Scholarships help seniors in college
By Rachel Huebert
The month of January is almost at its close, and many scholarship deadlines are approaching, while others have already come and gone. Scholarships help pay for college, and unlike loans, they don’t require reimbursement. It takes a long time to make five thousand dollars by regular work, as compared to a few hours filling out several scholarship applications. A little time investment can really end up paying off.
There are between 30 to 40 local businesses and organizations that offer scholarships, such as Rotary and Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative. Retailers like WalMart and Kohl’s and fast food chains like Olive Garden and McDonald’s offer scholarships as well. Often, where business is done, locally or nationally, there may be a scholarship. Of course, the competition for scholarships grows greater with the larger the company or organization, but there is always a chance to win it if a student applies.
To get information on scholarships offered by organizations seniors should check emails. Academic Advisor Janet McHenry sends out all information she receives via email to her seniors, but it‘s up to seniors to keep up on scholarship applications and deadlines they‘re interested in. A few scholarship notifications have been posted in the hall. McHenry keeps two drawers in her file cabinet dedicated to scholarships and their requirements. Large organizations or businesses like McDonald’s and WalMart have information on their websites. If the homepage doesn’t have an obvious scholarship link, students can do a search under “scholarship” in the search box on the website.
Filling out the applications is time consuming. One good approach is to set aside one day a week to work on them. By using planners and calendars to mark deadlines and keep a day open to work, completing applications can run rather smoothly. When looking to apply for scholarships, it’s important to check if the organization or business has a specific application they’d like to have used. Some businesses and organizations may use the LHS Common Scholarship Application form, which McHenry has emailed several times to all seniors.
Information on applications usually includes a student’s GPA, any sports or school clubs the student is involved in, any outside organizations, honors or awards, and community service. A student with a B average has just as much of a chance at winning as an A student if he or she is outstanding in community service, McHenry said. Different scholarships look for different characteristics and qualities in applicants. The more scholarships applied for, the greater the chance at winning money, McHenry noted.
Some organizations give the scholarship check to the student at the senior banquet. Some organizations may wait to have a proof of registration before sending money. Others may wait and request a proof of enrollment
for a second semester. Most organizations will indicate in the application or provide information of when to expect the scholarship money.
Scholarship money can be used in many different ways. Different organizations have different requirements on how they want the money spent. Scholarships are usually used to pay tuition, housing, books, or any other fees college presents. Although not many organizations audit how scholarships are spent, it’s probably unwise to buy a car using scholarship money, McHenry said.