Financial aid: Scholarship winners offer advice on securing awards

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When it comes to paying for college, high school grades, activities and college entrance exam scores can be as good as gold.

Many colleges offer significant non-need based scholarships based on a wide range of student achievements. Outside organizations award money as well. Winners don't necessarily have to have the top grades or scores to qualify.

Many of the awards are renewable, which usually means they are good for four years as long as the student meets certain requirements, typically maintaining a certain grade point average.

Below is a sampling of some Western Pennsylvania students who won scholarships, from the high school Class of 2006 unless otherwise noted.


Kelli Burke, 18, of Brookline

Kelli Burke
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Brashear

College: Allegheny College

Major: Physics

Scholarships accepted: Allegheny College Trustees Scholarship, $15,000 a year, renewable

Basis of award: Usually in the top 25% of high school class, SAT score of 1200 combined math and critical reading. Consideration given to achievements in areas such as: art, communications (newspaper, radio, TV), creative writing, dance, theater, debate/forensics, leadership, music, religious activities, science or math competitions, scouting, volunteer or community service, or other extracurricular activities.

What student had to do: Regular application process

Other Scholarships accepted: Gail N. Platt Scholarship, $889 award, required an essay on an arts experience; Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, $1,500, federally funded but managed by PHEAA.

GPA: 4.45

SAT: 1290 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: AP English literature, English language, U.S. history, Physics 2, statistics

Activities: Marching, concert and jazz bands; All-City Honors Band; Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 1 Band; Westinghouse Science Honors Institute; volunteer in faith formation office at Resurrection Church in Brookline; Girl Scout, Pennsylvania Math League, cheerleader one year; organized pet supply drive for Animal Friends.

Advice: "I would look in your community and through your school, and, if you're involved in your church, see if your church has a scholarship."


Brandon Goeller, 19, of O'Hara

Brandon Goeller
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Fox Chapel Area High School

College: Allegheny College

Major: Biology, with emphasis on aquatic biology

Scholarship accepted: Allegheny College's Trustees Scholarship, $12,500 a year, renewable

Basis of award: Usually in the top 25% of high school class, SAT score of 1200 combined math and critical reading. Consideration given to achievements in areas such as: art, communications (newspaper, radio, TV), creative writing, dance, theater, debate/forensics, leadership, music, religious activities, science or math competitions, scouting, volunteer or community service, or other extracurricular activities.

What student had to do: Regular application process

Other Scholarships accepted: Beulah Frey Environmental Scholarship from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, one-time award of $1,000; Greater Beneficial Union Foundation, $1,500, paid out over four years, open to GBU members or annuitants with active life insurance policy or annuity. Both required special applications, including essays.

GPA: 4.13

SAT: 1200 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: English, biology, environmental science, economics, calculus AB.

Activities: Football, wrestling, track, vice president German Club and Technology Student Association, first-place in structural engineering contest, National Honor Society, Eagle Scout, head dancer for German dancing club, activities at St. Mary of Assumption Church, including youth group, usher, altar server and mission trips to West Virginia.

Advice: "They're out there definitely. Look for them and make yourself aware of the money you can get a hold of. Check with guidance counselors, teachers or FastWeb. ...

"Consider all of your possibilities. The environmental scholarship I won was definitely right up my alley because that's what I'm going to be studying in college."


Leah Antkiewicz, 18, of Center Township, Beaver County

Leah Antkiewicz
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Quigley Catholic

College: Bucknell University

Major: Computer science and engineering

Scholarships accepted: PGA (Professional Golfers Association) Financial Assistance Fund Scholarship, one-time $2,000 a year, reapplication possible; Bucknell University Scholarship for $16,000 a year, renewable

Basis of awards: PGA award is for members' children and grandchildren who have "demonstrated a high level of academic achievement during high school and/or college." Bucknell scholarship is for achievement.

What student had to do to get it: Special application for PGA award; regular admissions application for Bucknell award.

