eligible for. Okay? And there's three parts, right? Part number one is what I just referred to as past, present, future, okay? Making a list of all of the accomplishments, the achievements, the things that you have done in the past, all the things that you're doing right now. All the things you hope to do in the future. You wanna travel abroad. It goes in the future. You know that you wanna be a nurse, it goes in the future column, but past, present, future. And I would, I would go back maybe four years of your life. Everybody you know, unless you did something truly like rockstar, amazing , don't go back more than four years. Even though I know everyone is happy about all the Girl Scout cookies that they sold when they were 10, , you know, it's, but it's, we just keeping with, keeping with, you know, accomplishments, achievements, things that you've done, I want you to start looking at, here's the key word, and, and I don't know if there's, if you wanna, I, this is what I would, I would wanna like put it, put a, put a put a word up on the screen. (25:37): But here we go. Okay. So the word is impact. This is what private scholarships are all about. Impact. And if you have when you are looking at what you have done or what you are doing, the questions that I want you to be looking at asking yourself, and this is a great, you know, thing to do as a family, is who, who did I impact? What did I impact? What was the impact? Okay? Because scholarships, everyone, are created from companies, organizations, and foundations because they wanna have impact. Okay? So they're, they're you know, yes, we always wanna hope that somebody, you know, is creating a scholarship. 'cause They wanna help young people to achieve their dreams. That is part of it. But scholarships are, are, are, are put together because it usually aligns with the corporate or organizational mission. (26:37): Mission equals impact. So let's pull it apart. Let's expand when, when a student, you know, a student says to me that they, you know they've done some community service, okay, great. One of the College Five, right? I've done some community service. Good. What did you do for community service? Well I you know, I, I did a, I did a food drive with the student government. Okay, great. So what is, what is every other student doing? Every other student who's on that, who, who was part of that, they're only looking for community service money. Here's what you are gonna do, okay? What you're gonna do is you're gonna expand that and ask yourself, what was the impact of doing that food drive? Who did I impact? What was the impact? Right? (27:28): And really, if you look at it, that action about doing the food drive. Let's be clear here. It's not about the action. It is about the result. It's not about the action, it's about the outcome. Okay? It's not about collecting the cans, that's the action. The outcome is that you, you, you had an, you did something that actually was impacting food insecurity in your community. Food insecurity is the, it is, let's pull it apart. Boom. There is a potential topic for scholarships. Okay? Food insecurity. Who did I impact? Who did you know who was impacted? Well, you know, this is, and this is like, like every conversation that I've had with students. Well, I don't know people who need that food. Well, who, you know, who, among that, who, who, who among needed, who, who potentially was, was needing was, was suffering from food insecurity. Okay, well, maybe it was older residents in town. Maybe there were veterans who benefited from that, from that food drive. Ah, boom. Here we go. Another bullet point. Andy Lockwood (28:37): Well, two more. Yeah, yeah, Jean O'Toole (28:38): Yeah. Now we can start pulling this apart. We could look at this as its nutrition. We could look, we could pull it. Keep pulling it apart. It is not about collecting the cans, okay? The higher level, the higher level, you know, category of scholarship, community service. And then you hope you see, you have all these potential other subcategories, and that is how we create awareness of what you, we fully in integrity, never making anything up. Those are all potential categories for scholarships that would be created. Okay? And you know, does that, does that make sense, Andy? Sometimes I get, I get, Andy Lockwood (29:18): You know, well, no, it totally makes sense because you know what, what you're trying, it's, it's kinda a hard thing to understand, but it makes sense because most people, they, they stop at that high level, like you said. And I, I put myself in this category, and that's why I remember you talking to each of my kids who, who, who worked with you on, on picking everything apart and drilling down and, you know, it's the next step. And then the step after that, the step after that. And, and then when the dust settled, it was like an additional five categories almost per activity. And I thought that was very clever. And it also shows why there's a lot of money out there that doesn't necessarily get awarded, you know, to, to people who deserve and notice that deserve Jean O'Toole (30:03): It. Notice. So the students who are going to stand at a high level are going to have a higher amount of competition. Let's, let's also, let's name that, okay? The