Acceptance and Scholarships go Hand and Hand

Finding and being accepted to the college that is perfect for you can be a triumphant and memorable moment in life, but finding the school that is right for you is only half the battle.
Senior Sarah Weise sought out universities that were in the top 100 in the country based on the Princeton Review and the United States News and World Report. She looked at liberal arts schools like Kenyon, and other major universities like Lehigh university and Syracuse university, but these schools did not live up to her expectations. “I thought that I would love all of these schools, but when I stepped on campus, I hated all of them,” said Weise.
After a heartbreaking trip to Syracuse University, Weise had lost all hope in finding a school that was right for her.
“Since we were already in New York, my mom suggested that we take a two hour drive to Rochester University, and as soon as we got there, I thought ‘This reminds me of home and Pittsburgh,’ said Weise.
After seeing red brick buildings and the classic architecture, Weise knew that this was a place where she could thrive.
Rochester fit Weise’s standards by being 33 in the country according to Princeton, yet she didn’t think she stood a chance of getting past her initial visit.
“I was beneath all of the statistics. I didn’t have a high enough GPA, or high enough SAT or ACT scores, I was mediocre at best. I interviewed with a counselor and put forth my best qualities and that was enough for me to get accepted,” said Weise.
Once accepted, Weise had to ask the next question “How and I going to pay for four years of education? The hard part of paying for education is coming up with thousands of dollars to help pay for this once in a lifetime experience. One of the most valuable and beneficial tools to help lessen this financial burden is scholarship opportunities. You may think that it is just $1,000 here and there, but these small-monetary values can really add up to a substantial amount of money, yet scholarships are not taken advantage of as much as they should be.
Luckily for Weise, at Rochester University, all accepted students are viewed for every scholarship possible by admissions and guidance. “So far, I have been granted an academic Merit Scholarship, and I will learn in the spring if I have been granted any others. I have also applied for the Deno Castelli Charitable Scholarship,” said Weise.
Weise is fortunate enough to have her school help her seek out scholarships, but for most high school seniors, they have to take the worthwhile initiative on their own through the help of the guidance department.
“College is the most expensive investment you will ever make, so why not make it more affordable by taking advantage of scholarships,” said Guidance Counselor Mrs Kuhn.
Students should also look for all kinds of financial aid. “Students should look at all scholarships, even at the national level. The guidance office posts all of the local scholarship opportunities on the Guidance Webpage,” said Kuhns.
Websites like College board, FFA, and Fastweb also have scholarship opportunities available.
An important thing to keep in mind is that scholarships are not just for the straight A students. “it is not the smartest kids that get the most money from scholarships, it is the ones that work the hardest and have a lot of great qualities,” said Kuhn.
So if you have been avoiding applying for scholarships for whatever reason, now is the time to take advantage of them. They can only benefit your academic and financial future.