College is Calling: Seniors Apply for Scholarships and Honors Colleges


Ella Kaufman

Scoring Scholarships: Senior Hemin Bhatt is grateful for the opportunity to qualify for the HOPE Scholarship.

Seniors collectively caught their breath in light of early and regular deadlines throughout the fall semester, relieved of the grueling college application process. Many have been accepted to their top institutions, while others await regular decisions to be announced in the spring. However, as acceptances roll in, scholarship offers are becoming a priority. 

For students looking to go to college in-state, Zell Miller and the HOPE Scholarships offer affordable tuition for high-achieving Dubs. The University of Georgia Education System supports student enrollment in top in-state options, such as the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech, offering thousands of dollars in tuition coverage. “The opportunity to qualify for HOPE and Zell Miller aid make you really consider whether it is worth paying out-of-state tuition,” said senior Sarah Warren. “For me, going in state was a great option and made financial sense.”

Other Dubs are looking to the next 4 years out of state, without the luxury of in-state tuition or local scholarships. Luckily, there are ample opportunities for scholarly students looking to take the next step in funding their education. On a testing basis, through The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, 50,000 of the highest-scoring students on the PSAT/NMSQT qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program, offering an array of sponsored scholarship awards. “Multiple schools like UT Dallas have offered full-tuition scholarships based solely on winning the merit scholarship, and others like Vanderbilt offered thousands of dollars per year,” said finalist and senior Riley Coogan. “It is definitely a major help in making college affordable.”

Although the process of applying to an array of scholarships after finalizing college applications seemed tedious to the class of 2022, they quickly recognized the opportunities that awaited them in merit scholarships. No-essay scholarships are particularly popular among students hoping to rack up cash for their college tuition, requiring students to submit academic qualifiers such as GPA and test scores for the opportunity to win thousands of dollars. There are also a variety of specialized scholarships available for minority, low-income, and first-generation college students, using unique essay prompts as an opportunity to dive deeper into student profiles. “When I didn’t have to worry about the stress of my college acceptance riding on a 500-word essay, I found that they flowed much better, and were a better outlet for showcasing my individuality,” said Senior Hemin Bhatt.

Some students, who have already been accepted into the college of their choice, are working to get into competitive honors programs within their school or major. Although some honors colleges accept students without supplemental essay requirements, numerous universities, particularly Christian and private colleges, request additional essay material from prospective students. “After being accepted to Eastern Mennonite University, a private liberal arts university, I expected to write additional essays for acceptance into the honor college, “said Senior Anna Yoder. “I felt like the questions were fun, but broad enough that I could let my creativity flow. Ultimately, scholarships are easy to complete and very worth it.” 

Taking advantage of scholarships is a future college student’s best friend in light of the abundance of available merit programs, whether that be through submitting academic scores or writing enlightening supplemental essays. All things considered, be a frugal Dub and take advantage of the riches that await you.