KENWOOD — Kenwood Academy seniors brought home $12.5 million in college scholarship offers in a single day, and more than a third of the senior class will have some financial help to attend college.
“That’s a lot,” said Lindsey Hunter, the school’s college and career coach, on Tuesday going over the final tally of merit-based scholarship offers from the Siemens College Fair. “We got the most in the city.”
Ninety Kenwood seniors walked away from the November event with at least one scholarship offer and four students were offered the full college package.
“They could get anything from $2,000 to a full ride — everything plus a laptop,” Hunter said, adding that students with a B average and at least 19 on the ACT all got some scholarship offer.
Korbin Houston, a senior at the 5015 S. Blackstone Ave. school, said six colleges offered her a scholarship at the event. She said she has already been offered free tuition at 10 colleges and six have offered to also pay for housing.
She said she is still waiting to hear back from five more schools she applied to, including her first choice, Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.
“I know where I want to go,” Houston said of the college that flew her and her mother, Stephanie Houston, out to Maine earlier this year to have lunch with the college president.
Last year’s senior class at Kenwood was offered more than $31 million in merit-based scholarship money and Hunter said this year’s class is on track to meet or exceed that number.
“Kids can get into college, but one of the reasons they don’t stay is they can’t afford it,” said Hunter, who was staying late Tuesday and Wednesday writing letters of recommendation for scholarships. “The idea here is you have to come out of here with some scholarship offer.”
Kenwood Academy is not in the city’s top tier of selective-enrollment high schools, but consistently beats them on college acceptance numbers and scholarship offers. All of last year’s seniors at Kenwood were accepted to college and only Jones College Prep got more scholarship offers last year with $33 million.
Hunter said a lot of the money gets left on the table because students have to choose between competing offers. She said her goal is not to beat last year’s $31 million, but to improve the total number of students that receive some offer.
“It makes my job worth it to see kids have options,” Hunter said. “It’s paying off — literally.”
She said about 42 percent of Kenwood seniors were offered some scholarship money last year. About 33 percent of this year’s 330 seniors already have an offer in hand, and Hunter said she thinks they can improve over last year.
Hunter said she did not include need-based scholarships like Pell Grants in her tally.