INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - High school seniors are getting ready for college and how they will pay for it. Students in central Indiana are being awarded millions of dollars in scholarships. Experts say the key thing is starting the scholarship search early.
The average cost of a four year private college is about $31,000 a year, according to The College Board. So, getting financial assistance is essential for many students in order to make college a reality.
Tri-West High School principal Adam Brenner said their graduating class is getting $1.5 million in scholarships. Fifty out of their 148 seniors are receiving some sort of scholarship. Brenner said school counselors meet with students to review scholarship options well before graduation.
"We’re trying to help the kid as an individual but the family as a whole too," Brenner said. "We do a lot trying to get the word out to them, mostly through our guidance department. Our guidance counselors do a good job of putting those scholarships on the announcements, we have a Twitter feed where send a lot of those things out."
The strategy worked for senior Angel Perry, who won a scholarship contest.
"All of my friends for sure, we started before second semester even so we’ve all been working on them for a long time," she said.
Seniors throughout the Indianapolis area are seeing similar results. Indianapolis Public Schools reports their class of 2016 received around $19.4 million in scholarships. Students in Zionsville are getting a total of $15.5 million in scholarship dollars, with 194 students getting at least one scholarship.
There are many online resources available to students to help them review scholarships. One website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor allows teens to look up scholarships based on state, award type and even areas of interest.