higher that the, the, the scholarship that is just for community service, so much more competition, right? Yeah. The scholarship, though, is literally impacting food insecurity, not as much imp not as many, because it's not on people's radar, but if you money map, it's going to be on people. You're, it's gonna be on your radar, okay? And that is what's so exciting, right? There is this you know, I, I encourage people to literally ask themselves, okay, I'm, you know, I'm a I'm a coach first, always, right? So, so ask your, ask yourself you know, who else, what else, who else, who else was impacted? What else was impacted? One thing that I, you know, I find often there's a lot of and I just wanna give, you know, mad shoutouts to all of the students and, and that are watching this and, and participating in our in, in even tonight's session who maybe have been engaging in clubs or, or, or groups that are bringing to the attention you know, some of the, the challenges that other, maybe other peers are facing. (31:27): I'm speaking about any type of depression or anxiety or stress. There's a lot of scholarships related to these issues, especially, you know, and I know that we're, I know that you're gonna be sharing this video for, you know, for your community, Andy. But let's, let's, you know, let's, let's be honest, especially in these past several years, especially since Covid, there's been a lot more, thankfully, a lot of, a lot more open conversation around stress and anxiety and, and there's a lot of scholarships related to that. And when, when students say that they have that they have, you know, done a community service project, let's say, with their club to maybe you know, support students who might have anxiety, okay, I'm just gonna give this as an example. Pulling that apart, money mapping that we can look at. (32:25): Lots of subcategories of that, okay? Anxiety can also, you know result in depression, anxiety could res there's a, I I encourage everybody to jot down what I'm about to share. Invisible disability, right? When we look at, when we look at mental health, just mental overall mental health, okay? Could be an invisible disability, right? And that can, that can now, you know, pull into lots of different spaces. And I, the reason why money mapping and kind of looking at what else, how else, you know, who else might have been impacted, is that this is, this is huge. It's not about you, everybody, not about you, the student. It's not about you. It's about them. It's about the company, the organization, the foundation is what matters to them. They've created a pile of money, whether it's $500 or $50,000 or whatever it is, because of what matters to them. So it's not, it's not, you know again, all of those College Five that's important for your, for your college plan, but in terms of, in terms of looking through this lens of pursuing scholarships, applying to scholarships, finding scholarships, we wanna get out of our shoes, and we wanna look at what is the, what's, what's the mission of these, of, of the person who is actually wanting to give away the money. Andy Lockwood (33:57): Yeah. And a lot of times you sort of almost alluded to this a lot, a lot of times these corporations, they are, they have this mission because it's part of the public relations strategies. It's not necessarily altruism. It's, it's because they know Jean O'Toole (34:16): Social responsibility. Pr Absolutely. Yeah. Media, media will love it. That's, I mean, they'll get a lot of, they, they, they'll get a lot of extra media because of giving away a scholarship. Andy Lockwood (34:27): Yeah. And conversely, if they don't do that, just the same way, if they don't embrace, you know, climate change or D e I or, you know, whatever, whatever the, the prevalent hot topics are, then they might get criticized for that. So, you're helping them by, by, by you know, applying for these scholarships. It's not, it's not a one-way street at all. It's a two-way street. Jean O'Toole (34:52): Massively two-way street. Yeah. In fact, I mean, , I, I'll, I'll say that, you know I don't know why more companies and organizations are not giving away you know, private scholarship dollars because they're, you know, that thousand bucks, 2,500 bucks, even $10,000 or more. And, and we get into five figure, even six figure scholarships. I mean, you know, there is that's, that's, you know, that's when we start to circle all the way back to one of your original questions here today, which is what I heard of. Yeah. Right? Yeah. Because it starts to be shared and passed along. Andy Lockwood (35:29): So a lot of these scholarships are like all over the place, right? But, but are there, and, and, and, and I just will say this again, you, you a specialist in finding scholarships, so people can work with you. And I'm gonna ask you about that in a few moments. But for people who wanna try to do this themselves, are there websites or are there actual legitimate places where you can do these types of searches? Because it seems to me that a lot of these local ones are not necessarily gonna show up on the websites. Jean O'Toole (35:56): Yeah. you're, you're right about the fact that, that you know, hyper-local scholarships are, are not gonna be showing up on, on national platforms