A hidden treasure worth looking for

SHS student proves the importance of applying for scholarships

Nowadays, scholarships are the only way some people have to pay for college. About two-thirds of college students pay for part, or all of their tuition, with scholarships. Athletic scholarships are more common than full-ride scholarships. Full-ride scholarships for academics or, “unicorns,” as guidance counselor Keegan Fox compares them to, as they are a once in a lifetime opportunity for some. There are also many other opportunities that students can take to get these scholarships.
Some examples that Fox gives in which students can earn full-ride scholarships for are through theater, music, singing, volunteer work or community service and religious scholarships at private schools.
Senior Maria Guia is one SHS student who has earned a scholarship through one of these ways. She recently received a full-ride scholarship from 21st Century Scholars for being academically conscious. Only 25 of the kids who applied for the Marian scholarship that Guia applied for could get into Marian University. The college is a part of the 21st Century Scholars program. Guia applied for the scholarship during October. Then she was told she’d have an interview around three weeks later.
“(The interviewer) wanted to see where I was, and if I stood out…” Guia said. “and if I could bring in that kind of change into Marian.”
The change she refers to is a positive change in Marion’s academics. Guia’s advice to students who want to get a full-ride scholarship is to look at all of their options with colleges, scholarships and to work on the applications early.
Fox suggests turning in applications as soon as possible, taking challenging courses in high school and seeking a special talent to pursue.
“Keep your grades high, be a well-rounded student, and make sure you’re applying for anything and everything,” Fox said.
Guia was very excited about her full-ride scholarship. She received the news over Christmas break. Neither one of them knew they got it until after break when they both messaged each other about it. They were both excited and very supportive of each other.
Before getting, or even applying for the scholarship, Guia worked hard in school. She took lots of AP classes, which are required for the Academic Honors diploma. She also tried to stay on track as much as possible. Trying to keep up grades and not slack was a huge part in her success academically.
Guia thinks that academic scholarships are important because it gives an opportunity to kids who aren’t interested in athletics. Students can get the same advantages in college as athletes do based on their academics.
SHS provides many helpful resources when it comes to students feeling overwhelmed and scared thinking about college. The main resource counselors use to push college and scholarship information to students is through the website Naviance. Even though some scholarships are only a couple hundred dollars, Fox recommends to apply for any and all scholarships students are qualified for. The counselors update Naviance every day, according to Fox, so checking it every day can help immensely with anyone’s college goals.
Overall, academic scholarships are very important to kids like Guia in SHS. They give new opportunities that some kids wouldn’t since they aren’t involved in athletics, and Guia is one example of this.