Scholarships turned down: Partial scholarships to University of Dayton and Allegheny College

GPA: 4.45

SAT: 1280 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP/college level classes: AP: U.S. history, European history. Pitt College in High school: chemistry, calculus, visual basic, Java.

Activities: Played on boys' golf team, girls' basketball team manager, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, chess team, math league, volunteered with Casa Beaver County and Mario Lemieux Celebrity Golf Invitational.

Advice: "Just apply to as many as possible and just try your hardest. There are so many out there that you have to get money from some of them."


Wes Roberts, 19, of Cranberry

Wes Roberts
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Seneca Valley

College: Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C.

Major: Professional golf management

Scholarships accepted: Presidential Scholarship, full tuition, more than $16,000 a year, renewable

Basis of award: Requires SAT score of at least 1150, B+ average and top 10 percent of class for consideration.

What student had to do: Initially selected for $11,000 a year Presidential Scholarship; chosen among about 90 Presidential scholars to interview on campus for one of four full-tuition scholarships.

GPA: 4.2

SAT: 1260 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP/college classes: AP calculus; college-level statistics and Web page and desktop design

Activities: Basketball, track, golf, secretary of Student Council, vice president of National Honor Society, member of homecoming and prom courts

Advice: "The best thing to do is pay attention in class. That's what got me through it. ...If you're able to remember stuff like that, you're going to be able to get those grades up and get those colleges interested in you."


LaMont West II, 18, of Wilkins

LaMont West II
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Woodland Hills

College: Carnegie Mellon University

Major: Electrical and software engineering

Scholarships accepted: NEED scholarship, one-time $2,500; NEED scholarship, $1,000, renewable over four years. ; school-based Anthony DePaulo Memorial Scholarship, one-time $500.

Basis of award: Merit

What student had to do: All required applications and essays.

GPA: More than 4.0

SAT: 1300 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: English, physics, calculus AB, computer science.

Activities: Gifted peer tutor, Science Olympiad team, Youth IT Challenge team and mentor team, Carnegie Science Center volunteer, beautification project on North Side, Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center volunteer.

Advice: "You want to just go out and find types of companies that help people out in your areas. ...A lot of my friends have gotten scholarships from their churches."


Jessica Wille, 18, of Fox Chapel

Jessica Wille
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Fox Chapel Area

College: Carnegie Mellon University

Major: Humanities

Scholarships accepted: CMU's Andrew Carnegie Scholarship, half tuition, $17,090 a year, renewable

Basis of award: "Recognizes exceptional academic/artistic talent and personal achievements"

What student had to do: Regular CMU application.

Other scholarships: Lola G. Duff and William H. Duff II Scholarship, $10,000 a year for four years; National Merit Scholarship, one-time $2,500; Digital Credit Union Memorial Scholarship, one-time $2,500; high school French award, one-time $500.

Basis of award: Duff scholarship for Allegheny County students who are Protestant and have at least a 3.0 GPA; National Merit on PSAT scores, references; Digital Credit Union required credit union membership; French based on high school achievement and teacher nomination.

What student had to do: Most required separate applications;

Scholarships turned down: Partial scholarships to Georgetown University, Northwestern University, Washington University in St. Louis and University of Southern California.

GPA: 4.43

SAT: 1540 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: Calculus AB, calculus BC, two English classes, European history, U.S. history, music theory, economics, government, statistics, French.

Activities: Cellist in school orchestra, head officer of Model United Nations, officer in multicultural club, school fencing team, history club, French club, student congress.

Advice: "The biggest obstacle I had was trying to get started. When you register for FastWeb, it comes up with hundreds of opportunities. It's really hard to take the time to sort through every single thing that comes up.

"Once you get started, it's not that bad. Once you identify the scholarships you're most likely to win, it makes the process so much less painful. ...

"If you have two college essays written and they work with the scholarship, you already have the work done."


Kecia Lucas, 17, of Hill District

Kecia Lucas
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Schenley

College: Carlow University

Major: Biology

Scholarships accepted: Carlow Presidential Scholarship, $5,000 a year, renewable; Deacon Archie Scholarship at New Light Temple Baptist Church, one-time $500; NEED, $500, renewable.

