Thousands available to students for college

With $55,000 in scholarships available to Wapakoneta students, the director of an area community foundation wants to make sure everyone who can take advantage of the opportunity to apply for aid.

Wapakoneta Area Community Foundation (WCAF) Executive Director Larry Tester has been working closely with school administrators to get the message out about how much is available in a variety of scholarships for local students seeking college degrees.

“We are offering 40 scholarships this year,” Tester said.

Applications for all but a few of the scholarships are available in the guidance office at Wapakoneta High School. Scholarship qualifications and stipulations vary.

“Most are for one year but a few are renewable up to four years,” Tester said.

Several scholarships also are offered through the VFW, Eagles or American Legion but require membership and certain criteria. Applications may be picked up at each of the fraternal organizations.

With a deadline of April 15 for most of the scholarship applications, Tester said it’s important for those who may be interested not to put it off.

“College costs keep going up and these can really help,” Tester said. “The people setting up these scholarships through the Foundation did so to help kids try and complete their dreams and we want everyone that can to take advantage of them.”

Three of the scholarships are new this year, and two of those are available for several years.

“Every year it keeps growing,” Tester said.

Founded in 1989, WCAF offered its first scholarship in the summer of 1991.

Scholarships have since been awarded annually through the foundation by businesses, educators, clubs, individuals and those who have died.

Some are offered based on anticipated areas of study or colleges where students may attend, while others look at grade point average and activities.

“I highly encourage students to go see their guidance counselors and see what they may be eligible for,” Tester said.

Guidance counselors are prepared to assist students with questions on applications.