Debilitating debt: why scholarships are beneficial

Klaudia Manis

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College-bound students often rely on scholarships to pay tuition fees — but many of these students remain uninformed.

“They talk a lot about student debt these days, so if someone is willing to help you and you’re willing to turn in essays, why wouldn’t you take it?” counselor Joaquin Zapata asked.

Scholarships are offered by organizations, companies, businesses and even colleges themselves. They can also be obtained through sports, academics, music, a club or a special skill, ability or trait.

“(I got my softball scholarship) after being noticed by a coach at the field,” senior Jewliann Jones said. “I’ve also considered (going) to the military before I go to college because the military would pay for my (education).”

Senior Garrett Busey also has a scholarship.

“One scholarship I have right now is the national merit semifinalists scholarship, which is automatic consideration for top scorers on the PSAT… Any college can decide how much they want to give you for it,” he said.

Certain scholarships have different requirements depending on their criteria, including an essay or paper on a specific topic.

Seniors can find more information about available scholarships through the high school or their own online research.

“About every two weeks during this time of the year, we put out a bulletin to all of the seniors so they know what we’ve got here, and (then) them… and their parents have it via email,” Zapata said.

One common mistake among students isn’t with the scholarship itself — it’s within applying.

“A lot of things go unapplied to because people just don’t think they’re going to get it – (A few) years ago we had a couple thousand dollars to give away and no one had applied,” Zapata said.