The Scoop on Scholarships


Brooke Cherek, Hour 5B

A student has a lot on their plate as they finish their last years in high school.  Juggling with work, homework, chores at home, and other activities can make it overwhelming for those who plan on pursuing a college education to finance the hefty price for most schools.  Scholarships are a great way to help pay for higher education and many people don’t realize that there are scholarships for everyone.  Here are some tips on how to find and fill out scholarships, and the benefits they have.

What is a Scholarship?

Scholarships are simple to define as a payment made to support a student’s education.  Scholarships can be helpful for paying for 2 year college, 4 year college, and even certificate programs.  The best part about a scholarship is that it is practically free money.  If awarded one, a student does not have to pay back the amount received.  

There are many scholarships available for people with all different hobbies, interests, and backgrounds.  You can often find scholarships being awarded by sports, clubs, and organizations in your very own school.  The local Sheilla Kokkeler Scholarship requires a student to have taken a science class at SPASH to apply.  Science classes are a requirement for students to graduate which means every student at SPASH is eligible.

Where to Look

It is helpful knowing that there is a vast supply of scholarship money, but sometimes it can be difficult to know where to look for them.  The Career Center, located on the second floor of SPASH, is very involved with scholarships in the community and state.  Advisors in the Career Center are happy to help students in their search for scholarships.  “If someone doesn’t know what scholarship to fill out, send them to the Career Center and we will find one for them.” says Jill Nemeth, who has been an advisor there for 6 years. 

Another valuable resource is the Career Center scholarship page found on the SPASH website.  Students can find up to date scholarships and requirements listed.  There is also the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin.  This website has a short survey that will narrow down a scholarship pool and show you ones that you are eligible for only.  The process is easy to follow and all of the scholarships clearly list what kind of applicants they are looking for.


The most important part of a scholarship is knowing the requirements and deadlines of individual awards.  Scholarships have a wide variety of requirements posted on them, usually in a bulleted list, that applicants must meet in order to be accepted.  It is important to know the requirements before you begin filling out a scholarship to save time.  

On the Career Center website there are guidelines listed on finding and completing applications:

 1) Check to see if you are eligible. 2) Check the deadlines. 3) Follow directions very carefully. Most committees will disregard your application if you are missing any materials. 4) Submit a neat (preferably typed), proofread application without grammatical errors!  5) Showcase your skills, strengths, and achievements.  Your application is often the ONLY thing the scholarship committee has to evaluate you.

By checking eligibility and deadlines, students can avoid spending time on applications that they don’t qualify for.  Some applications are tedious and will require a few hours to complete, so it is vital to know you are using your time wisely.  If a student is ever unsure of their eligibility, advisors in the Career Center can help.  

The Sum of Scholarships

Overall, scholarships are a great way to help students pursue a higher education without breaking the bank.  They are free to apply for and award money doesn’t have to be paid back.  There are scholarships out there for everyone no matter what interests, hobbies, skills, and background you may have.  Starting a scholarship can be a daunting task, but there is always someone to help at SPASH.