Checking her mailbox when she came home from high school became the most exciting part of the day for Mercy Alsworth. She was waiting for responses to her scholarship applications.
And one by one, they started rolling in.
“At first, applying to colleges was nerve-wracking. I wasn’t sure where the money would come from,” says Mercy, who just finished her freshman year as a biology major at Seattle Pacific University. “But I applied for every scholarship I could find. I searched the internet. Once my first award came in, it was really exciting to see my hard work pay off. All of them — even the smaller amounts — added up.”
As a high school junior, Mercy also signed up for RaiseMe, a program through Seattle Pacific that allows high school students to earn scholarship money for good grades, AP classes, extracurricular activities, volunteering, and more.
According to Mercy, her hard work has been worth it. “I applied to a lot of schools, but in the end choosing SPU was easy,” she says. “When I visited, I instantly liked the atmosphere, strong academics, and what the school stands for. The teachers are wonderful, and the whole community is supportive. It’s been a really good investment.”
Next year, Mercy plans on studying abroad in Russia or Africa through SPU. “Student Financial Services has been great at making it possible, giving me different options like grants and loans,” she says.
“They help students set small goals that will make paying for college possible.”
After graduating from SPU, Mercy plans to attend medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon. “SPU works with you to prepare you for post-graduation,” she says. “And living in Seattle means I have many more opportunities to further my career.”
Mercy’s advice to high school students considering SPU? “Don’t give up,” she says. “Lots of people think they can only qualify for a couple scholarships. But there are thousands out there. Keep your options open and look for different opportunities. Hard work will pay off, and eventually more and more will come in if you stick with it.”