High school seniors compete for full ride at Bethel University

McKENZIE, Tenn. — For nearly 30 years, a scholarship competition at a West Tennessee college has awarded two students with a tremendous opportunity.

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-5-58-41-pm“Well typically we give tuition, room and board,” Bethel University Director of Admissions Tina Hodges said. “So that’s $25,000 a year. So if you want to, times that by four.”

Twenty-four students are spending this weekend at Bethel University for the Hendrix Scholarship Competition, a scholarship that will cover four years of Bethel tuition along with room and board.

Students from across Carroll County and one student from Alabama are competing.

“I think that’s awesome,” West Carroll High School senior Colin Simmons said. “‘Cause not many people get that opportunity, and I’d be really happy if I got afforded it and got to use it.”

“Any of us win, that’s a great thing for us,” Huntingdon High School senior Leann Webb said. “To be able to come to college for free and keep our grades up and learn — that’s just a great thing that they offer here.”

With more than $100,000 up for grabs, these seniors say the competition, including an exam, an essay and interview, is worthwhile.

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-5-58-17-pm“I’m not going to lie — I’m a little nervous,” competitor Lauren Allen said. “But I’m excited about it, and I’m hoping that I do good.”

“It might be a little stressful at first, but it’s probably going to be simple,” Greenfield High School senior Sara Ann Pope said.

According to the admissions office, 93 percent of Hendrix Scholarship competitors still choose to attend Bethel even if they don’t win the scholarship.

“But we are still small enough to give that personal attention,” Bethel University College of Arts and Sciences Vice President Cindy Mallard said. “We have students tell us over and over that it’s family, it’s like being at home.”

Although this year’s Hendrix Scholarship Competition is already underway, students say it’s an opportunity more high school students should consider.

“Can’t turn something down like this ’cause it’s just a great opportunity, and you should be a part of it,” Webb said.

The runner-up in the Hendrix competition will also earn free tuition. The winners will be notified some time next week at their high school.

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