How to Find Troubled Youth Scholarships

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If you have a troubled teenager who needs serious help now, you might be looking at the high costs of wilderness camps, residential treatment programs, or even simple, once-per-week counseling and thinking there’s no way you could possibly afford to give your child this type of treatment. Don’t despair, though, because there are other options out there for raising money to pay for your child’s therapy. First of all, you can ask close family members and trusted friends to help you help your child by paying for a couple of days at a wilderness camp or a few counseling sessions. If this isn’t an option or isn’t enough to relieve you of the overwhelming financial burden, here are a few ways to find scholarships specifically for troubled teens:

1. Talk with specific programs. If you’ve narrowed your list of options down to three or four residential, camp, or counseling programs, call the financial offices of those programs and ask if they offer any waivers or scholarships. Many programs could give you a discounted rate if you fall within a certain range of yearly incomes, and some might offer scholarships to students of certain backgrounds or with certain goals. Even if the information for the program doesn’t list scholarships and waivers outright, the money may be waiting for those who ask. You’ll never know until you try, right?

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2. Search the internet. The web is full of scholarship resources for traditional colleges as well as for more non-conventional programs like residential treatment centers and wilderness programs for troubled teens. Spend some time looking through websites like and typing “scholarships for troubled teens” into your search engine. You may be surprised at what pops up. Be sure to read the scholarship listings carefully, since some of them will only cover expenses at certain programs.

3. As your local library. County libraries are a rich resource of scholarship information that is virtually untapped. Not all scholarships are listed on the internet, but your library will probably carry a huge book or two of local and national scholarhips for all sorts of things.

4. Talk to your child’s school counselor. If your student is still in high school, talk with his or her guidance counselor. The guidance counselor’s offices are usually excellent resources for scholarship inforrmation. The counselor may also be able to help you with local organizations who might be willing to create a scholarship for troubled teens if they do not already offer one.

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5. Take out a student loan. You can probably take out a loan for academic troubled youth programs, so check with your bank and the government to see if loans are available for families in your situation. Loans aren’t scholarships, really, because you obviously must repay them, but they do normally include tax breaks on interest, and they can definitely help stretch out the cost of a treatment program over time.


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