For many high school seniors looking to continue their education, scholarships are one of the first things that come to mind.

Washington High School offers information on a large array of scholarships, in different categories for students who specialize at different things.

Information about scholarships can be found at the high school guidance counselor office.

That is one of the first places any student should look to first, with help from Kelly Richard, the counselor in charge of scholarships.

Most scholarship information can be found online, through the Naviance online program at the school.

Scholarship options are found locally, nationally, and internationally. Some can be competitive among students while others are not.

Richard suggested that all students should definitely look into scholarships opportunities and said students should start looking based on the school they’re looking to attend.

Sometimes scholarships can be automatically granted based on a student’s ACT or SAT scores, grade point average, special talent, such as athletics or music, or other merits.

“What I really tell students is that the (scholarships) they should most be looking for, or trying to qualify for, are the ones that are local, ones that they’ve heard of before, or heard of the organization before,” Richard said.

Instead of applying for a nationwide competitive scholarship, students should look in the community for better options.

Getting involved in organizations at high school has always been suggested, but there is not one specific club that guarantees scholarships.

“Right now what I see coming up in scholarships are academics, work experience and community service and whether you’ve held office or not in the clubs, you’re in,” Richard said.

“If you were in athletics, did you get a letter? If you were in Spanish club, were you president? Those are the things that make you competitive if that’s the kind of scholarship,” she added.

Do not underestimate scholarships because they may not offer much money, Richard said. All scholarships are valuable and can help in some way.

Also, full-ride scholarships are not as rare as students might think. If a student has been challenged, done impressively in school and scores fairly high on the ACT or SAT, a full-ride scholarship could very well be possible.