Students take steps to scholarship success

Sydney Hamilton, Editor-in-Chief

Every student going to college should apply for scholarships because they are one of the easiest ways to get money for school. Scholarships allow students to go to school for a cheaper price or free and they don’t have to pay that money back whereas you would have to do that with loans.

Some students do not apply for scholarships because they do no save the time, the essay intimidates them, or it is a lot of paper work. However, students don’t have to worry about those things because there are always counselors, teachers, or administrators who are willing to help students prepare for college.

There are multiple college preparation programs at North, one being College Possible. The coaches for College Possible help students with their applications, resumes, and personal essays so they can be as strong as they can be. Students attend meetings twice a week to help them with these things so they can use them directly for their scholarship applications their senior year.

According to the senior coach, Connor Dethlefs, “The more you apply for [scholarships], then the better your chances are of receiving one. There have been many instances where very few people apply for a certain scholarship, so these can be fairly easy to win.”

College Possible provides each student in their program with a Scholarship Handbook and they will also receive a sheet with all of North’s scholarships on them. There are also individuals at the College Possible office who are “specifically trained in finding local and national scholarships that our students have a good chance at getting selected for.”

If a student is not in the College Possible program or another college prep program at North, there are three college counselors in the Guidance Resource Center (GRC) on the first floor: Ms. Iles, Ms. Wilkinson, and Mr. Wiser. They can help students with the application process as well as sending them information and writing letters of recommendation.

It is always best to apply for as many scholarships as possible because, according to counselor Ms. Wilkinson, “Bigger scholarships are usually competitive…it is not wise to put all of your hopes into one large scholarships.”

There are scholarships available everywhere and for every different genre of activities. At North, there are The North High Scholarships as well as PTSO scholarships. There are also bigger scholarships in Nebraska like ones from the OPS Education Foundation and the Susan Thompson Buffet Scholarship that can provide students a full ride scholarship to UNL if awarded it.

Specifically, for PTSO, they offer four $1000 scholarships to Omaha north students. For this scholarship a student and/or their families must “have an active role in giving back through the North High community through PTSO activities,” have been members of PTSO at least their junior and senior year, and have volunteered at 2 or more PTSO sponsored events. A student must also include with their

completed application a personal resume, a list of all the PTSO activities they and their family have volunteered at, and an essay responding to the prompt chosen by the PTSO scholarship committee.

“Your odds of winning an Omaha North or other local scholarships are much higher than a scholarship that the whole country is applying for – so make sure you’re spending much more quality time on local scholarships,” Dethlefs said, which is why the PTSO scholarship is a great example of one to apply for.

Students don’t typically know of all the requirements needed for certain scholarships, like the PTSO one, before hand, causing them to not be eligible to receive them. It is important to know certain information about scholarships before a students’ junior or senior year so they can prepare for when it matters.

Some other options students have in case they don’t get all the scholarships they wanted are grants, loans, and financial aid. The majority of students work while in college so they can get money from that, too. Some other alternatives would be to become a resident advisor so students don’t have to pay for room and board, to start off going to a two year school and then transfer to a four year school because the cost per credit hour is significantly cheaper there, or start out in the military so they can pay for your schooling once you get out.

Overall, scholarships are the number one thing that can help any student get through college.