Local scholarships offer opportunities for Plymouth-Canton students


An illustration depicts the costs associated with obtaining a college degree.

High school students face a lot of pressure during the college application process. As college tuition steadily increases, the chance to be awarded scholarship money becomes increasingly more competitive. 

There is no need to fear, however – many local organizations offer scholarships with far less competition than their national counterparts.

A variety of scholarships are offered to students planning to enter certain vocations. The Karl’s Cabin Scholarship awards $1,500 to students entering culinary programs, while the PCEA Future Public School Teacher Scholarship grants a minimum of $500 to graduating seniors pursuing a career as a teacher at a public school.

Local scholarships are available to students of all majors including the Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation Scholarship, awarded to selected graduating students who have been accepted into a college, maintained a 2.0 GPA and have overcome a personal challenge, as well as the Berman Family Dentistry Scholarship, awarded to three students who apply with an essay and have attained a GPA of 3.3 or above.

The recently launched Michigan Achievement Scholarship award offers up to $27,500 to current Michigan seniors demonstrating financial need who attend college in-state. Applicants must have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and demonstrate financial need with an expected family contribution (EFC) of $25,000 or less.

Many scholarships are offered to current seniors. For underclassmen, look into alternative methods of earning money and recognition for college while they await senior year.

“[Getting a part-time job] shows responsibility. It’s good on college applications and it can definitely be a nice way to start putting away money for college or whatever students’ plans involve,” said Erin Demarest, a Canton counselor.

The scholarship application window usually opens in the spring to seniors, but underclassmen have the chance to prepare for the scholarship season ahead of time.

“Start looking in the spring of junior year; most [scholarships] won’t be due until spring of senior year,” said Sarah Budziak, Canton counseling intern.

Scholarship and college application deadlines are staggered throughout the year; most students will have selected their college or at least have finished the application process of their college search before scholarship applications are due. Students should chart their selected scholarships’ application deadlines to gauge their workload in the spring of their senior year in order to take the opportunity to apply for scholarships.

“Businesses and people in our community are looking to give students from the four high schools scholarship money,” said Demarest.

If you feel your chances of being awarded a national scholarship are slim, turn to your local community organizations to help in giving you a leg up on college tuition.

To learn more, check out the websites for the Plymouth-Canton Educational Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. Subscribe to the P-CEP News List to keep up to date with scholarship opportunities.