Applying For Grants, Loans Consumes Valuable Time; Higher Education Proves Worth It In The End

Lane Weldon, Staff Writer

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Junior Jessica Ayres sits at her desk, fiercely writing. She stops and looks over at the book the essay is on about, “Profiles in Courage,”and then puts her head on the desk. She hopes it is worth it.
As the school year comes to an end, it’s still not too late for seniors or younger students to apply for college scholarships.
“Most colleges and universities give you scholarships depending on how much aid they give you for merit based on GPA, or class rank, or high SAT scores, or community service, “ college adviser Jaclyn Muensterman said. “You’ll get scholarships from an institution, but they also give you grants on how much your parents make, so a lot of times even if you have all of these activities you’ve done or if you have a family who’s income is low, where it looks like your not going to be able to pay up much, schools will usually still give you some sort of little bit of loan because they want the student to have something invested in their education.”
Experts say even if students do not have a high GPA or are at the top of the class they still can get a scholarship, but they have to work for it.
“For a lot of scholarships you have to write an essay,” college/career secretary Nancy Balch said. “A lot of kids don’t like to write essays, but a lot of them are ‘why you think you deserve this scholarship’. It’s not like you have to research Einstein’s theory of whatever. It is usually something personal to you.”
There are even scholarships based on ethnicity or gender.
“Some colleges are still trying to diversify the type of students that go there,” college/career counselor Julie Johnson said. “The top people that go to schools are white females followed be white males and then Hispanic and black females. So Hispanic and black males sometimes can get more scholarship money then white males because colleges are looking to diversify to meet federal standards.”
Through scholarship money students can avoid debt.
“Student loans are becoming the number one debt in America,” Johnson said. “If I wanted to go to MSU, I’d pay about 20,000 a year, and if I’m going to Baylor, I’d pay about 40,000 a year. Scholarships help deduct from the amount I have to take out on loans.”