Basis of awards: Merit.

What student had to do: Regular application for Carlow; special applications for others.

GPA: 3.7

SAT: 960 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

Activities: National Honor Society, cheerleader, National Service Day, Del Teens volunteer

Advice: "I would use online data bases and your community."


Alicia Pape, 18, of Jefferson Hills

Alicia Pape
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Thomas Jefferson (West Jefferson Hills)

College: Case Western Reserve University

Major: Engineering

Scholarship accepted: Case Presidential Scholarship, $20,800 a year (three-fourths tuition), renewable.

Basis for award: "Academics, including high school performance (GPA, class rank) and strength of high school curriculum, involvement in school and community activities, evidence of leadership, and standardized test results."

What student had to do: Regular application process

Scholarships turned down: Partial scholarship from Carnegie Mellon, Duquesne University

GPA: 4.25

SAT: 1420 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: Two English classes, U.S. history, European history, chemistry, biology, calculus AB and calculus BC (through Penn State distance education program).

Activities: Marching band, Latin Club, National Latin Honor Society, National Honor Society, swim team, mock trial team, Duquesne University academic challenge team and quiz team on KDKA, Carnegie Science Center volunteer.

Advice: "Make sure you do community service, stay in a few activities and really focus on your studies."


Indea Herndon, 20, of the Hill District

Indea Herndon
Click photo for larger image.High school:

The Ellis School

College: Junior at Chatham College

Major: Cultural studies.

Scholarship: Elizabeth Waite Prine Scholarship, $12,000 a year, renewable.

Basis of award: For Chatham student who was a FAME (Fund for Advancement of Minorities through Education) scholarship student at a local private high school. Others can win one of two awards on basis of being a single parent or a day student.

What student had to do: Special application and meet with donor.

GPA: About 3.0

SAT: 1100 (of 1600 on old SAT)

Activities: Art programs, including sculpture, clay and photography.

Advice: "If you find that you have contacts, even the smallest contacts possible, really hold onto those. There are people who understand where you're coming from when you're looking at college. If they say they may be able to help, they might be able to help you out in the long run."


Molly McCue, 18, of Adams Township, Butler County

Molly McCue
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Aquinas Academy

College: Denison University in Granville, Ohio

Major: Math or economics with Latin minor.

Scholarships accepted: Denison Founders Scholarship, $15,000 a year, renewable.

Basis of award: Academic achievement, leadership and personal merit

What student had to do: Regular application

Scholarships turned down: Partial scholarships from University of Richmond, University of Rochester, Washington & Jefferson, Gettysburg College.

GPA: 4.15

SAT: 1310 (of 1600 math and critical reading)

AP/college level classes: AP government, literature, Latin: Vergil, statistics, physics and College in High School Calculus AB.

Activities: Field hockey, basketball, tennis, coached middle school lacrosse, student government treasurer and vice president, volunteer for Relay for Life and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Advice: "Just apply. You should interview with the admissions counselors as early as possible. ...They get to know your personality, and they'll put a face to the name. They have good advice. With Denison, I had a very good interview. ...Keep your grades up."


Rebecca Novak, 18, of Polish Hill

Rebecca NovakHigh school:

Schenley High School

College: Drexel University

Major: Chemical engineering

Scholarships accepted: NORESCO Scholarship, one-time $4,000, one of four awarded citywide. Next year will be the last of three years that NORESCO offers the scholarship.

Basis of award: Pittsburgh high school student with an unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher and an interest in pursuing a career related to energy management.

What student had to do: Application, essay, recommendation.

GPA: 3.8

SAT: 1120

AP classes: None

Activities: Soccer, swimming, softball, mock trial, National Honor Society, High Tech Honor Society, volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club in Lawrenceville.

Advice: "My advice for scholarships is to start early and apply everywhere. Get started early because deadlines start in September."


