Counselors hold financial aid and scholarship workshop 

Many+students%2C+seniors+especially%2C+will+start+applying+for+financial+aid+and+scholarships+in+the+coming+months.+

Carter Moore

Many students, seniors especially, will start applying for financial aid and scholarships in the coming months.

Nicholas Djedjos, Staff Writer

Within the fall season of last minute assignments and college applications, potential financial opportunities are becoming more important to seniors to pay for their future educations. Meanwhile, juniors, though not having to worry about college for another year, are beginning to look for financial opportunities to apply for in the coming months. Catering to both classes, counselors Dr. Stevens and Ms. Bates held a Financial Aid and Scholarship Workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 23, via Zoom. 

With the tuition for public and private universities consistently rising, taking advantage of available financial aid is a crucial factor for prospective college students. From $500 to $50,000 for filling out a survey on water sprinklers to completing a comprehensive Questbridge application, the counselors showed students how many opportunities there are to earn money for college. 

“Without a doubt, I plan to apply for any financial aid that could help me out in the future for my career. I want to pursue the medical field and become a neurosurgeon, but going into medicine is very expensive,“ junior Zaria Cooper said.

The process to take advantage of these scholarships can be murky, from identifying the right scholarship to navigating the various complexities surrounding said scholarship. The one hour meeting served to clarify these details and proved to be informative and helpful for senior William Shy.

“I learned a lot about financial aid and scholarships. I had never been exposed all at once to all the different ways to afford college before today, so this was a great way to put everything on my radar and make me aware of all the ways college is more affordable than it can seem, especially learning about the less obvious ways than FAFSA,” Shy said. 

Other than FAFSA and financial opportunities like The Gates Scholarship and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship, Bates and Stevens explained specific pathways to accessing scholarships. Fastweb and College Greenlight were some of the websites they showed that can make searching for scholarships simpler. 

Juniors and seniors alike are already considering many of the opportunities introduced during the meeting. Junior Dalton Rainer is looking ahead to apply for numerous financial programs.

“I’m not applying for any financial aid at this exact moment as I’m still only a little bit into junior year; however, I will be applying to many of the programs that were mentioned during the presentation at a later date or during my senior year,” Rainer said.

For Shy, the path is more clear cut.

“I will be filling out the FAFSA, and hopefully earning some kind of National Merit scholarship. I will also start doing a lot more research on state-based aid, especially since I am considering Mississippi State, and this seems like kind of a hidden gem since most people don’t talk about state aid. I will also apply for school-specific merit and need-based scholarships at the schools that I apply to,” Shy said.