Scholarships, location play deciding factors in college choice


Ally Estes

UCM representative Brandy Potter scans the bar codes of sophomores Zach Riggs, Kieon Davis, Mason Knox, and Riley Bagley. Freshman and sophomores had to sign up to attend the college fair while juniors and seniors were invited.

  Choosing the right college can be a struggle for all college-bound students. Having to include factors such as finances, location, and opportunities, the pressure between aiming for perfection within a certain amount of time can make the decision even harder. Luckily, Warsaw High is equipped with senior students and staff with knowledge and advice on how to find a college suitable for all needs. For example, counselor Laura Cooke heavily advocates the idea of early registration, and says the benefits a student gains from early acceptance is worth it.

  “The earliest students can apply is August of their senior year. They have to be a senior to apply,” Cooke said, “Good things happen to kids who apply early; especially for four year colleges. Housing and parking is offered earlier. This is really important for bigger campuses.”

  Colleges across the nation are offering students scholarships and grants, and it’s up to the students to fill out and send in applications on time. For instance, a lot of the MU systems had early Nov 1 or Nov 15 scholarship deadlines.

  “I applied to UCM online and had Mrs. Cooke transfer my high school transcript,” senior Nathan Townley said. “I’m currently receiving $2,500 every year through the Red and Black scholarship. I recommend that students apply to as many scholarships and grants as they can.”

  Scholarships, micro-scholarships, and grants differ from person to person, often relying on academic achievements. However, there are scholarships awarded for those with certain health concerns or disabilities, different ethnicities, and even clubs or groups involved with the school/community.

  “I don’t really know if I have received any scholarships yet. CMU’s trying to recruit me for their band; if I make it I get at least $2,500 in scholarships. With academic scholarships, it depends on my GPA and ACT scores, which depending on those it will range from $4,000 to $12,000 – I should be able to receive one somewhere between there,” senior Alexis Smith said.

  Scholarships are not the only deciding factor on whether or not a college is suitable. Location, possible living conditions, and the opportunities the school offers should also be taken into consideration.

  “When I talked to Dakota  – the representative for CMU and my admissions counselor – at the college fair, he was very warm and inviting. That ended up playing a big part in the decision,” Smith said.

  “I was accepted by Missouri State. During the process, I went to a college visit and while I was there we had an opportunity to apply. We got to sit at computers and fill out our applications, ask anybody on staff there if we had any questions, and got to meet professors,” senior Makayla Mais said. “I chose Missouri State because it felt like home and they offered a great journalism program. I also have a lot of family and friends in the Springfield area so even if I’m not actually home, it still feels like home to me.”