How Scholarships Can Change The Trajectory Of One's Academic Career
Scholarships are a type of financial aid that helps students pay for their education. They are awarded based on various criteria such as academic merit, financial need, community involvement, and other accomplishments. Scholarships are an essential source of funding for many students, especially those who cannot afford to pay for their education out of pocket. At NHS, students can apply for multiple scholarships, according to the Testing Coordinator Persis Aviles. “There are About 80 scholarships this year, which varies from year to year,” Aviles said. “Some of those scholarships have won more than one recipient or more than one award, so it does end up being over 100.”
Scholarships are essential because they make education more accessible. Many students are unable to pursue their academic goals due to financial constraints, and scholarships can help ease these burdens. However, the scholarship application process can take a lot of work. “There is one general application. I go to every classroom to show students how to do it and email it out to every student and their families,” Aviles said. “Some of the scholarship donors want something else, so besides that one general application, sometimes they want an essay; but, for the most part, it’s just one general local application.” Scholarships help to remove this barrier by providing financial assistance to deserving students. This not only allows students to attend college or university but also enables them to focus on their studies without the burden of financial stress. With a scholarship, students can pursue their educational dreams without being held back by their financial situation.
Many scholarships are awarded based on academic merit, which encourages students to strive for excellence in their studies. Since students can apply for numerous scholarships, some can be easier to obtain than others. “For example, if they just need a general application, then you have it done and you upload it for each and every scholarship. The scholarships that want more things from students, like an essay, generally get fewer students applying, but that’s a good thing for the student so they would have less competition. I hope students won’t shy away from those scholarships.” Aviles said. Applying for scholarships sooner, leaves better outcomes. “Local scholarships happen senior year. At the beginning of January, scholarship information is sent out and students typically have roughly two months to complete it. I would definitely say that all seniors should apply even though we only get about half of the seniors to apply,” Aviles said. "I do a presentation in every classroom where I walk students through the process. I really don’t know why more students do not apply because when we have our award ceremony, you often see the same group of students getting multiple awards, and it’s because they apply. If we had more of the student population applying, I think more students would get an award, so I would hope more seniors would consider doing this." Besides academics, there are other things that a student can do that shows that they're prepared to take on the challenges of college. "Volunteering is big for local scholarships; they want to see someone who volunteers a lot and logs those hours so you can submit them to the scholarship committees.” Aviles said. Students who receive scholarships are often high achievers who bring a positive impact to their academic community.
There are numerous scholarships and it's important to know what each donor is looking to reward. “There are different requirements for what you have to hand in, but there are also different requirements as far as what they’re looking for from the student. For example, there are some for students that participate in sports; there is a lot for students that volunteer, and there are scholarships for academics. There is truly a scholarship for everybody, so even if you are not four-year college-bound or have poor grades, there is a scholarship for you,” Aviles said.
Aviles encourages every graduating senior to review the list of scholarships. “It’s free money,” she said. “What’s unique about local scholarships, unlike most national scholarships, is, first of all, you have a better chance of getting a scholarship because you’re only competing with the people in your class. Also, it’s pretty much cash, so instead of going directly to tuition, the student can decide how in college they want to spend it.” By providing financial assistance to these students, scholarships enable them to take part in activities and opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach. This can include internships, research projects, and more. These experiences can help students gain valuable skills and insights that will benefit them both academically and professionally.
Scholarships are an important source of financial assistance that helps to make education more accessible to graduating seniors. It's important for upcoming seniors to take the application process seriously and set aside the time to complete their applications so that they catch the eye of the donors who generously support students' futures. `