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Seniors expand college horizons with help of academic scholarships

In the last 20 years, the average college tuition of a public in-state college has grown 212%. This exponential growth has caused scholarships to become increasingly necessary for those who do not want an overwhelming amount of student debt.

Many seniors are eligible to receive significant academic scholarships. Senior Will Thrasher qualified for two large academic scholarships this year.

“I’m going to be attending the University of South Florida, and I was awarded the Presidential Green and Gold Scholarship. It was a scholarship that was given to me by the school for academics and ACT scores,” said Thrasher.

Thrasher’s scholarship to USF amounts to $12,000 over 4 years, and even though he was offered a $96,000 four year scholarship to the University of Alabama, the overall–cost even with the scholarship would be much more than USF.

Anna Crittenden received the Presidential Scholarship with Recognition, yet she put time and work in to receive an addition to her original amount.

“When I applied to Oglethorpe and sent them my transcript...they said, ‘Based on your academic achievements, you are now eligible for our Presidential Scholarship.’ They gave me a scholarship just off of that, and then if I wanted more money, I could compete in the Scholarship weekend for either the Presidential Scholarship or the J.E.O. (James Edward Oglethorpe) Scholarship,” said Crittenden. “I chose to compete in the Scholarship weekend, and that was how I was awarded the [extra] scholarship.”

Crittenden is able attend to Oglethorpe as a result of the substantial four year scholarship paying off a large portion of her tuition. However, as with many others, there are necessary requirements to maintain eligibility status.

“I have to keep up a certain GPA in order to keep the scholarship. It’s an academic merit kind of scholarship,” said Crittenden.

Though college can seem a world away, seniors recommend high school students of any grade apply for scholarships as soon as possible, as scholarships are in many instances the deciding factor of which college one will go to.

“Take initiative; don’t be scared of it, don’t be scared to ask for help, and put your best foot forward,” said Crittenden. “Don’t be afraid to say, ‘This is who I am’ and really use what you have.”


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