“Free money:” Applying for the Alworth and other scholarships

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There are thousands of dollars of local scholarships available to students, but applications are down.

According to the National Scholarship Providers Association, there was a nearly 50 percent drop in students applying for scholarships in 2022.

“Just in this region, the Arrowhead region as far as Grand Rapids, it’s over $4 million,” Alworth Scholarship Executive Director Patty Salo Downs said is available in scholarship money. “And the sad part is a lot of times, students don’t go for that money. They don’t go for the gold.”

Salo Downs encourages students to move away from the thinking that scholarships are only for the top students. She said one award is being launched that is for a student who is simply kind.

“There is money there for everyone. They just need to get busy and start finding these scholarships,” she said.

She suggests starting with the counseling office at your school. Her top tips for making your application stand out include: Be authentic, answer all the questions, and get someone to proofread your work or help jazz it up.

The Duluth-based Alworth Scholarship is offering $20,000 in scholarships. The deadline to apply is Jan. 15.

There is a virtual information session for parents and students from 7-7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9. Email Alworth@AlworthScholarship.org for the Zoom link.

Scholarships are also available from the Blandin Foundation, the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, and the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation.