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Site offers collegiate resources to high school students

Alyssa Lear, a junior at Greenville High School, is getting a head start on college scholarship and admissions applications via achievealabama.org, a new resource compiling collegiate resources for all students throughout the state.

Alyssa Lear, a junior at Greenville High School, is getting a head start on college scholarship and admissions applications via achievealabama.org, a new resource compiling collegiate resources for all students throughout the state.

High school students in Butler County who are looking to fund their college tuition have yet another resource at their disposal. A new website, achievealabama.org, aims to help high school students around the state in not only finding the right college, but also to find the scholarship opportunities that match their needs and interests.

The website compiles scholarship and admissions information from around the state in one convenient location.  Once students make a profile, they’re able to find colleges based on a number of criteria such as distance from home, living environment, school size, majors offered, tuition and housing cost and more.

Greenville High School counselor Tomesha Hamilton said that the Achieve Alabama website is a networking resource not only for students, but for counselors, as well.

“If I have some scholarships that I know of in Butler County that maybe someone in Mobile County doesn’t know about, I can send information to them and he’ll put the information on the Achieve Alabama website. 

“When I went to a counseling conference, Sean Stevens, who is over counselors at the state department, shared some information with us,” Hamilton said. “If I have some scholarships that I know of in Butler County that maybe someone in Mobile County doesn’t know about, I can send it to him and he’ll put the information on the Achieve Alabama website. 

“Our students, and actually all of the students in Alabama, get to apply for the scholarships. And it helps me, too.  There may be some scholarships that I don’t know about, but if other counselors in the state have them and they send the information to Mr. Stevens, then that makes it available to my students.”

Butler County Schools superintendent Amy Bryan said that the area’s scholarship earnings are on the rise, even before the implementation of the new Achieve Alabama website.

“Our counselors have worked hard to increase the scholarships earned by our students,” Bryan said.

“Just in my three years monitoring it, graduates of 2014 earned $1.6 million, graduates of 2015 earned $2.6 million and the 2016 graduates earned $3.1 million. This new tool should only continue our trend of earning more and more each year so that our students have every opportunity for higher education that they deserve, regardless of personal financial limitations.”

Hamilton is similarly hopeful that the new site will result in another year-to-year improvement in scholarship money earned.

“When students see each other succeed and be awarded scholarship opportunities, it’s a strong motivating factor,” Hamilton said.

“And there are many scholarship opportunities offered to our students here in Alabama that I may not know about.  With this new site making it a team effort, others can make me aware of additional opportunities that are available to my students.  I think it’s a very good tool, and hopefully we’ll see some increases in our scholarship money.”