Paying for college is challenging, and this year will likely be even more difficult. For 2021 high school graduates, there is still time to apply for scholarships. The beauty about scholarships is they don’t need to be repaid. Scholarships are gifts and there are thousands of them available. Scholarships can be found in your community – offered by your high school, local employers, nonprofit organizations, religious groups, professional or social clubs, and even individuals.
When researching scholarships, keep in mind that the qualifications for every scholarship is different. Some are based on merit, meaning you must meet or exceed standards set by the scholarship provider. Others are based on financial need which is the difference between the cost of attendance at your chosen school and your expected family contribution to your education. There are even scholarships awarded that are for specific groups you or your parents may be associated with like employers, religious groups, military, and more. With all the scholarships available, searching may seem overwhelming. Check out the U.S. Department of Labor’s FREE scholarship search tool to help you get started.
One scholarship program in central Iowa has paid out more than $8 million to graduates since 2001 – Prairie Meadows Casino Racetrack Hotel. Known for providing exciting entertainment for weekend getaways, a stay for business trips or a tasty dining experience at their restaurant, AJ’s Steakhouse, Prairie Meadows is also a big proponent of giving back to their surrounding communities. Each year Prairie Meadows awards two $2,500 scholarships to graduating students attending one of 19 participating high schools in Polk County, as well as two $2,500 scholarships to an employee or children of an employee. The scholarship program is an integral piece to Prairie Meadows’ purpose to promote economic development, agriculture, jobs, and tourism in the state of Iowa.
Scholarship eligibility includes attending an accredited college, university, or vocational school in Iowa as a full-time student. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale to apply. An FYI, Prairie Meadows’ application focuses on community betterment and leadership.
For more details on this local scholarship program and to apply, click here. There is still time to apply. The deadline is March 1, 2021.
As a sponsor of Visit Altoona, Prairie Meadows Casino Racetrack Hotel is proud to support local businesses and drive economic growth in Altoona. You can view upcoming events, make hotel and restaurant reservations, stay up-to-date on safety information, and explore Iowa’s No. 1 entertainment destination at PrairieMeadows.com.