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Scholarships: Money is available for students who apply

We’ve all heard the one about the struggling person who begs and pleads “Please, just let me win the lottery,” and is continually frustrated until one day that person hears from on high “Do me a favor and purchase a lottery ticket, would you?”

A similar lesson can be found in the predicament facing those who would very much like to hand out the money meant to help West Virginia high school seniors continue their educations. While social media gives us the impression teenagers all over the country are bemoaning the high cost of a college education, there are millions upon millions of dollars available to help them do just that.

Those in charge of distributing that money are even extending deadlines to encourage more students to apply. Most recently, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission extended the deadline for the West Virginia Higher Education Grant to July 1. The same group had already extended the deadline for PROMISE Scholarship applications to July 1.

“In close collaboration with the Department of Education, we’ve been working to get West Virginia’s high school seniors in a post-pandemic mindset and help them plan for their futures after graduation,” Sarah Armstrong Tucker, the state higher education chancellor, told another media outlet last week.

Mountain State students have access to more than $100 million in student aid each year, though, as Armstrong Tucker pointed out “if students aren’t applying for these programs, that money gets left on the table.”

Parents and guardians may have to be part of the effort to get students into a “post-pandemic mindset,” by pushing toward filling out the national Free Application for Federal Student Aid or applications for state scholarships and grants. For that matter, the adults may need a little push, too.

Here it is: Our kids’ futures are too important — and too important to this state — to leave anything on the table if it will help them get a good education. Do the work, folks. Fill out those applications.

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