One would think with the soaring price of colleges, come running as high as $50,000 a year, students and parents would be searching high and low for scholarships, but the majority aren’t.

When I first child was a senior we went to the schools guidance counselor and asked about scholarship. Being the naive parents we were we believed the educator who was supposed to be an expert in his field one would assume, and took his word when he said scholarships were available only if you were an athlete, all others need not apply.

Only too late, we found that statement not to be true; there are many scholarships out there and unfortunately many not used.

I understand now at least the Laurel High School posts a list of the scholarships available, but there is still a snafu in the system. The kids are allowed to look into filing cabinet where folders have various applications for each scholarship.

I found out last week as an example, the George Schollenberger Scholarship worth $1500 is going unclaimed. One student when asked why he didn’t apply said he went into the filing cabinet, and the folder was empty. I fault the guidance counselor or their secretary for not checking the files and for the student for not asking for an application.

And the Laurel Alumni, where scholarships are also $1500 each had one of the lowest number of applicants in the 23 year history of the organization.

Unfortunately in today’s society our kids are used to mom picking up after them  and doing for them and they can’t act on their own.

Laurel does not have the best record for getting scholarships. I serve on a county-wide scholarship committee where we offer about 80 scholarships a year valued at $2000 each, and if you keep your grades to a 2.75 average you can automatically pick up that scholarship for a total of 4 years.

The schools with the most applicants are Delmar and Sussex Tech. Delmar for years has had a very active and productive guidance counselor office. I think we had 3 applicants from Laurel this year for this scholarship.

I believe Laurel created a position just for someone to help students gain scholarships?

To me, a guidance counselor is one of the most important positions in the school, yet many schools place people in those positions to get them out of the teaching system, somewhat like the government; if you don’t do your job we won’t fire you, just move you where you can’t do any damage and pay you the same salary.

I have seen where guidance counselors have turned around the life of a student, changing their career goals or working with them to get on the right track. Very important especially with today’s kids, many who do not have a clue which direction to point their future.

There are so many careers that were hot a few years ago, that aren’t worth of going to college to gain a degree today and the students need guidance. After all when you get your degree there is a good chance the new graduate is going to be in debt; the last thing they want to find out is they have a degree in a field they can’t find a job! 



  1. Mr. Calio – I think we have to put some of the onus for not pursuing the Schollenberger scholarship on the student(s). There is no reason at all that the student who saw an empty file folder couldn’t have asked the powers that be if there were any other copies available.

    The school makes a booklet full of scholarship opportunites – the Delaware Scholarship Compendium – available to all seniors early in the school year.

    In my experience, Brad Spicer has done a heck of a job reaching out to students and parents trying to inform them of options this year.

    There is so much apathy in this town. We held a PTA meeting at the high school early in the year where Mr. Spicer was offering information about the SEED scholarships and college options. The meeting was announced on first quarter…mid-quarter reports or report cards, I don’t remember which, and I”m almost certain that Mr. Ivory included it on a robo-call, inviting parents to attend. We had less than 8 families attend. Including the PTA board members.

    At every open house I’ve attended this year, Mr. Spicer’s been there to meet with parents and students.

    If these kids intend to pursue a college education after high school graduation, surely they should be the ones pursuing these scholarships. They need to take the initiative and do the legwork. If they can’t do that, they don’t deserve the scholarships, IMO. In less than 6 months, they’re going to be fully responsible for their education. There won’t be anyone there to hold their hand(s) and do it for them.

    • I mentioned in my post the student had a responsibility to see the secretary or counselor to ask for the application.
      I didn’t know who was in charge of the scholarships, I only knew when I was in school it was a guidance counselor.
      I would beleive Mr. Spicer would have a secretary whose responsibility it would be to see the folders were current.
      I agree with your apathy statement; my bride used to get disgusted with scholarship applications coming in for the Alumni incomplete, thus disqualified because a parent couldn’t take the time to review it.
      Even her own scholarship this year, ($1500) targeted first to go to a member of the Laurel B/G Club was sent in late and incomplete, and I had to disqualify it, so it goes back to a Laurel grad, and not many applied for it.
      Thanks for writing. Good comments.

  2. This is certainly a topic that is near and dear to my heart. The Football Officials Association that I belong to implemented a scholarship fund several years ago and awards two or three scholarships yearly. (This is not just based on Athletic accomplishment) When this program was initiated several years ago we envisioned a minimum of one applicant from each school that we serve. (14 total) The most applicants we ever received was seven, with three being from one of the schools you mentioned. I assure you the information was delivered to the proper people in each school. You wouldn’t think it should be difficult to give money away.

    • The scholarship group I belong to shares your frustration. Applications are dropped off to the schools; after that who knows what happens. The fact as you have confirmed a few schools have applicants shows me their are some schools not doing their job and a disservice to their students.

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