Arlington Collegiate High School students get scholarships as part of national program

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Eleven seniors from Arlington Collegiate High School (ACHS) started their Friday morning with a hearty breakfast courtesy of Torchy’s Tacos and some well-deserved scholarship money courtesy of their hard work and the College Board Opportunity Scholarships program.

ACHS Ranks Nationally

The winning students, who make up 11 percent of the senior class at ACHS, earned between $500 and $1,000 each, totaling $9,500 in scholarship money. That put ACHS in the top three nationally for schools that are part of the program.

The Class of 2020 students was honored Friday morning at Tarrant County College’s Southeast campus for their effort.

 “What it shows our junior class that is if they put the work in, the opportunity is there,” said ACHS principal Jeff Krieger, who had all ACHS juniors and seniors at the event. “The rewards are tangible, the $500 scholarships, the $1,000 scholarships. And they’re getting better. They’re getting prepared for their four-year school.”

Preparation Pays

The new program doesn’t award scholarships based on grades or class rank. It focuses on what the students do on their way to getting ready for college. They earn scholarship opportunities by building a college list, practicing for the SAT, improving SAT scores, strengthening their college list, completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and applying to colleges.

Students who complete all six steps are eligible for $40,00 scholarships.

Math Scores Increased

Sara S., the first ACHS student to find out she won one of the scholarships, thinks the idea of the program is great. She earned her $1,000 scholarship while also improving her math skills for taking the SAT.

This is a big help to me and my family financially,” said Sara, who will likely head to UT-Arlington and plans to major in communications. “College is expensive. This helps me feel like I can do this. It seems easy, but it’s not. You have to put in your time and effort. Doing my math problems took me so much time and effort. It would stress me out, but winning the scholarship showed me it was worth it.”

Gabino M., who also struggles with math, saw the benefits from the work because he saw his SAT scores improve because of the practice. His reward for that work was a $500 scholarship that he plans to use when he majors in business at a four-year school.

“Seeing my SAT scores improve made a real difference,” Gabino said. “Everything helps. Anything we can get make a difference for us.”

The Future is Bright

In addition to getting scholarships, the 2020 ACHS students set the bar for the future ACHS students. Class of 2021 students can start applying in December to try and keep the momentum going.

“I know we have so much potential here,” Sara said. “I knew something good would come of the work. Being in the top three schools to win so much money in scholarships is just amazing.”