Letter: Door to opportunity closes April 16

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This good news, reported in The Columbian March 29 story “Scholarships target STEM, other students,” is worth repeating: A new scholarship program is available and accepting applications now for $1,000 awards, renewable for up to five years. This is the Opportunity Scholarships program, created through the efforts of 17th Legislative District Rep. Tim Probst, D-Vancouver, last year. It’s funded by $5 million from the state, matched by Washington-based corporations Boeing and Microsoft. It is for middle-income families, too -- the first time Washington state has had such a program.

Now in the bigger picture $1,000 or even $5,000 is not a lot compared to the cost of most college educations today. But it is something, and combined with other resources, is one more step on the way to a higher education so critical for financial success in today’s economy.

This public-private assistance to our young scholars is a win-win proposition for students, industry, and the state.

The program is not perfect for everyone, but 3,000 students will get this scholarships this year. High school seniors and all undergraduate college students may apply. The application is online, at http://www.collegesuccessfoundation.org.

The deadline is April 16, so hurry.

William Sterr

Vancouver