rarely. I mean, they, every once in a while, but rarely I still want you to go to the local opportunities first because you'll have a, because of the higher statistical chance of winning them. But yeah, there are tons of different scholarship websites. Unfortunately there was no one-stop shop. There's tons of scholarship apps you know, now that people are also you know, that, and again, there's no one-stop shop. And that is why I want everyone to always kinda look at this through, you know, a kind of a multi-prong approach, okay? You don't have to go, you don't have to, this does not have to be a part-time job. (36:43): You don't have to use every website, you don't have to use every app. But I would recommend that everyone use a, I would recommend that everyone use a combination of two or three. Okay? Two or three. You're, you're gonna be covered most of the, for most of the, the, the, the statewide regional national, international opportunities that are out there. But again, always prioritize anything that's local. So here's, here are the websites I recommend. So you can, and I have a whole list of, of tons of different websites and a list, you can just download it. Lots of free resources at connections one oh But the three that I like to use in conjunction, just because they kind of cover each other one is fast Web, those of you, you know those of you who and I'm, I'm gonna say those of you, I'm, I'm gonna probably be talking to the parents out there might, might recall, because it's not as big now, but Monster is actually, monster was a really I know it's still a job platform not as big as it used to be. (37:55): But Monster is the parent company of Fastweb. And I, I share that piece of information to point out, Fastweb is, it is big. If they do, you are gonna have to put together a profile. You will go, you will get a ton of spam. But they're big, okay? And, Monster knows how to filter information. So they have that down because of, you know, what their company, you know, does. And then they brought it to this scholarship arena. I would recommend to everybody that you create an email that is just for scholarships. So you keep spam out of your important box. 'cause You need to know what's going on from your college advisors and utilize that email to set up any type of profile. Now and the reason why you're gonna get spam, let's also, let's put this truth on the table, okay? Is that a, some of these major scholarship platforms, they will share your information with other educational resources. That is why also, I mean all of the sharing of different educational resources, it's why ninth graders, 10th graders, 11th graders will get 60 pounds of mail from all of these colleges and resources that they never apply to, right? Right. So Andy Lockwood (39:24): Well, there's no such thing as free. I mean, it's like, no such thing as free. Yeah. Facebook is free because it gathers all your information so it can spy on you and sell your information off. And that's, that's what these Jean O'Toole (39:33): Guys are. So use a different email for, for that platform, okay? Now, that's one. It's large, so that's why I want you to use it, but it still is not a one one stop shop. So, Andy Lockwood (39:43): So FASTWEB. Jean O'Toole (39:46): Yeah. This, the other one that, another one that I do like because I found a workaround is Okay? I like that because here's the workaround, okay? So , everybody who goes , and by the way, I have no affiliation to any of these companies. I certainly am not gonna have an affiliation to because of what I, I'm about to share with you about their workaround. But there, when you go to, there, you'll see their very first tab, okay? Will say, you know, scholarship search. If you click on that tab, you'll have to put together a profile. You'll get all the spam, and that is up to you. But if you wanna avoid the spam, okay, you go to the second tab, okay? On their, on their page, and it says Scholarship directory. And then you'll see a list of all of these different categories of scholarships. (40:36): So scholarships also by age, alright? Scholarships by age, which I think is important, scholarships by deadline, which I think is really important, okay? And when you look, you look on any one of those lists you'll see scholarships, you may, you'll, you'll be able, you'll, you're gonna check out. And and, and when you see that, you know, you pop out a scholarship, oh, lemme check this out a little bit longer, and it'll give you a little blurb, and then there'll be a blue button that will say, you know, learn more, find out more, or, you know, apply here, don't click on the button, , okay? If you do, it'll take you into that vortex of their portal to go fill out the fill out your, your profile. If you want spam, be my guest. But here's what Andy Lockwood (41:24): I would do. Some people like spam. Jean O'Toole (41:25): Yeah. Here's what I would do instead is that you see a scholarship there from that list, simply copy and paste the title of that scholarship, open up that other browser, let Google do the work, and let Google bring the organization for that scholarship right to the top. Then you cut out the middleman and you can go right to the source. So I, I like that, right? As a, as a second, Andy Lockwood (41:51): Christie, sneaky Jean O'Toole (41:53): . And then, you know, we have a I I have I, I do have an affinity for a fairly new scholarship platform. Only been around five years as of this recording , that is They have a policy where any scholarships that are on bold are only on bold. So guess what? You're lucky enough to be, you know, connected here to the Lockwood team. And we're having this conversation, you're now learning about Bold, but not everybody knows about that, that platform. And so, again, it's always about numbers. And statistically, there's gonna be still, we're, we're still kind of in that, that comfort place right now where not everybody knows about that platform. So statistically, there's, there's a, there's a higher chance in your favor about opportunities on that, on that platform. So those are the three that I kind of like, kind of as a, as a, as a mingle. And my team is constantly researching opportunities, seeing which ones are new, which ones, you know, are, have, have been discontinued. And we actually keep free lists of scholarships, you know, that are happening, you know, by month. And you can also get that at our website as well. Andy Lockwood (43:22): Yeah. And the, and the newsletter, which probably And the newsletter, everyone. Newsletter, yeah. Everyone probably on this list, their families probably get it. It's a written list and, and a column that Gene is so kind to write for us every month. All right. So I have two more questions for you. And I, I wanna remind everyone that they have questions. This is the last call, to lob those in. Before I get to my final two questions, Jean, talk a little bit about how you work with people one-on-one and the super cool generous coupon, secret coupon code that I'm pressuring you to offer. Jean O'Toole (43:54): There is a secret coupon code. It's only for, it's only for, it's only for you guys. It's only for you guys. We do not have, I do not have a coupon code for anybody else. . Nice. You are, yeah, then that is true. So anyone who wants to work with me I, I run a I, I'm happy to meet with families one-on-one and, and you know, in a, in a video conference, in a video zoom room, and we'll, we'll work together. I'll take you through the money mapping process for a student. We'll go deep on that. We'll look at, you know, where to kind of strategically go. And I also will do a big, huge poll of lots of different lists of scholarships based on, you know who the student is. And I'm happy to give a very generous discount with a coupon code , which is L O C K W O O D, Clever. And that, it's, that is, I'm, that is the only coupon code I I, we have wow. We actually give out. Yep. I do not, we do not do that for anybody else. Andy Lockwood (45:10): So, okay, so that's on Still the Scholarship Jumpstart? Okay. The jumpstart session. Andy Lockwood (45:17): You see a lot of other stuff, which you should also check out, including Jean's book. But the Scholarship Jumpstart is the one that I recommend both personally, because I said my own kids benefited from it. But also, I don't know, you've probably worked with at least 75 to a hundred of our clients over the years. So highly recommended. Thank you very much for the clever coupon code name and, and generous discount, of course. So, okay, my final two questions are as follows. Question number one: families that are not gonna qualify for need-based aid, are there scholarships for them? Jean O'Toole (45:59): Yes, absolutely. And, and I'm gonna ask you to put something in the, in the chat box , or put something up on the screen. Yep. and, and this, because this is really important language to keep in mind. The key words are, need blind need blind scholarships, okay? Remember, scholarships are not part of federal financial aid, right? And companies, organizations, foundations, it's their money. They get to decide who and what they value, what's important to them. And, and there are a tremendous amount of opportunities that that put in, they put it in writing right there in the description of the scholarship that this is a need blind scholarship. And, you know, frankly, you know, I gotta tell you, I'm seeing more and more of them over the years. And I think it's because companies recognize that there is, that there's a gap of students and families that, you know, are not, they are not qualifying for need-based money. Yes. and and, and there's just a massive gap and, and companies recognize that. And so there's, there's this language that's being put into the being put right into the description. Now, with that said, if a scholarship does not say need blind, and it also does not say that it is based on financial need, go and apply to that scholarship, also. Also, okay. Financial need is one of just many, many, many, many categories of scholarships. So that's important. Andy Lockwood (47:46): Okay. Good advice. Because a lot of people don't feel particularly wealthy, but they don't qualify for need-based aid. And, frankly there's a lot of people who, you know, are, maybe they come from a relatively affluent family background, but they're doing a lot of good stuff and, and work for the community, and, you know, they deserve the money because of their efforts. And you know, some, many companies understand Jean