After a lower than expected participation in prior years and some grant funds left unallocated, last year SHS Counselor Sarah Vinklarek began inviting parents to learn more about available scholarships for seniors planning to pursue higher education after graduation. The program has worked with students netting over $55K more for the Class of 2016 over 2015.
The Class of 2015 reported $539,400 in scholarships, and the Class of 2016, $595,229. These figures include military scholarships, but only count dollars reported to the counselor’s office.
“Parents seem to care more much more about the financial aspect of attending college,” said Mrs. Sarah Vinklarek, High School Counselor. “Our rate of participation went up last year, and I’m hoping to see that continue this year.”
Mrs. Vinklarek held a Senior Meeting on Dec. 5th for Class of 2017 students and parents to learn more about the available local scholarships, the required items to submit with the applications and the importance of filling out forms by the deadlines for this “free money,”
She also revealed why some students don’t apply for scholarships. “‘Well, my parents make too much money,’” quoted Mrs. Vinklarek. “A lot of organizations don’t care about that,” she added. “They want to give it to you based on merit.”
Mrs. Vinklarek also gave tips on getting quality references from teachers. “Do give them a couple of weeks to write a recommendation letter, and hand them a resume of your activities and accomplishments,” she said. “They can’t be expected to remember all of that.”
Another avenue for getting scholarships is to review websites of schools the student is interested in attending.
Mrs. Vinklarek spends time coordinating scholarships from local businesses and organizations and will, if she sees the opportunity, contact others to propose that they participate in the scholarship program.
The Scholarship Awards Ceremony will be held May 9, 2017, and Mrs. Vinklarek needs all scholarships and grants reported to her office by May 1, 2017.