Hard work and dedication paid off for many Fairfield Central High School students in 2012 with the students receiving scholarships for post secondary education.
Those Fairfield County students earned $2,839,843 in scholarships according to the data school officials self-reported to the State Department of Education.
That achievement mirrored a statewide trend of achievement with the Class of 2012 becoming the first to earn over $1 billion in college scholarships.
According to the State Department of Education, this year’s senior class scholarship total was $1,063,112,048.
This is the first time the state has broken the billion dollar mark in scholarships since the department began recording that information.
The trend of increased scholarships has been going on for the past five years with growth from $684 million in 2007 to the over a billion dollar mark in 2012.
Guidance counselor Ken Lathan at Fairfield Central High School said that considering the mix of students the high school worked with a year ago that they did well.
He said that his department would love to see the amount of scholarships awarded be higher this coming year, though.
With that in mind, he offered the following tips to students.
1. Don’t get a late start in searching for scholarships.
2. Talk to businesses in the community and pursue networking opportunities.
3. Do well academically. Work hard in school because many of the scholarships awarded are merit based.
4. Practice writing essays. Essays often separate a scholarship recipient from the rest of the field.
5. Use websites such as fast web to find out about available scholarships.
6. Once a student decides on a school to attend, contact that school’s financial aid department to see what kind of institutional scholarships are available.
“Of course, students can come by the guidance office any time,” Lathan said. “We get our information out to students and tell them to come by and pick it up just as soon as we can. He also said they can assist students in conducting targeted scholarship searches.”
This year’s increase in scholarship numbers is a positive trend for South Carolina students and South Carolina schools.
According to the State Department of Education, the scholarship totals came from an annual survey of South Carolina school districts, as well as district-sponsored public charter schools, the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, and the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind.
The total included two-year and four-year scholarship totals for students attending technical colleges, two-year schools and four-year colleges and universities.