Looking to the future through scholarship opportunities

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Looking to the future through scholarship opportunities

Students looking for the perfect scholarship should start on Wakefield's own website.

Students looking for the perfect scholarship should start on Wakefield's own website.

Staff Photo by Allie Chiu

Students looking for the perfect scholarship should start on Wakefield's own website.

Staff Photo by Allie Chiu

Staff Photo by Allie Chiu

Students looking for the perfect scholarship should start on Wakefield's own website.

Megan Simrell, Staff Writer

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Want free money? Want to avoid thousands of dollars of debt? Well, scholarships may be the way! With many different types of scholarships, all students have the opportunity to combat the high costs of college. As, according to College Board, two-thirds of students paid for college with scholarships and grants. But scholarships are hard to find, let alone achieve, so here are some compiled. 

“Scholarships can be useful for all,”  Merideth Mann, senior class president, said. “Even if you don’t  think you would be a good applicant for certain ones, there are types for everyone,” 

There are inevitably scholarships for all students and their interests.  For instance, the Lenoir-Rhyne Teaching Scholars Scholarship is for students who plan to teach and offers $5,500 per year for four years. There are also scholarships for students who work, such as Chick-fil-A scholarships, which require a 3.0 or above GPA, community involvement and to be employed at one of their locations. The Starbucks scholarship offers a full scholarship to Arizona State University. There are even some for people with unique backgrounds and circumstances, such as a first-generation student, or minorities, who only receive 28 percent of scholarships, according to Mark Kanrowotwiz, the publisher of fastweb.com, a scholarships website. 

Applying to enough of these smaller scholarships will greatly increase your chances of earning some, as according to Kanrowotwiz less than 20,000 students a year receive a full ride to college, the first step is to apply. 

“Most people don’t apply for scholarships, which makes them much easier to get, especially the smaller ones. If they’re renewable, then they also start to add up throughout the years, totaling a good amount of money,” Jackie Lustgarden, head of Wackos, said. 

Many students do not apply themselves or look at what type of scholarships they may qualify for. Many seniors are unaware of the thousands of scholarships available, as students left over $2.9 billion in federal grants unused in 2014, according to NerdScholar. 

What’s so disappointing, is, even though scholarships are available, you don’t have a lot of students that research scholarship websites or the student services one.”

— Douglas

Scholarships can be renewable or useable after a gap year, and some can be used for books, field trips, boarding, etc. It is important to read the fine print, to find out what exactly the scholarship is for, along with the qualifications. 

“There are many scholarships for people willing to put in the time. For the most part, the ones that give more money require more work and are renewable,” Melissa Ansbacher, counselor of Wakefield Highschool and senior coordinator, said. “It just depends on the type of person, as some people don’t mind writing an essay while others would want an interview as they’re better face to face.”

The qualifications are different for each type of scholarship,  and usually reflect the amount of money offered. Most have some base requirements like a certain age, GPA or legal residency. Scholarships offering more money or full tuition require additional requirements such as essays or an interview.  The due date for these are varied, but all are open from now through January 31st.

“Scholarships are free money and free money is always [the] best money, because you don’t have to pay it back. Why not go to college for free, or at least lessen the cost,”  Kim Douglas, Dean of students at Wakefield High School said. “What’s so disappointing, is, even though scholarships are available, you don’t have a lot of students that research scholarship websites or the student services one.”

For more information on WHS scholarships visit here, or here. Mrs. Ansbacher in student services can also help.

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