Home Editor's Picks High school students often overlook unique college scholarship opportunities

High school students often overlook unique college scholarship opportunities

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Looking at her computer, sophomore Rachel Tafoya researches colleges on cappex.com during lunch at Red Mountain High School in Mesa. (Kennedy Palaschuk/Special to MyNewsMesa.com)

Students struggling to afford their future college education often overlook unique scholarship opportunities. Because such scholarships are not as often talked about by schools, students aren’t always aware of their existence. Scholarships can be for anything from being left-handed to winning a Pokémon tournament.

“Some odd scholarships that I know of for students include having the most creative sandwich, creating a greeting card, hair color, height and many more,” Red Mountain High School AVID Coordinator Celeste Burns said.

There are many things that scholarships look for in students. For example, the Central Arizona Tall Society gives a scholarship to a girl of at least 5 feet, 10 inches tall and a boy of at least 6 feet, 2 inches tall for $250; but many students don’t know when or how to start applying for financial aid.

“Just by Googling unique scholarships, a lot of information comes up,” Red Mountain High School Career Center Advisor Janine Willis said. “One website I found with reliable information is yescollege.com.”

Many students hold on to the misconception that there is nothing that can be done for scholarships until junior year. In reality, students can start applying for scholarships much earlier.

“The key is starting early,” Burns said. “Students should start applying their freshman year.”

Additionally, unigo.com and cappex.com are excellent websites to help with college financial aid. These sites allow students to fill out information on their schooling, then give them personalized scholarship options and information on colleges.

Although at times it can seem nearly impossible for students who are struggling financially to reach their educational dreams, unique scholarship programs allow these students to overcome this obstacle with opportunities to receive financial aid. Scholarships are attainable for any student who has the motivation to reach their aspirations.

– Kennedy Palaschuk is a sophomore at Red Mountain High School in Mesa.

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