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The importance of scholarships

Kathy Schroeder

Kathy Schroeder

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Unless you’re the lucky few who can afford to go to the college/universities you want with all expenses paid by your parents, you’re like the rest of the population: scumming for any money colleges are willing to throw out at you. Unlike the price back in the old days, going to college is a lot more expensive nowadays, especially if you’re considering an out-of-state university. Although many colleges do provide financial aid, it often isn’t enough to cover the hefty price that still lands you in a black hole of debt after four years. This is where scholarships come in.

 

Scholarships that are both affiliated with your college and from outside organizations, they constitute a large amount of money you can use to pay for college and buy a ticket out of the debt dark hole– but only if you get the money. But these applications often instill a fear in us: what are my chances of getting it?  With this question, many others arise: if I don’t get this scholarship, should I go for it anyway? Would it be a waste of time? Is my application strong enough compared to others?

 

This was one question that many seniors pondered over as they began to eliminate certain colleges from their stash. It was also the one question that held many seniors back from applying.

 

“I don’t know if I’m applying yet, “  Anna Mancini, senior, said. “I feel like it’s worth it but if I don’t get the scholarship, it would be a waste of my time that I could’ve spent doing something else.”

 

Of course, it’s completely understandable in terms of fear since they are competing against a larger pool of students. Yet, this situation also appears in the college application process: You apply with an application competing with other students to get a spot in the university you desire– so wouldn’t you say it’s exactly the same?

Photo Courtesy of Elmhurst PatchKathy Schroeder

If we’re talking about excuses for why students don’t apply for scholarships,perhaps the biggest reasoning in why people don’t apply is lack of  exposure to it. Many students may not be aware of the opportunities that are presented for the little things they do — like extracurriculars, or even their ethnicity or physicality.

 

“There’s scholarships for a lot of different aspects of scholarly activities, extracurriculars for example,” David Flanagan, a senior who has just begun to apply, said. “And I’m not sure if students know what options are available to them.”

 

Though most York’s students already know (as introduced repeatedly in multiple sessions held by the CCRC), a quick and efficient method to find scholarships is in the CCRC tab on York’s homepage.   

 

“One place that they can go is to the College and Career Resource Center on York’s website,” Mrs. Weber, counselor and scholarship coordinator, said. “There’s a tab on the website for scholarship so that’s a great place to find local scholarships. We try to upload as often as we can [and] anything people send to us, we will post.”

 

Mrs. Weber also stressed the importance of students doing their own research in addition to the opportunities the CCRC presents to them.

 

“It’s really about doing research,” Weber said. “Certain schools have their own scholarships and you can find out what their criteria is [and determine] whether or not they’re a competitive applicant. It’s really up to you guys.”

 

Despite the encouragement and push from parents and counselors, many students still opted out of applying. Some believe scholarship should only be reserved for those who truly need it and they don’t want to take that opportunity away from them — a true saint decision.

 

“I’m not in a place where I need money– I have the privilege of going to college without having to worry financially,“  Senior Maria Carlson, who recently was admitted into University of Iowa, said. “But I think scholarships should only be reserved for people who don’t have that privilege and really need it for financial reasons or whatever.”

 

Whatever the reason is , in the end, it’s worth remembering this: we don’t have to be broke college students. What we do need to be, is smart. And that starts with the first realization that holds you back from jumping in the money bag: There’s always going to be someone with a stronger application, but that shouldn’t discourage you from applying to scholarships.

 

“Apply early, apply often, apply to as many as possible,” Weber said. “By not applying, you’re taking yourself out of the running. Don’t be afraid of not getting it– because if you think about it, you’re not going to have a chance at all if you don’t even try. So it’s really worth investing the time.”

 

For more information in regards to scholarships, you can (and should!) visit the CCRC portal at York’s home page to check out the many, many scholarships provided or you can talk to Mrs. Weber and Mrs. Thompson in the CCRC.

 

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