Scholarship searches start early
Published 3:52 pm Wednesday, September 16, 2015
By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist
“Can we go in yet?” one mom asked. “Have they already started?”
“They’re finishing up the first session,” a student responded. “We’ll go in at 4:30.”
A crowd of students and parents gathered outside of the PHS Library waiting for the next session of Pelham High School Junior and Senior Counselor Laura Cochran’s Scholarship Workshop.
On Sept. 10, Cochran hosted three rapid-fire, hour-long Scholarship Workshops after school and into the evening.
Focusing on early scholarship searching and meeting deadlines, Cochran helped PHS parents and students begin the process of financing college educations.
“Is there any estimate of the income that puts you out of the range for completing the FAFSA?” asked the mom of a PHS senior.
“To win most college scholarships, you must complete the FAFSA,” answered Cochran.
Cochran has extensive knowledge of college scholarships. Through two children who’ve pursued college and graduate degrees and financing her own graduate studies, Cochran knows first-hand how expensive higher education can be.
Colleges require today’s students to complete the FAFSA for government aid in order to make the most of their scholarship dollars.
If one student is eligible for Pell Grants, the college can extend their own institutional scholarship money to another student who may not qualify for Pell Grants.
Cochran underscored the necessity of meeting scholarship application deadlines at every school that a student is considering.
“To receive the most scholarship money possible, students must also, study for the ACT and earn their best possible score,” Cochran said.
PHS juniors and seniors were awarded free ACT online prep this summer from Pelham City Schools and sophomores will soon receive the free ACT online prep also.
As parents and students used library computers and their phones to access websites, the meeting buzzed with excitement.
“My mom and I really appreciate all of these scholarship resources,” PHS Senior Meredith Revel said.
PHS hosts College and Career Night on Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 6-8 p.m. for eighth–12th grade students and their parents.
Many college representatives will assist Pelham’s students as they carefully consider their next steps beyond high school.