This time of year high school seniors are rushing to fill out and submit applications for college scholarships. Each June McNary High School releases the names of all the students who have received scholarships.

It is overwhelming to see the number of scholarships that are awarded each year. Some students are recipients of more than one scholarship, and good for them, they worked to maintain the grades needed to get a scholarship, plus they or someone they know were aware of where to look for scholarship money.

There is always more money on the table to ask for. Some organizations are not very vocal about their scholarship programs, others have a hard time getting enough applicants to make the awarding process competitive.

There  has to be a more efficient way for the school district in general and McNary High School in particular to spread the message far and wide within the school community of the scholarship money that is available. That should start with an understanding of the requirements of each scholarship—some require certain grade point averages or certain extracurricular activities. Others are awarded on financial need, while others are awarded on little more than an essay by the applicant.

Every student who has a desire to continue their education into college should be given access to all the information about what is available in the way of financial assistance other than federal or private loans.

If there are students who believe they can never be eligible for a scholarship, then they are being ill-served. There are any number of scholarships that are awarded more on the basis of character of the student than their GPA or activities.

The school should not bear the burden alone of getting scholarship applications into the hands of students. Students and their parents/guardians should educate themselves on what scholarships are available and not take themselves out of the running before knowing if it is viable option for them.

The width and breath of scholarship offerings are staggering and there is something for everybody. Time is running short for students and their parents alike to research and apply. Every student can be eligible for a scholarship, they have to find the right one.

  —LAZ