SNOW HILL — With $15,372,407 offered in scholarships to graduating Worcester County high school seniors this year, Coordinator of Instruction Dr. Donna Main revealed this week the county school system broke its previous record.
“Our students were offered the record breaking figure of $15 million,” Main told the Board of Education Tuesday.
The former record was set in 2009, with $14,325,135. While most totals have hovered around $12 million since 2006, this year’s numbers represent nearly triple what was offered in 1999 and 2000 when $5,557,866 and $4,973,900 were offered, respectively.
For various reasons, including multiple colleges offering scholarships to a single student, Main reported that only $5,009,288 of the roughly $15 million offered was actually accepted by seniors, down from $5,815,672 in 2011. However, she explained that the figure in no way means that students aren’t continuing their education.
Of the 527 graduating seniors this year, 440, or 83 percent, plan on attending college or a special training school. Thirty-four, or 7 percent, plan on joining the military, while 53, or 10 percent, will be heading straight into the workforce.
Of the 440 heading to college or secondary school, 296, or 67 percent, will continue their education in Maryland.
Main told the Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday that she was ecstatic with the numbers.
“It’s great because Maryland needs college graduates,” she said.
To better explain the actual process that a student has to submit to in order to earn scholarships, Main brought in recent Stephen Decatur High School graduate Ashley Hrebik, who reported she will be attending Georgia Tech and will be entering her first year with $22,500 worth of scholarships.
“It takes a lot to apply,” she told the board. “A lot of them you have to write essays.”
Hrebik called the process “tough and exhausting,” emphasizing the need for intensive essays, sometimes multiple for each application, as well as the general chaos of keeping everything organized and meeting deadlines.
“It is a tiring, tiring task,” agreed Board of Education President Bob Rothermel, who said that he had to go through the process with several of his own children.