Scholarships are not the only option

Leana Travis , Editor-in-Chief

As high school students, we are often just trying to get through the week, so when we are asked about what we plan on doing when these four years are over, for most of us, a sort of panic starts to sink in. Although you might feel isolated and lost, since this is a critical crossroad in each student’s life, there are numerous adults that are working to encourage students to make the best choice for themselves. Many students plan on going to college, and although it is certainly not for everyone, if it is something that you are truly interested in, there are resources available to assist you in surmounting any obstacles in the way. 

One of the trickiest parts about taking the college route is the financial aspect of it. While they have the motivation and the grades, many students rule out college due to the extensive tuition and various expenses with which it is associated. The most renowned form of financial aid is a scholarship, but most can not qualify for one, so it is important to know that there are other options. Another type of financial support is a grant. A grant is similar to a scholarship in the way that the government loans money to students, but grants are more focused on those in financial need. There are both federal and state grants, and they are much easier to come by and offered to many more students. 

Some federal grants available include the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), the Academic Competitive Grant (ACG), the SMART Grant, and the Teach Grant Program. While they all serve the purpose of defraying college tuitions, some are more appropriate than others for some students. For example, the ACG is for freshmen and sophomores, and the SMART Grant is for juniors and sophomores. Also, the Teach Grant is specifically for those who want to become teachers. Aside from federal grants that apply to all U.S. citizens, there are programs specific to residents of the state of Virginia. To name a few, there are the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program Virginia Commonwealth Award Program, the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant, and the Virginia Higher Education Teacher Assistance Program. 

With high school coming to an end for some, it is of course crucial to savor the remaining moments that this chapter of our lives has to offer, but it is equally as important to have even the faintest outline of a plan for the moments to come. The most important takeaway here is that you can accomplish anything, if you put in the hard work. Here at this school, you are surrounded by supportive adults, so do not be afraid to take inquire and take charge of the direction in which you are going. Money cannot buy everything, and we are lucky enough to be in a place where education is something that the lack of money can’t take away from us.