O'Toole (48:17): That and don't assume, don't assume that you're not gonna get any scholarships, right? Right. Like, I think that that's, I think that that is like the, just like, just like, unfortunately, there's all of these people who are missing out on money because they're focused on those, those, those College Five, right? There's so many people who are just assuming that scholarships are not for them. I mean, I cannot tell you how it's one of the biggest myths that I, I talk about with people every single day. Oh, they find out, oh, you know, you're a scholarship expert. Oh, well, you know, we won't qualify for that. How, how do you know that? Yeah. How do you know that? And so can I, I do wanna also say this too, because you're, you're making me inspired to share one other piece about this. If there are so many scholarships that again, they won't, they won't say need blind, and they won't say financial need. (49:09): It has nothing to do with money at all. Okay? Nothing to do with money. Again, it might relate to, you know, maybe, maybe it's that scholarship related to food insecurity or, or any other topics we've been talking about tonight. Maybe it has to do with leadership. Maybe it has to do with community service. Maybe it has to do with just the fact that, you know, you wanna make a difference in the world. I don't know. But I will say this, every, I, I firmly believe that even a family, and I , I don't know how you're gonna feel about what I'm about to say, Andy. I know we're still, I hope we're still friends with what I'm about to say, but I'm just, just, I'm saying it that even a family who maybe has done a lot of work planning their, the, the college financial process, okay. (49:58): And they're ready to go and they have the money ready to pay for college. I genuinely believe that if you are someone who you know, has taken the action to pursue these scholarships, take the money that you've saved, and you've been so diligent about diligent organizing and planning, and what if, you know, what if your son or your daughter, what if the student could pay for their college with scholarships between the college specific scholarships, and then stack these privates on private scholarships on top of that, and then the money that you've saved as a family, use that for the buying of the property, buying the house down the road, buy, you know, starting the business down the road. I really believe that, to me, it's really so, it's so un unfortunate that, you know, there's been so much time, energy, and focus on maybe trying to save that money when all of these other money sources are here. Yep. And if that money could be put towards another part of the dream of that student, I just, that's what I would like to see. So, Andy Lockwood (51:11): Yeah. There's worse things than not spending a lot of money that you have saved. Yeah. . Yeah. No, I'm, I'm a thousand percent behind, behind that one. Yeah. I was just talking to a buddy of mine who I play golf with, who's got six kids. He's got a blended, blended marriage very interesting guy, ex-cop. And he's got a wedding, you know, this, this weekend. And, you know, it's, it's, it's a lot of money to, to come up with, with stuff after college, not, not to after college. Jean O'Toole (51:36): Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Andy Lockwood (51:38): Okay. My final question to you, and you, and you sort of mentioned this a little bit in passing in terms of, you know, applying for scholarships not just in 12th grade, but when is the best time to start, you know, planning and looking for scholarships? Jean O'Toole (51:53): You know what I'm gonna say right now, like, as soon as possible . Yeah. If you are a family who has kids in elementary school, let's go, let's go. There's money there, there's money there, let's go. Right? You got kids who are in middle school, let's go. There's money there. There, there are scholarships for students, literally starting from age five. Okay. all the way through to 65 years old and, and, and up. So why is that? Because, you know, 'cause people are like, well, why would they get, why would they do that? Why would they give money to a 10 year old? Why are they, do, you know, because it's their money. Yep. They get to decide. And if they wanna inspire a young kid to be creative, or they wanna inspire a middle school young, young lady to get into science, or they wanna inspire you know, an older adult to go back to school, that's their mission. Sure. That's the impact that they wanna have. And again, rules don't apply the college, you know, college rules don't apply when it comes to private scholarships. So start now. Do it now. Andy Lockwood (53:04): Yeah. And that's, that's another thing that I always find noteworthy, that you, you know, most people wait until 12th grade to start even thinking about this stuff, but there's so much available for younger and older, you know, kids in college as well as kids in, I guess even elementary school. So if you're watching this or listening to this on our podcast, and you have younger kids or older kids, or, you know, younger kids or older kids, you know, this, this is something you should really pay attention to. So, you Jean O'Toole (53:37): Know what, Andy, I'm gonna do something