Photo used with permission of Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation.
When applying for scholarships, students must search for ones that they match the criteria for and go through numerous websites. The Fishers Rotary Club has sought to alleviate some of this hassle, sponsoring the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation Uniform Application for Community Scholarships, which may be a beneficial resource for seniors. The uniform application can eliminate some of the hassles of going through numerous organizations.
To apply for the Community Scholarships, a student will need to fill out one general application, and then write an essay or get a certain recommendation letter based on the specific scholarship one applies for. Students are encouraged to apply early to give them a better chance of winning, and winners will be notified via a letter in the mail. All applications are due by March 18.
Furthermore, many of these scholarships are available only to FHS and HSE students, giving students a better chance at winning as opposed to national scholarships. These scholarships may help to reduce some of the cost and stress of applying for college.
“Indiana University is my top choice, and it isn’t that expensive compared to out-of-state, but it’s still really stressful to figure out paying for it,” senior Zach Humphrey said. “Scholarships would help a lot, so being able to apply for multiple at once would definitely relieve some stress.”
The average cost of attending a four-year, public in-state school in 2018 was $20,770; $36,420 for a public out-of-state school, and $46,950 for a private school, according to Student Debt Relief. In order to take off some of this financial burden, a student may hope for scholarships, either merit or need-based.
Of all the financial aid given to students in 2016-2017, 21% came from federal and state sources, and 25% came from college grants and scholarships, according to the College Board. The other 54% comes from private organizations, either national, local or regional ones. Yet, students often are not aware of these organizations or how to get this money.
“Certain scholarships are super easy to find, the bigger ones usually,” senior Addison Shorter said. “But there are probably other ones that are easy to apply for and would be beneficial, but I don’t really know where to find them.”
Shorter is a member of the National Honors Society, which qualifies her for the $500 a year scholarship. They also have scholarships for members of Best Buddies, students who plan on pursuing teaching, students with achievements in art, and numerous others. Most of the scholarships range from $500 to $750. This seems relatively small compared to college attendance cost, but according to college and career counselor Linda Brown, this is the most effective way to cut down the cost of college.
“Most students who get scholarship money stack it, they don’t just get big scholarships,” Brown said. “It might be $500 here, $1000 here, something small here. Then you add it up and you make a good dent in college expenses.”