LBHSSF searches for seniors to reward
March 23, 2017
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On Thursday, March 9, the Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Foundation officially closed applications. Students endured a stressful month of writing essays, gathering letters of recommendations, perfecting their resumes and opening FAFSA accounts.
Last year, a total of 147 students received awards totaling $380,975 overall. This year, a total of 162 students set up LBHSSF applications, and a total of 1,540 essays were submitted. Through the foundation this year, $380,000 is available to the students who applied; the scholarships amount to $500,000 once the renewable funds are factored in.
Although LBHSSF scholarships have officially closed, seniors are still hard at work applying for external scholarships. The Festival of Arts scholarship applications were due Friday, March 10, yet the process for these scholarships continues. Seniors applying for the Festival scholarships have interests in the arts, including film, performing arts, visual arts and writing. Students submitted their portfolios, and they will schedule interviews with the Festival of Arts Scholarship Committee.
“The Festival of Arts is art-based money for artists who are desperate for college help,” said senior Katie Williams. “I am interested in continuing studies in visual arts and writing in college, and I feel like this scholarship will help motivate me to do well.”
It is important to apply for scholarships, even if one doesn’t see the point; it’s free money after all. If students mistakenly believe they are not eligible for any scholarships, they can always find something—it just takes a little bit of effort.
“[LBHSSF] is a unique opportunity unlike any other school offers,” said scholarship and financial aid coordinator Lynn Gregory. “It is local organizations in Laguna that truly care about our students’ dreams, goals and futures. They believe that education is the key; no matter where you go, there are always scholarships available.”
The average amount of scholarships a single student applied for ranges from 12 to 15; however, the highest amount of scholarships a single person applied for was 30. The next steps for most students is to wait until the Honors Convocation on June 9. However, some scholarships require students to go through additional interviews in order to further discuss their essays or why they think they deserve the scholarships. These interviews will be organized through Mrs. Gregory and will begin at the start of April.
On March 15, the scholarship committee had their first meeting to discuss moving forward in the process. The committee is made up of 10 teachers, who each interviewed 18 students. These teachers dedicate their free time to helping students receive their scholarships. The teachers are also responsible for awarding about 25% of the scholarships to students; the other 75% will be decided by the donors themselves. These faculty members will spend the next few weeks reviewing essays submitted by students, and will meet again in May to make their final decisions regarding scholarships.
“[The teachers] are so committed to the students and truly want the best for them. They will do everything they can to advocate for their students to help them succeed,” said Gregory.
The most important thing to remember is that there are still scholarships out there. Even if you did not open a LBHSSF application, there are still opportunities through individual colleges or even external donors. It just takes hard work to put yourself out there to search for scholarships.
“I could not have been more impressed with the class of 2017; I have never seen more polite and well-rounded individuals. They all were so responsible and timely with getting their applications done. I truly wish them all the best,” said Gregory.