Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

Take advantage of the weather

By Sally Y. Hayes

By SALLY Y. HAYES

Mt. Pleasant News

Senior pictures, college applications, senior recitals, final sports seasons, senior prom and many other “lasts” of high school can overshadow an aspect of preparing for life after high school – scholarship applications.

With the increasing cost of tuition and many scholarship deadlines looming in the early spring now is a great time for high school seniors to complete scholarship applications. Hey, why not get a head start on these too, underclassmen?

Snowstorms causing two-hour delays and slick roads on the weekend may give students a prime time to complete these forms and essays that may make the difference in loan payments five years down the road.

Think about it. Why not grab as many scholarship applications as possible from a guidance counselor, toss them your backpack, take them home and wait for the inclement weather to ice over your weekend plans? Now, when you’re stuck at home with your parents and The Lawrence Welk Show on the living room television, turn off the video games, go to a quiet place and take the time to fill out a scholarship application or two…or twenty.

Perhaps you’ll be awarded a couple hundred dollars that could help cover the cost of books for a semester. Who knew how much textbooks cost, even used?

Or maybe, you’ll collect enough scholarship to cover some or, if you’re lucky enough, even all of your tuition.

And this is at the cost of what? An episode of a reality T.V. show you’ve already watched twice or a level of a game you conquered last weekend.

Those books get pricey, but they’re nothing compared to tuition. Even the three state schools, University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa, have upped the ante for each semester’s tuition for in state and out of state students in the last year.

In December the Iowa Board of Regents approved a 3.75 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students.

The increases aren’t just happening at the public schools either; private institutions are also having tuition costs climb the ladder.

Scholarships can be found online, in high school offices, with local businesses and often through your intended college.

There are scholarships with various requirements. Some are specifically for military families; including families who had members serve in World War I or II.

Others are awarded to students involved in extra curricular groups such as 4-H, scouts or church groups. There are scholarships awarded specifically to rural students and first generation college students. Also, seniors with intended majors can also look for applications in their future field of study.

Many of these applications and essays are due in March and April. Early submissions are welcomed. Besides, who wants to be stuck inside once warm temperatures arrive and spring sports seasons begin?

That weekend of snowstorms could amount to fewer loans to pay off, that may mean more video games you can purchase later, all because you took the time to set down the controller one night in high school.