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2024 Senior Awards Ceremony
2024 Senior Awards Ceremony
Marializ Diaz June 7, 2024

Waterford High School’s 2024 Senior Awards Ceremony was held on Tuesday, June 4th.  The ceremony gave honor to many...

Camille Cadrello meeting her roommate for the first time after talking online.
Finding a Roommate
Saeeda Samed, Author • June 4, 2024

As the school year comes to an end, the 2024 Waterford seniors are getting ready to graduate and move on. In college,...

Michael Ellis: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Michael Ellis: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Saeeda Samed, Author • June 4, 2024

Inside the third floor computer room at Waterford High School resides veteran teacher Michael Ellis. This year marks Mr....

Scholarships

WHS+Senior+Alexa+Collins%2C+recipient+of+the+regional+Dr.+Martin+Luther+King+Jr.+Scholarship
WHS Senior Alexa Collins, recipient of the regional Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship

For the 2024 senior class, high school is coming to an end, fast. College has now become the main concern for a large part of the senior class. Seniors are preoccupied with college applications, extracurriculars, and working. However, one thing that is not prioritized as much are scholarships. 

Scholarships are grants or payments given towards college tuition that do not have to be paid back. 

According to U.S. News, “The average tuition and fees at private ranked colleges has climbed by about 4% over the last year. At ranked public schools, tuition and fees rose 2% for in-state students and about 1.4% for out-of-staters” (Kerr). This general increase in college tuition has added to the stress and anxiety put on first-year college students. 

For the first time at Waterford High School, a College and Career center was put on the first floor in room 105. The center was made to aid senior students on college applications, scholarships, or job opportunities. However, so far the center has been off to a slow start. 

Lisa Sweeney, who was originally the school and career counselor and came to Waterford High School in Spring of 2021, was made in charge of the College and Career center this 2023-2024 school year. The center is open Monday to Thursday from 7:15-2:30. 

Lisa Sweeney thinks that there is no reason why seniors at WHS shouldn’t pursue scholarships: “I will say it is a lot of work to find real scholarships and do the work to apply, but it is a great opportunity to get free money and help make paying off your college a little easier.” 

Even with help offered from administration, scholarship opportunities are largely ignored and underutilized by seniors. Sweeney says, “The administration tries their best to make scholarship and grants opportunities known. It can be overwhelming to try to simplify the process of scholarships to encourage students to apply.” 

Moreover, there are multiple scholarships available: “When applying for scholarships, start with the local and regional ones. They offer less money than the national scholarships but have a smaller application pool. If you apply for as many as you can, the money can add up,” Sweeney says. 

One example is Waterford High School Senior Alexa Collins, who won the regional $25,000 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship earlier this year after being told about the scholarship in school. The scholarship was reserved for people of color with leadership, community service, academic achievement, and character. It was awarded to 12 students and in the application the recipients had to complete an interview, an essay and when awarded the scholarship, they had to give a speech to 700 people. 

For Collins, the work put into the scholarship was exhausting, but worth it in the end. 

Additionally, earlier this school year, students were invited to the College and Career Center Google classroom. In this Google classroom, there are multiple resources available that share information on college visits, the college application process, scholarships, and career exploration opportunities. For students who would still like to join the Google classroom, the code is 3ugn7zc. 

Scholarships are not only available for seniors: “There are scholarships available to junior and other grades as well. Right now, Senator Murphy has a MLK essay contest that is open to all students K-12. They have to write an essay and five students are picked from each grade level”, Sweeeney says. 

Another valuable resource to use is Naviance and Common App. On these websites there are scholarship searches available. Other websites to use that are reliable for scholarship searches are Goingmerry and Scholarships.com. 

Furthermore, high schooler’s should utilize scholarships and other resources given to make life after high school easier. 

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About the Contributor
Saeeda Samed
Saeeda Samed, Reporter
Saeeda Samed is a senior from Waterford High School. She has lived in several  places, including Ghana, and now resides in Quaker Hill. She lives at home with her mom, dad, and older sister. In her free time she likes to take walks, listen to music, and bake. 
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