School's out for summer. School's out forever? Sorry, Alice Cooper (http://www.lyricsdepot.com/alice-cooper/schools-out.html): Not while I'm a parent. It's hard enough having the wee ones at home for two months during the summer. The rest of the year they're the government's problem.
I'd even pay to keep them in school! Unfortunately, as kids get older - from elementary through high school to college - education gets more expensive. There comes a time - like when the kids are ready for college or university - that you simply get tapped out. You can't get water from a stone, after all. And that's when you need to reach out for some much-needed help.
But believe it or not, you're not alone. In fact, folks are just lining up to give you or your kids money to pay at least part of their higher education. There are hundreds, even thousands of scholarships they can qualify for, based on all sorts of criteria - family background, industry or business ties, area of study, etc. The hard part is connecting with the right patron - but that's where the WWW can come in very handy.
The Israeli government and its manifold agencies, as well as hundreds of private funds, are ready, willing and able to provide you and yours with scholarship shekels. The Israeli Government Portal (http://www.gov.il/FirstGov/TopNav/Situations/SScholarship/; Hebrew only) pulls together all the scholarships offered by government agencies and public colleges and universities, allowing you to search by criteria like school preference, place of residence, scholarships for public service (such as the Perach program, where students volunteer to work with disadvantaged kids in return for assistance), etc.
The site also has a number of other useful guides, such as how to take out car insurance, how to buy a home, etc. The portal's English section (http://tinyurl.com/2rwroq) has information on scholarships for foreign and oleh students studying in Israel. Other Israeli sites (in Hebrew) for scholarship searches are http://www.milgot.org.il/ (concentrating chiefly on private sources) and Walla's comprehensive Yoram search engine at http://tinyurl.com/2hatxg.
Fancy studying abroad? The Web can be a great friend if you want to study in the US, where scholarship-giving and -getting is a science. If you Google "scholarship search sites," you'll get dozens, if not hundreds, of choices. Unfortunately, most of the sites I came across demand a great deal of intrusive information, obviously seeking to spam you by e-mail, snail mail, phone or even in person (in fact, the more information they demanded, the less helpful the sites were). Fortunately, though, I was able to find a couple of good sites that provided excellent information without asking for personal data - including http://www.scholarsite.com/ and http://tinyurl.com/2vkkr6, the latter a very comprehensive site searching 150,000 different awards, and allowing searches for various criteria. College may be expensive, but if these people want to help pay for it - why not let them?