Cashing In

Monday, May 14, 2012 - 11:22am

27 students in high school's graduating class earn $1-million in scholarships.

The graduating class at Illinois' Warsaw High School has achieved something remarkable: more than a million dollars in college scholarships.

So how did they do it?

Warsaw's guidance counselor and students say the key to getting that much money in scholarships is to simply fill out as many applications as possible.

27 students from Warsaw's graduating class will be going off to college this fall with a record amount of scholarship money.

It's a shocking number, but when you talk with students, teachers, and administrators it's not hard to figure out how students raked in that much money.

"We expect a lot out of our students," stated Paul O'Day, the guidance counselor at Warsaw.

From the walls of the high school to the conversations in the classroom to the environment at home, students are surrounded by the expectation that they will go to college, so they'll do everything they can to get there affordably.

"The hardest part of my senior year was filling out all the applications," said Payton Hopp, one of Warsaw's seniors.

Students typically fill out between 30 and 40 scholarship applications in their senior year, and while they may only get a three or four of those scholarships, it's enough to open doors.

"Fill them out because it really pays off in the end," said Sierra Jones, another Warsaw senior. "Fill out as many as you can."

Because most students apply to several colleges but only go to one, colleges often end up having extra funding available, so if you're in need of additional funding, you might want to check with your college's financial aid office right after classes start.

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