County woman helps students land college scholarships
When a student becomes a junior or senior in high school and plans to attend college after graduation, the infamous question may arise, how do I go about trying to see if I am eligible for scholarship money?
Most schools, such as Bob Jones High School, have dedicated and professional counselors who will gladly assist students who need help with the scholarship search – some of which are specifically assigned to seniors.
In this information age, the computer has a wealth of valuable information for finding out about money that may be out there. For those who may not have a clue, don't have the time, and maybe want to have more in-depth attention and personal help, there is a lady in the area who came up with the idea to start a scholarship searching business.
The name of the business is The College Lady. The College Lady behind the title is Kristin Scroggins from Hazel Green. Scroggins is a professional college consultant.
Scroggins got the idea for the business after working in public relations at Virginia College in Huntsville. She was responsible for 84 schools in North Alabama.
"In this job, I was responsible for attending the college fairs in North Alabama. During my many hours spent at trade shows, I took a lot of interest in learning about the different colleges around me," Scroggins said. "I found that by using this information, I could help students stop wasting so much time getting information on the universities that didn't have the programs they were interested in."
Scroggins said she became the "go girl" for many colleges. She said she realized high school counselors were swamped with too many responsibilities. She added that she knew that many parents were too busy and some students fairly clueless to the whole process.
"The person is right who says they can do it on their own, but the question is, do they have the time and connections to do it on their own," Scroggins said. "I have been blessed by the opportunity to 'know the business.' After I had my son, I wanted to be able to stay home with him and God just gave me the idea to use the knowledge He's given me to help the students and their parents in the college application process. As a result, I started The College Lady on Sept. 11,2002."
For a small fee, Scroggins can assist families in the whole searching process. There are no guarantees the student will be awarded a scholarship, but Scroggins said she could direct them to schools that may be able to reward them based on their scores and their talents.
"I help with applications, FAFSA, scholarships, college selection assistance, and putting together resumes. I serve in Madison County and Athens, but I am willing to travel further if it does not interfere with my required attentiveness to the student."
Scroggins said she's developed a good relationship with the counselors at both Sparkman High School and Hazel Green High School.
"The other counselors I have worked with have been very cooperative as well," Scroggins said.
Scroggins has contact with colleges and recruiters to insure that the application process is complete.
"I have a fairly good knowledge of more than 100 colleges and I also know the required deadlines of the colleges," Scroggins said. "If you don't meet the deadline of the colleges, the college doesn't care if you have a 36 ACT score and a 4.0 average. You're not getting a penny."
For those who are afraid of paying a fee for something that is done for free at the public school, Scroggins said the family is purchasing peace of mind and someone who will do countless hours of research to find universities best suited for their student.
"If a student has completed most of their applications and knows which college they are going to attend, they probably would not need my services," Scroggins said. "I would tell them what I could and could not do for them. The first consultation with me is free. It lets the parent and student know exactly what I can do before they decide to purchase my services."
Currently, Scroggins is serving 12 senior clients who are finished with their scholarship information with the exception of signing any offers that come in by May and actually enrolling in the college of their choice. She has seven juniors who are clients. Scroggins "I plan to limit my clientele if it begins to get too large so that I can do my absolute best for each client," Scroggins said. "Quality is more important than quantity. I am not in this for the money."
Scroggins attributes her strong Christian beliefs in the joy of having her own business.
"I can be public about my faith and not get in trouble. I pray with my clients before I start each meeting and I strongly believe that this is God's work for my life," Scroggins said. "In many ways, it feels more like a ministry than business. I do my best to conduct my business in a way that would be pleasing to God and a positive reflection of Christ. I know that the only reason my business has taken off is because of God's blessing it and when He decides to stop blessing it I will stop doing it."
Scroggins says her business has grown by word of mouth.
"I don't advertise and yet God continues to bring in one client after the other," Scroggins said. "I meet people face to face in their homes before they acquire my services I want them to know I am somebody they can trust with and do the absolute best for their student."
Scroggins is a graduate of The University of Montevallo with a bachelor's degree in speech communications. While at Montevallo, she served as a Montevallo Master, which was a hostess for the school and helped to give tours.
Scroggins can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 829-0709.