Dang Tran, 18, of Lawrenceville

Dang Tran
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Schenley

College: Duquesne University

Major: Occupational therapy

Scholarships accepted: Duquesne's Laval Scholarship, $6,500 a year, renewable, Duquesne's Provost Scholarship, $3,500 a year, renewable

Basis of award: Academic achievement, including grade point average above 3.0.

What student had to do: Regular application process

Scholarships turned down: Partial scholarship to Carlow University

GPA: 3.5

SAT: 980 (math and critical reading)

Activities: Cross country, tennis, Interact Club, Youth and Government Club, one year each; president of International Club.

Advice: "I tried to sign up for many scholarships, but they really didn't do much. Do well during your four years in high school, especially 11th grade.


Kana Hatakeyama, 18, of Squirrel Hill

Kana Hatakeyama
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Allderdice

College: Duke University

Major: International comparative studies or cultural anthropology

Scholarships accepted: National Merit Scholarship Corporate award, $2,500

Basis of award: Score on PSAT, essay, recommendations, grades, activities

What student had to do to get it: Take the PSAT, write an essay, fill out the application form, get recommendations

Scholarships turned down: Full tuition scholarship at Emory University

GPA: 4.0

SAT: 1570 (of 1600 on old SAT)

AP classes: English, French, European history, statistics and physics. Also took classes in the Centers for Advanced Studies from freshman year.

Activities: School musical, chorus, tennis team, math team, Key Club, National Honor Society, volunteer at Ten Thousand Villages, attended Pittsburgh Japanese School and performing arts classes at Point Park University

Advice: "Most students don't take advantage of various opportunities to win scholarships, so be proactive in seeking them out and apply!"


Jeff Lackey, 18, Murrysville

Jeff Lackey
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Franklin Regional

College: Florida State University

Major: Business management

Scholarships accepted: Naval ROTC. Full tuition, $16,438 a year ; book allowance, $250 to $450 a month spending allowance.

Basis of award: Competitively awarded. After graduation, must complete four years of active duty in the Navy or Marine Corps.

What student had to do: Application with four essays and transcript, interview.

GPA: 3.96

SAT: 1170 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: Chemistry, calculus AB

Activities: Cross country, swimming, track.

Advice: "There's a lot of scholarships out there. Find one that fits you and you can run with."


Danielle Martin, 18, of Coraopolis

Danielle Martin
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Cornell

College: Gannon University

Major: Physician assistant

Scholarships accepted: Gannon Academic Excellence Award, $7,500 a year, renewable; Gannon Leadership Award for $1,500 a year, renewable; Wolves Club Scholarship from Coraopolis den for $1,000 a year, renewable.

Basis of award: Excellence based on academic merit, SAT or ACT scores, and class rank; leadership based on participation in "extensive extracurricular activities, grade point average, and class rank."

What student had to do: Gannon awards based on regular college application. Wolves scholarship required application, essay and interview.

GPA: 4.6488 (valedictorian)

SAT: 1100 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: Two AP English classes, AP statistics, dual enrollment in Community College of Allegheny County sociology class.

Activities: Marching and concert band, flute ensemble, school newspaper staff, volleyball, National Honor Society, Bio-Chem Club, Spanish Club, homecoming court, prom committee.

Advice: "I think mainly making sure you do well in school and having activities helps a lot, not too many activities because it will look like you're just trying to do as many as you can but a couple of good activities you've been involved in a long time. They help out a lot."


Grace Ann Turke, 18, of Shaler

Grace Ann Turke
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Shaler Area High School

College: Georgetown University

Major: International relations

Scholarships accepted: Westinghouse Family Scholarship, total of $12,000; Georgetown Scholarship Program, $3,000 a year, renewable.

Basis of award: Daughter of Westinghouse employee, competitively awarded; Georgetown award funded by alumni to attract top students to Georgetown.

What student had to do: Complete separate application for Westinghouse award; regular application for Georgetown.

