The calendar has turned to 2022 and in less than four months’ time, local high school seniors will be graduating. In anticipation of transitioning into the next step of their education, those bound for college or career training can seek out scholarships and other student aid. Locally, high school seniors have the chance to apply for a number of scholarships through both the Lapeer County Community Foundation (LCCF) and Four County Community Foundation (4CCF). LCCF recently announced a new scholarship opportunity through their Women’s Fund, established in the memory of former Imlay City educator Arretta Jickling Hill.There are also options from further afield, like the new Thumb 11 Scholarship from Ferris State University, established with help from Imlay City alumnus Joseph Pistrui, that seeks to give a financial boost to teens specifically from Michigan’s Thumb. Scholarship season serves as a nice reminder that many past and present donors want to help the next generation find success in their studies and future careers. Locally, those gifts amount to a rather substantial sum every year.

In 2021 alone, 4CCF awarded $350,000 in scholarships with students from Almont, Capac, Dryden and Imlay City earning $220,600 of that amount.

Submitting applications, requesting letters of recommendation and writing essay questions can be a challenge for seniors but the rewards can add up.

According to the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) from 2015-16, the majority of undergrad and graduate students—18.8 percent—received enough scholarships and grants to cover half the cost of attending a college or university. The study also showed that those students who received private scholarships often shifted their enrollment to more selective institutions including those that are more expensive than what a student could otherwise afford. In essence, receiving scholarships means seniors can broaden their post-graduation options.

As a community we say “thank you” to everyone who’s done what they could to support scholarship programs and wish the best of luck to those seniors applying to receive these important dollars and planning for their futures.