Local option for high school seniors

WELLSVILLE – High school seniors wanting to apply for college scholarships have a local option.

Joining the Wellsville Board of Education last week were representatives of the Tri-State Area Tuition Mission Foundation (previously known as Dollars for Scholars) – a foundation based in East Liverpool which awards multiple scholarships for qualified graduating seniors in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia looking to continue scholastic careers beyond high school.

Speaking on behalf of Tuition Mission was vice president Catherine Vodrey, who discussed the foundation and explained how high school students can apply for available scholarships.

Students may apply now through mid-April, and would be notified of the award in May.

Recipients have received as much as $4,500 per year. The scholarship can cover anywhere between 8 percent to entire tuition, depending on the institution cost.

“We even will cover for kids who can prove that they can have their tuition covered. We will give the money for rent if they need that, but they need to prove that they can have anything else covered,” Vodrey said.

Seniors may apply via website – www.tuitionmission.net – and the process may be as quick as 10-15 minutes if all necessary tax information is at hand.

“Virtually, everything on the online application is check a box or pull down,” Vodrey explained. “There’s no essay questions.”

Some of the questions may seem a little odd, Vodrey said, but they are asked because there are specific scholarships available.

Students will receive the scholarships, interest free loans, and are asked to pay it back, eventually.

Vodrey also stated students will not receive money until they present sponsor letters and agree to pay back the money after finishing their schooling, whether or not they had graduated.

Wellsville has had a history of being one of the foundation’s largest amount of applicants, Vodrey said, although that is not the case this year as only two Wellsville students have applied thus far.

Vodrey was joined along side Bob Rudder, who serves as a Wellsville representative on the foundation’s board of directors.

“Compared to most other loan programs that have much stricter guidelines about paying, this is interest free so the dollar you’re borrowing now and then you pay back in 20 years, present value, will be much less,” Rudder said.

Visit the TMF website for more information on available scholarships and how to apply.

In other matters:

– the district will continue its relationship with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center (ESC) as the board approved its contract renewal with the ESC in regard to the Wellsville Local Virtual Learning Academy for the 2018-19 school year.

The academy – launched two years ago – provides 100 full-year and semester courses to students residing in the district who are home-bound, home-schooled, in need of extra credit or make-up credits, with special needs or at-risk, assigned to alternative schools, or had previously dropped out.

As part of the agreement, students enrolled in the academy may also participate in extracurricular activities within the district.

– the board approved 29 policies which are handled through Neola (formerly known as Northeast Ohio Learning Associates), and cover a variety of policies in the district including bylaws, administration, programs, professional staff, classified staff, students, finances, operations, relations, property and forms.

Three of the policies – regarding patient protection and the Affordable Care Act, group health plans and crowdfunding – are new polices, while two – Student Technology Acceptable Use and Safety Agreement, and Staff Technology Acceptable Use and Safety Agreement – are replacements, and the remaining 24 consist of revisions.