Other Scholarships accepted: Won four scholarships offered to Shaler Area students by separate applications, which generally required essays: Shaler Area parent-teacher group , one-time $500; Shaler Area Band Parents Association, one-time $500; Shaler Area Musical Parents Association, one-time $500; Shiva Kumar Memorial Scholarship, one-time $500.

Scholarships turned down: Partial scholarships to University of Chicago and American University.

GPA: 4.57398

SAT: 1460 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP/college level classes: AP European history, U.S. history, economics, chemistry, physics, English, calculus AB and calculus BC; took Chatham College class on introduction to interior architecture.

Activities: Westinghouse Science Honors Institute, Japanese National Honor Society, National Honor Society, school musical orchestra, silk line of marching band, photography and international affairs apprenticeships with Allegheny Intermediate Unit, on 13th-place National Japan Bowl, played flute at Christmas concerts for veterans hospitals, participated in summer critical and analytical reasoning enrichment program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Advice: "I would say just to apply to anyone you even think you have the remotest chance of getting."


Krista Bland, 18, of Oakmont

Krista Bland
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Riverview

College: John Carroll University

Major: Business

Scholarships accepted: John Carroll President's Honor Award, $10,000 a year, renewable; American Values Scholarship, $2,000 a year, renewable; Sanofi-Aventis Scholarship, $2,500 a year, renewable.

Basis of award: President's Honor Award for applicants with 3.5 (B+) average in high school and strong SAT or ACT scores, usually ranges from $1,000 to $10,000 a year. American Values Scholarship for applicants who have held leadership positions in extracurricular or volunteer service organizations. Sanofi-Aventis Scholarship through mother's employment.

What student had to do: Honor award part of regular college application process; values award required detailed resume; Sanofi-Aventis separate application.

Scholarships turned down: Partial scholarships to American University, Dickinson College and the University of Pittsburgh.

GPA: 4.0

SAT: 1420 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP/college level classes: AP English literature, U.S. history, biology and world history; College in High School calculus (Pitt)

Activities: Marching and concert band, Key Club, French Club vice president, Web design and international affairs apprenticeships, National Honor Society, second place in regional National History Day competition, Hometown High-Q Quiz Bowl, Academic World Quest competition, track, volleyball, cross-country, part-time employment.

Advice: "SATs are, for most colleges, a determining factor in receiving a scholarship. However, not all colleges weight them as highly as others. Two consistent factors for colleges, though, are your grades and the depth of your interests. Pursue your interests; do something with them. Colleges like to see involvement, but more importantly, passion."


Arline Hamlin, 18, of the North Side

Arline Hamlin
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Mt. Alvernia

College: La Roche College

Major: Nursing

Scholarships accepted: La Roche academic scholarship, $6,000 a year; Make-Wish-Foundation scholarship, one-time $300.

Basis of award: Regular admission process for LaRoche award; special application for other scholarship

GPA: 3.75

SAT: 1190 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

Activities: Yearbook, newspaper, literary magazine, choir, freshman orientation, Children's Hospital volunteer, after-school program volunteer.

Advice: "Try to keep your grades up. Get involved in a lot of things. Even hospitals have scholarships. ...You have to search for scholarships.

"A lot of people doubt themselves for applying for scholarships. Apply for any scholarship you meet the requirements to ...Sometimes if you have the majority of the requirements, they might consider you."


Diana Jordan, 18, of Squirrel Hill

Diana Jordan
Click photo for larger image.High school:

The Ellis School

College: Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.

Major: Music (piano and flute)

Scholarships accepted: Conservatory Scholarship, $10,000 a year, renewable; also $1,000 a year, renewable, for being National Merit commended scholar

Basis of award: Conservatory award based on strength of audition

What student had to do: Audition for conservatory scholarship

Other scholarship accepted: Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association, $850 a year, renewable.

Scholarships turned down: Full tuition to Boston University; partial awards to Penn State, Dickinson College and Skidmore College.

GPA: 3.89

SAT: 1420 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: Calculus AB, English literature, music theory, Latin literature and Latin: Vergil, French.

