Scholarships: Too often, seniors miss out on the money

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Shu-yu Chen, Staff Writer

Though it is just the beginning of another long year of high school, over 400 SHS seniors get to look forward to one date: graduation.

Many of these students plan on attending a higher education institution next fall. Obviously, cost has always been an issue when it comes to paying for tuition, textbooks, and more. While it may seem as though college is a long way off, seniors are urged to begin their preparation as soon as possible — especially when it comes to applying for scholarships.

“Scholarships are a vehicle for people to get financial help of college,” said guidance counselor Mr. William Simonovich. Though that is the case, there has not been many applicants in past years, even with class sizes unchanging.

Every year, at Moving Up Day (a tradition unique to SHS), approximately $150,000 in scholarship money will be awarded to SHS students. Awards may range from $100-$10,000. Unfortunately, according to Simonovich, some of that money never reaches the students pockets. Why? Because students simply do not apply. The reasons may range from disinterest to not knowing how to apply.

If students want to apply for scholarships, they should simply go to the guidance office. There they will find a binder filled with scholarships. Students can browse, select a scholarship, see if they are eligible, take an application, and fill it out along with an essay or assignment in which they justify why they feel qualified. Eligibility may depend on GPA, majors of interest, and other factors. Not following through on this process may costs students thousands of dollars.

As of the end of September 2017, there are three scholarships available: the Horatio Alger Scholarship, the Stephen Luke Nordmark Scholarship, and the Pocono Mountain Penn State Club scholarship.

The binder will continue to fill up throughout the year, so it is important to follow up on a regular basis. New scholarships are often mentioned during homeroom announcements. The selection process may take 6 to 12 weeks.

On November 16, there will be a financial aid night for seniors who are looking for more information. Underclassmen can explore online nationals scholarship opportunities, as well. The Princeton Review and Petersons are popular websites that offer rewarding scholarships for hard working individuals.

With so many scholarships and hefty rewards available, now is the time to apply. The money that is unclaimed right now could be yours.