Insurance scholarship offered

Wapakoneta High School students looking to attend college can take advantage of a scholarship being offered to high school seniors.

The Grand Lake Area Insurance Professionals and Celina Insurance Group are offering $1,500 for a 2014 graduating high school senior who resides in either Auglaize or Mercer County, and is pursuing a degree in an insurance industry major. Eligible majors include: accounting, actuarial science, business, computer science, finance, risk management and insurance, among others.

In addition, $1,200 will be awarded to the scholarship winner if he or she chooses to attend Wright State University-Lake Campus, bringing the total to $2,700 in potential scholarship money.

The winner will be determined based on how well a student completes an essay. The essay’s topic is “Who and/or what inspires you?” and must be completed using a maximum of 500 words.

A committee will review each essay and rank them based on how well the essay is written.

“Sometimes there’s something that really stands out, as in like how they wrote it or the topic they chose to write about,” said Laura Nieport, Grand Lake Area Insurance Professionals scholarship chairwoman. “We also have standard things we look at too like grammar and punctuation.”

After the committee reviews each essay, a group of finalists will be announced.

Nieport said the number of finalists will vary depending on how many students score high on their essays.

“If we have five students that score within a few points, we’ll look at all five--it might be only two that we look at,” Nieport said. “It varies depending on how close things are. We don’t want to leave out that really good student just because of one or two points.”

Once a group of finalists is selected, students must submit an application listing achievements such as their GPA, class rank, academic honors and community service, among other things.

These, along with the essay, will ultimately determine who wins the scholarship.

“It may not be that we’re looking for a 4.0, but we’re looking for an overall, grounded student,” Nieport said.

As of Friday, only one student has applied, but Nieport attributes that to the fact that guidance counselors didn’t receive the applications until just before Christmas. The holiday break, along with school cancellations, may have led to a lack of applicants so far.

The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Feb. 5, and a winner is expected to be announced in March.