Activities: Three Rivers Young People's Orchestra, City Music Center Chamber Orchestra, won grand prize winner in Westmoreland Symphony Young Artists Competition playing piano in 2004, other piano and flute competitions, Cum Laude, tennis team, swim teams, occasionally served meals at homeless shelter

Advice: "Grades definitely. That helped a lot. I think the music really helped regardless of whether it was a music scholarship or not. With one thing you focus on, it shows you have a really deep interest for something. It shows you're going to bring something to college they might want there."


Lucas Goldbach, 18, of Moon

Lucas Goldbach
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Moon Area High School

College: Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

Major: Architecture

Scholarships accepted: Miami's Oxford Scholars, $6,500 a year, renewable; Miami's President's Scholarship, $1,000 a year, renewable

Basis of award: Miami's based primarily strength of academics, community involvement and demonstrated interest.

What student had to do: Regular admission application for Miami.

Other scholarships: JCI Senate Scholarship, one-time $500; James Alexander Scholarship, offered through high school, one-time $1,000; Central Blood Bank, one-time $250

Scholarships turned down: Partial scholarship from Kent State University.

GPA: 3.86

SAT: 1300 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

College-level classes: College in High School statistics.

Activities: Three varsity sports (cross country, diving, volleyball); president and vice president of Student Council; treasurer, National Honor Society; Key Club; youth group at St. Margaret Mary Church in Moon; member of America's Promise; volunteer with literacy and senior citizens in Pittsburgh Cares, Boy Scout; part-time lifeguard.

Advice: "I applied for a lot of scholarships. I was told I should continue applying even through the summer and when I'm a freshman in the fall. I'm eligible for scholarships when in college as well."


Victoria McCoy, 17, of Marshall

Victoria McCoy
Click photo for larger image.High school:

North Allegheny

College: Michigan State University

Major: Paleobiology and math

Scholarships accepted: Michigan State University Distinguished Scholarship, full tuition, room and board, $1,000 spending money a year, renewable for four years, value of about $27,000 a year; also, professorial assistantship for faculty-mentored scholarly activity, $2,000, renewable for two years; study abroad scholarship worth $3,000 to $5,000.

Basis of award: Academic record and accomplishments

What student had to do: Regular application, telephone interview.

GPA: 4.3

SAT: 1580 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

College classes: Took school district's calculus class in eighth grade; took four math courses at University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University during high school, including multivariable calculus, introduction to theoretical math, principles of real analysis and algebraic structures. Also took AP biology, physics B, physics C, statistics, U.S. history and two English courses.

Activities: Founded book club at school, forensics, recreational softball and tennis, National Honor Society, tutoring

Advice: "Pick one thing and get really good at it. Really stand out in something, whether it's community service, artistic accomplishments or academic achievement or even sports. Anything you love to do or are really good at, go for it."


Margot Crouch, 17, of Pleasant Hills

Margot CrouchHigh school:

Thomas Jefferson (West Jefferson Hills)

College: Michigan State University

Major: International relations

Scholarships accepted: Two from Michigan State, University Scholars Award $4,000 a year, renewable, Presidential Study Abroad Scholarship, valued at $3,000 to $5,000, depending on the program.

Basis of award: Scholars award for "academically talented" out-of-state students, ranges from $2,000 to $6,000 a year. Study abroad scholarship for "academically talented" students outside Michigan for a study abroad program sponsored by MSU.

What student had to do: Regular application process.

GPA: 3.8

SAT: 1150 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: Two English classes, physics, U.S. history, European history

Activities: Strings program, played the fiddler in "Fiddler on the Roof," International Thespian Society, National Honor Society, French Club, Pittsburgh Project volunteer.

Advice: "Just work hard all through high school, even your senior year when you start to get senioritis. Remember to have fun, but you need to keep up the work ethic throughout the year and don't slack. Extracurricular activities are important, too, but you have to focus on your studies."


Mara Weaver, 18, of Whitehall

Mara Weaver
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Baldwin High School.

College: Mt. Aloysius College in Cresson.

