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Special School District of St. Louis County
Student Scholarships Go a Long Way

With the cost of post-secondary tuition going up each year, the importance of finding scholarship assistance also increases. Students that receive services from SSD are eligible to apply for several scholarships from SSD, the Special Education Foundation (SEF) and other organizations.

Below, scholarship recipient Jennifer Scanlon shares her account of how winning these scholarships has made a difference in her education.

My name is Jennifer Scanlon and I am currently a senior at Webster University in St. Louis. In May of 2015 I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Marketing, a minor in Religious Studies and an Entrepreneurship Certificate. I received my Girl Scout Gold Award in which I recruited children with special needs to play baseball in the Catch 22 Miracle League in Chesterfield. In 2013, I was chosen to represent Missouri as Miss Missouri in the National American Miss Pageant. I am a Director for the Miss Amazing Missouri Pageant and I also have jobs at Hallmark and at school.

I graduated from Parkway South High School in 2011, and I was also a 2009 graduate of the Fred Saigh Leadership Program sponsored by the Special Education Foundation.

When planning for college, we looked at a lot of things that matter the most to me: small class size, good programs that met my future goals, a track and field program that I could participate in, and most of all something that was affordable. My mom is a single mom supporting my college experience by herself. We started searching for scholarships early in my junior year. It was easy to start with some of the groups and organizations I am involved in. It takes some time, but the reward is great! I suggest applying for as many scholarships as you qualify for. You never know what you will be awarded. I applied for and won the Special School District Board of Education Scholarship, the Special Education Foundation's William R. Cumerford Scholarship and the Special Education Foundation's Women's Leaders Scholarship. In addition, I won several local scholarships to help pay my tuition costs.

My advice to any senior in high school is, do your research. Set aside some time each week to work on scholarship searching. Get on the websites of different groups, organizations and businesses in your area. Search to see if they offer scholarships and what the qualifications are. You may be surprised to find out that the local ones are the best ones to win. They are always looking for good kids to represent their cause or organization and most of the time they publish their winners in local papers and publications! 

I filled out many applications, I wrote several essays, and in the end, I was able to win a lot of scholarship money and it made going to Webster University much more affordable. College is expensive, but there are so many resources out there. Just go for it!

There are also many expenses in college beyond tuition that you need to plan for. You need to figure in transportation, parking, food, books, labs, graduation fees…they all add up quickly. Also, check with your school and see if you can carry over scholarship money to other years. This was something I didn't know and have found it a struggle to find scholarships for upper classes. Some schools carry it over and some don't. But again, it's all about doing your research.

I am very grateful for the Fred Saigh Leadership Program, Special School District and the Special Education Foundation for their programs and their support. They have allowed me the opportunity to go after anything I want for my future. I wish everyone much success in their scholarship search!

jennifer scanlon
Jennifer Scanlon

important notes

arrow Students that are high school seniors and receive services from SSD or attend an SSD technical high school are eligible to apply for scholarships from SSD, the SEF and other organizations.

Click here for details and links to scholarship application forms.

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12110 Clayton Rd, Town & Country, MO 63131  /  314.989.8100  /  314.989.8552 – 711 (Missouri Relay)

Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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