for, for your, your community. So our my team has been you know, as we research, we have a list of scholarships for elementary and middle school kids. And I'm, I'm happy to, to just send that to anybody who reaches out to us that mentions, mentions Lockwood. Okay. They have to mention you . Okay. But if they email, you can email us at [email protected] [email protected]. And that's our team email and scholarship strategies [email protected]. And mention that, that you would like the elementary and middle school list and that you saw us on, on the Lockwood video recording the webinar with Andy. And we'll send it over to you. Andy Lockwood (54:29): All right. Even though you said it three times. Scholarships strategies team. Jean O'Toole (54:32): Yep. At Andy Lockwood (54:33): At All right. I just popped that in the chat, so this was great. We went a little over, but I should have been that I could talk Jean O'Toole (54:43): To you all day. Andy Lockwood (54:43): Yeah, I honestly have probably another hour's worth of questions for you. Be just, just because this is so overwhelming, it's like trying to eat an elephant, right. But I'll, I'll say it again. I know this is probably getting a little too redundant, but I can't say, I can't speak about Jean highly enough mm-hmm. In terms of the focus and the motivation that she gives. I think you got a taste of that tonight watching this or on replay. So please reach out to her, try the jumpstart or just email her and just, you know, get in her her community, Jean O'Toole (55:18): Mention Lockwood . Andy Lockwood (55:20): That's, that's fine. You'll, you'll, you'll save some money if you hire her, but I don't need to hear my name. But, but it's, it is worth it is, it is worth your time. And, and if you are, you know it sounds like almost anyone can, can qualify for something. So I, I was looking at the people who are attending here live tonight, and I saw all kinds of ethnicities and religious orientation and survivors of, of, of certain things and medical things. So, you know, it seems like it's, it's a short bet that you can find stuff that you are eligible for, and Jean can coach you through how to maximize your ability to win those. Yeah. those scholarships. So Jean, thank you. Any closing bits of wit, wisdom? Do you wanna impart? Jean O'Toole (56:06): Yeah. Can I, I wanna give one more. I have One more last piece of advice. Okay? Yeah. So one, one pitfall that I see happen unfortunately over and over again will be people who are looking at, maybe they're only looking at what, you know, what's, what's due right now, , right? Because let's be honest I am, you know, we've, we're busy. We haven't got busy lives, right? Yeah, we're human. But I will say that you will have, you will give yourself a massive edge, a massive advantage if you were to block just 30 minutes and you are kind of looking ahead. You mentioned to you You can look at scholarships by deadline. Go ahead and just look, go to that. Go again. Second tab, scholarship directory. That's how you're gonna find this. And you can look at scholarships that might be coming up. (57:02): And again, they're only one source, but it's a starting point. You can look at scholarships that might be coming up, let's say three months from now. And scholarships, there's a lot of scholarships that have a project required, like run a blood drive or, you know, create a recycling bin or whatever it is, okay? And what happens is that when there is, let's just tell the truth when there's effort required , right? When there's some effort and some time and energy and organization that is required to make something happen. If, if somebody finds out about it last minute, it doesn't, it's not gonna happen. It's not gonna happen. We're, we're all busy. That's human, no matter who we are. So if you, and, and, and that is, that applies to top students, everybody in between. And so if you have taken just 30 minutes just to give yourself a block of time, just glance through, see what, see what kind of things are, you know, is coming down the pike, and that way you can start making a plan. All right? Yeah. Alright, check this out. And then, you know, in the next few months maybe I'll have my club at school organize a blood drive, then I qualify for this. Okay? Yeah. Anything that, that, that requires a project already is gonna decrease your competition. And again, always everybody, numbers, numbers, numbers. Look at it through that lens. How many people potentially may apply for this one versus this one. And, where those numbers are gonna be best in your favor. That's where you put your time and energy. Andy Lockwood (58:34): Cool. Yeah. That, that four letter word called Work is a big, is a big we out, right? So, so that's a, that's a great tip. I think everything you said here was terrific. I think it was literally worth, you know, tens of thousands of dollars potentially to, you know, to the people who are gonna be exposed to this. So go out there and get the money. It's there. Go get the money, waiting for you. So is Jean at connections one oh Thank you Jean O'Toole. And thanks. Thanks everyone for listening and watching, and we'll speak to you soon. Bye-Bye. Okay, Jean O'Toole (59:05): Bye.


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