Scholarship accepted: Mt. Aloysius academic scholarship, $3,000 a year, renewable; college grant, $3,000 a year, renewable.

Basis of award: Merit. One of about 400 merit-based awards college offers, ranging from $1,000 to $8,000 a year.

What student had to do: Regular application process.

SAT: 1090 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

GPA: 3.4

AP classes: Latin

Activities: Worked part-time at Panera.

Major field: Criminology with forensic accounting

Advice: "Just work hard on your grades basically."


Brittany Micholas, 19, of Verona

Brittany Micholas
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Riverview

School: Newport Business Institute

Major: Business management (two-year program)

Scholarships accepted: Academic scholarship from the institute, covering one-third of tuition. An additional $1,000 scholarship from the institute.

Basis of award: Merit

What student had to do: Application, including essay, recommendations, list of activities

GPA: 88.4 percent

SAT: 940 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

Activities: Marching and concert band, drama club, sound director for high school musical, Key Club.

Advice: "Something you think didn't really matter could matter in the long run. I used to say I'll never get any. In your eyes, you're never good enough. My mom sat me down and said, 'You did a lot.' ...

"Don't always be so hard on yourself. Highlight your best qualities. I remember my English teacher saying that."


Kristin Federline, 19, of Oakmont

Kristin Federline
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Riverview

College: Northeastern University in Boston

Major: International business

Scholarships accepted: Deans' Scholarship from Northeastern, $16,000 a year, renewable.

Basis of award: Top 25 percent of freshman applicants, are considered for Deans' Scholarships, which range from $5,000 to $16,000 a year.

What student had to do: Regular admission application

Scholarships turned down: Full tuition at Emanuel College in Boston and Clarion University of Pennsylvania

GPA: Average of 93 percent

SAT: 1390 (of 1600 old SAT)

AP classes: English, U.S. history, biology

Activities: Amnesty International, French Club, cheerleader, National Honor Society, Key Club

Advice: "Just take the hardest classes that you can handle. Don't just settle for the easier ones."


Jaineil Mattox, 17, of the Hill District
High school: Schenley

College: Penn State, McKeesport

Major: Psychology

Scholarships accepted: National Slovak Society, $1,600 over four years.

Basis of award: Must be member of National Slovak Society, have life insurance or annuity in force.

How you heard about it: Grandparents started a policy. Received a letter from the company.

What student had to do to get it: Write an essay, send transcripts, scores, picture

GPA: 2.4

SAT: 1140

Activities: Youth and government club.

Advice: "Just do the research because there are a lot of scholarships out there for a lot of different people."


Ron Kohler, 18, of Verona

Ron Kohler
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Riverview High School

College: Penn State, New Kensington

Major: Accounting

Scholarships accepted: Penn State Blue and White Scholarship, $1,500, renewable; Verona Chamber of Commerce scholarship in honor of Charles McKinley, one-time $1,000; Oakmont-Verona Rotary, one-time $500; South Hills High School (a now-closed city school of which his grandfather is a graduate), one-time $1,000.

What student had to do: Penn State award through admission application; others required special application

GPA: 3.6

SAT: 1120 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: English

Activities: Golf team, Key Club, National Honor Society, Drama Club, Spanish Club, library aide.

Advice: "Just be involved in your school and keep good grades and just look anywhere you can for scholarships."


Mike Rosfeld, 18, of Oakmont

Mike Rosfeld
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Riverview

College: Penn State, New Kensington

Major: Crime, justice, law

Scholarships accepted: Ralph W. Young Family Foundation Scholarship, $8,000 a year, renewable; Penn State Chancellor's Award, $1,500, renewable, and Penn State Blue and White Scholarship, $1,000 a year, renewable.

Basis for award: Academic scholarships

What student had to do: Young scholarship through special application, including essay and interview. Penn State awards from regular college application.

GPA: 89 percent

SAT: 1100 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: U.S. history, calculus

Activities: Civil Air Patrol, football team, ski club

Advice: "Play a sport. They like that."


