Students find success in academic life through scholarships


Cadence Troxel , Guest Writer

Unending cups of coffee.


Late-night stress.


Last-minute deadlines.


This year’s seniors are buckling down and are working hard to see it to the end of the year. But while some are keeping their hopes based on the college applications they send, others have another plan to help with college.




 Each year, seniors get prepared to pursue college or other lifestyles. They start off the year with the ACT/SAT, then start taking visits to colleges of their interest. Later in the fall, the seniors get to apply to 3-5 schools, and afterward, they can start applying for financial aid and scholarships. Then, as seniors transition into spring, they can continue college visits until it is time for them to submit a final decision on May 1. At the end of the year, they bid farewell to high school, and we wish them well in whatever lifestyle they decide to do after graduation.


Anything to help pay college expenses is highly welcomed by seniors, however, scholarships are not easy to receive. Although uncommon, some scholarships can have entry fees, taking a toll on students who end up rejected for the scholarships. Others consist of a tedious application process, based on a variety of factors. 

A scholarship is financial support awarded to a student based on academic achievement or other criteria that may include financial need, for the purpose of schooling,” said Dr. Karen Austin, Lead Counselor at LTHS. “Not all scholarships are based on GPA and academics.”


For example, many seniors in LTHS’s Thespian Troupe (Troupe 8434) are seeking the Texas Thespian Scholarship awarded specifically at the upcoming ITS festival on Nov. 17-19.

“Every year, my troupe goes to the convention and you can participate in multiple events, and one of the events offered is a 3-round scholarship,” said Senior Vasudha Thaittai.

The scholarship consists of a virtual round, in which students send in their grades, SAT scores, transcripts, and GPA. The second round selects certain people from the virtual round to do live interviews during the festival on November 18, 2022. If the applicant is selected after the live interview, they receive the scholarship.

“A few people from Lebanon Trail High School that were selected included Julia Raley, Bri Willingham, and myself, so we will be participating in the live interview process at the International Thespian Convention,” said Thaittai. “It’s a very, very selective process so the chances are pretty slim, but you might as well try.”


Certain scholarships also apply to certain schools, colleges, or communities depending on which colleges the student is applying for. 

Students can apply for scholarships that are given by a college, and also apply for community-based scholarships,” Dr. Austin said. For example, the counselors heavily push the FEF Scholarships website on seniors. FEF stands for Frisco Education Foundation and is a website that puts all the steps on one easily accessible page. The website also includes commonly asked questions, and a list of all the scholarships available for the Frisco ISD district, and walks a student through the process of applying for an outside scholarship. 

“Frisco Education Foundation has opportunities for seniors to apply for scholarships annually,” Dr. Austin said.


However, unlike college applications, scholarships tend to hold much less stress over a student. 

“I’m not that stressed about scholarships,” Senior Vignesh Winner said. “If I get them, it’s a win. But if I don’t get them, it’s not the end of the world.”


Likewise, counselors attempt to make scholarships as easy and stress-free as possible for the already-busy seniors. They post many resources, pull students to talk to them one-on-one, and present slideshows to the seniors explaining what they need to accomplish in the year.

“Students can learn more about scholarships on the LTHS Counselor site,” Dr. Austin said.


Overall, scholarships have many more positive aspects than negative ones.

“It takes time and planning to make sure that deadlines are met, but if students are organized it helps with not only the scholarship application process but with the college application process as well,” Dr. Austin said. She later added, “Scholarship applications have nothing to do with the college application process and therefore have no bearing on acceptance to a college.” 


LTHS continues to encourage the seniors as they persevere through the year and blaze a trail for college. 

“I’m really excited about college,” said Senior Melia Puga. “Applications are a little scary, but I’ve applied to scholarships that are less known just to try my hand at them, and yeah, I’m really excited.”