This year, the Class of 2022 received well over $1.2 million in scholarships and merit aid to cut down the cost of their college education. Some received merit aid that will cover the full cost of attendance, while others received heavy subsidies for their attendance. Seniors received third-party scholarships from a wide variety of sources, including the Scholarship Foundation of Northshore, the Bryan Cameron Education Foundation, and the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium.
Senior Mahima Uliyar, who will be attending the University of Washington-Seattle in the fall, received the Rodgers Family Scholarship, which provides $10,000 per year renewable for four years of college, through the Scholarship Foundation of Northshore. The scholarship is available to high school seniors who intend to study Pre-Law, Business, or Music, and recipients are selected by members or representatives of the Rodgers Family.
“[The Scholarship Foundation of Northshore has] a website where it’s one application but you apply to a bunch of different scholarships based on if you are interested in business, technology, arts, and stuff,” Uliyar said. “So then it sees which ones you’re eligible for based on your GPA. And then you do some questions. So for this one in particular, there was a question about how capitalism has benefited America or something like that. So, it was a quick essay and then there was an interview.”
These interviewers are generally people who are paying for the scholarship, and meet with every student who applies to determine who would be the best fit.
“I’m very excited,” said senior Ava Falck, who received $5000 from the Blue Marble Scholarship through the Scholarship Foundation of Northshore. “The people that were interviewing me seemed really excited that I wanted to go to the University of Washington. I’m going for engineering, so they’re really excited that they got to use it for something they thought was cool.”
Senior Irene Kang received the Bothell Arts Commission Scholarship of $3,500, and she says she plans to use it to continue her art journey at a higher level.
“I got the scholarship by applying through the Northshore Scholarship Foundation dashboard and doing an interview where I showcased two of my artworks and answered questions about my art, future plans and extracurriculars, which were all art-related,” said Kang. She plans to attend the University of Washington, and said that the scholarship “motivated me to continue to create and share my art.”
Some students received aid directly from schools like Chapman University, where submitting an application automatically puts students in consideration for merit scholarships.
“I got the Chapman University Provost Scholarship, which is just an academic scholarship they give out based on merit, and I think it was about a total of $28,000 a year. So $112,000 over all four years, which is pretty exciting,” said senior and future Chapman student Cameron Hughes. “It kind of just came in the mail with my acceptance letter. They said ‘You’ve been selected as a Provost Scholar and here’s the financial package that comes with that.”
According to the Chapman website, the university awarded over $167 million to their students in scholarships, and more than 80% of undergraduates received some form of financial aid.
“I didn’t apply for the scholarship. But Chapman is a private college, and so when you apply there, you’re more likely than not going to get some type of financial aid,” said senior and future Chapman student Emerson Ellis, who received the Presidential Scholarship from Chapman University for $146,000 over four years.
These merit scholarships can also provide much needed recognition for students who work hard to have exemplary academics in high school.
“It made my college decision a lot easier, and I was definitely happy to be recognized for everything I’ve done in high school,” said senior and future Oregon State University student Alice Taylor, who received the merit-based Western Undergraduate Scholarship for $15,000.
The process of scholarship application can be an arduous task, but a range of resources are available for students who are looking for this type of financial aid. Along with the Scholarship Foundation of Northshore, Peterson’s Scholarship Search, TheWashBoard and many seniors themselves are also reliable sources to use when searching for scholarships.
“You never know what you might get, so apply to general scholarships and just keep searching and applying,” said senior Sarah Popcowitz, who received the Chinook District/Washington Federation of Garden Clubs scholarship for $1,500 and the Harrold E. Willmsen scholarship for $400. She plans to use them at Washington State University to study horticulture and keep up her career in rowing.
“Look for [scholarships] early and get in contact with the College and Career Center because it’s hard to tell online, which ones are real, which ones are fake, because there’s just so many,” said Uliyar. “A lot of them seem really competitive and you’re gonna be like, ‘I’m not good enough for them,’ but at least try.”