Roseann Budday, 18, Jefferson Hills

Roseann BuddayHigh school:

Thomas Jefferson

College: Point Park University

Major field: Intelligence and national security

Scholarships accepted: Point Park Presidential Scholarship, $10,000 a year, renewable over four years; departmental scholarship, $2,500 per year, renewable

Basis of award: Presidential is Point Park's most prestigious, must have at least 3.5 GPA and quality for both academic and community service and leadership awards; departmental award through her major.

What student had to do to get it: Regular application process. Through that, she was nominated for presidential scholarship, which required an interview.

Scholarships turned down: Smaller scholarship at Carlow University

GPA: 3.71

SAT: 1190

Activities: Concert and marching band, ensemble in school play and musical.

Advice: "Just apply for everything and anything you possibly can. Never stop applying."


Cleveland Savage, 19, of Shadyside

Cleveland Savage
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Allderdice

College: Robert Morris University

Major: Manufacturing engineering

Scholarships accepted: Kappa Alpha Psi Scholarship, $17, 000, renewable; Golden Torch Award from National Society of Black Engineers, one-time $1,000; Robert L. Vann Scholarship, one-time $1,000; Oliver L. Johnson and William A. Lester Families Fund, one-time $500; Pittsburgh chapter of the NAACP, one-time $1,000; NEED scholarship, $1,000, renewable; Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), one-time $700.

Basis of award: Most for academics and community service.

What student had to do: Applications, essays.

GPA: 4.2

SAT: 1920 (of 2400 in math, critical reading and writing)

AP/college level classes: AP physics, calculus BC, U.S. history, psychology, sociology and various courses in the Center for Advanced Studies.

Activities: Founded Anti-Gravity Club which focused on space; National Honor Society, History Club, tutored students in math and history, some fencing.

Advice: "If you want to look for scholarships, you're probably going to find your best chances under local scholarships or Pittsburgh and then looking under your respective ethnic group, which is where a lot of them money would come from."


Kayla Covert, 18, of Moon

Kayla Covert
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Moon Area High School

College: St. Francis University in Loretto

Major: Physical therapy

Scholarship accepted: Presidential Scholarship, $8,500 a year, renewable.

Basis of award: Requires minimum 3.5 GPA, 1100 SAT (math and critical reading) or ACT composite of 24.

What student had to do: Regular application process

Scholarships turned down: Full tuition to Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania; partial scholarships to Duquesne University, Cabrini College and St. Joseph's University

GPA: 3.92

SAT: 1190 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: AP government and politics; AP English; College in High School statistics and calculus.

Activities: Cheerleading, chorus, student council, track and field, school musical, Key Club and Spanish Club.

Advice: "Apply to as many as possible. You never know what you'll get and what you won't."


Joshua Antal, 19, of Delmont

Joshua Antal
Click photo for larger image.High school:

Franklin Regional High School.

College: St. Vincent College

GPA: 3.2

SAT: 1100 (of 1600 in math and critical reading)

AP classes: AP German and English; college-level psychology and visual basic.

Activities: Volunteer at St. John the Baptist de La Salle in Delmont, including playing guitar in the church choir, directing the choir when director is absent, altar server, lecter, food bank assistance; acting and technical work on school plays

Scholarships accepted: Four from St. Vincent: academic, $7,000 a year; leadership, $2,000 a year; Wimmer Scholarship Exam enhancement, $1,000 a year; alumni grant, $1,000 a year, all renewable, totaling $11,000 a year.

Basis of award: Academics, leadership, high score on exam and knowing an alumnus.

What student had to do: Academic and leadership scholarships received through regular admissions application process; Wimmer exam was given on-campus in November; St. Vincent alumnus had to write a recommendation letter.

Scholarships turned down: Partial scholarships to Duquesne and Seton Hill.

Advice: "Talk to the admissions counselors. Stay in contact with them. They'll tell you if there are scholarships, tests, opportunities, essays."


Greg Andrle, 19, of Richland

echute@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1955.


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