Scholarship opportunities abound for high schoolers, don’t miss out

It is never too late to get started on filling out scholarship applications. And it really isn’t much too early, either. 

Lynden High School College and Career Coordinator Lois Mehlhoff says opportunities abound for high school students seeking scholarships and many high schoolers don’t understand what they’re missing out on. “There are so many scholarships left unused,” she says. “So much money is left on the table.”

The High School and Beyond Center at LHS is hosting both a scholarship information meeting and financial aid information meeting on Monday, Jan. 27, in the high school library. The 5 p.m. scholarship session will include representatives from Whatcom Community College and the Lynden Scholarship Foundation. The 6 p.m. financial aid event shows students how to apply for federal financial aid, of which $50 million is left unclaimed annually in Washington state. 

The opportunities for scholarships range greatly. On Monday, for example, Mehlhoff says she will introduce a new system from RaiseMe that allows students as young as freshman to earn credit toward scholarships by signing up and tracking involvement in activities and grades. “You get dollars for being involved in activities and by the time you are at your senior year you will have money,” Mehlhoff says. 

The LHS graduating class of 2019 enjoyed 88 students receiving at least one scholarship and 45 students receiving more than one. With 214 graduates, 41 percent of students received a scholarship. 

The Lynden Scholarship Foundation is a great resource for LHS students. Filling out just one application will enter students into a variety of scholarships. That group will be represented Monday. 

For those who aren’t able to make the Monday meeting, Mehlhoff says she is always eager to walk students through the process, help them get started or answer questions when they get stuck. “They can stop in any time,” she says. “It is never too late to get on this.” 

While the concept of applying for scholarships can sound daunting, Mehlhoff says once a student gets the first one down, they’ve made progress that will help them for nearly every other application. “What is neat about a lot of the applications is they ask the same questions, what are your activities, your community service, what are your honors, awards and goals,” she says. “All applications ask that in some way.” Once that first application is finished, students can really reuse much of the same work for additional applications. 

“What we are hoping to help with Monday night,” Mehlhoff says, “is to get them organized and have that fear taken off of them.”

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