How Real Students Pay for College

A name and a face to go with the numbers

Katie Couch

Recipient: Freshman Katie Couch, intended biochemistry major from Ione, Washington

Scholarships/Financial Aid: 16 scholarships of various amounts covering her first-year tuition costs, including SPU President’s Scholar Award ($15,000), College Success Foundation Leadership 1000 Scholarship ($5,000), Washington State Opportunity Scholarship ($2,500), and others.

What motivated you to apply for so many scholarships? I knew I’d have to pay for college myself. I thought I’d never be at SPU because of the cost, but it paid off!

What made you stand out for scholarship awards? I didn’t have very good SAT scores, but I think my grades in high school and definitely my volunteer experience made up for that. I was also upfront about my need, which helped.

What’s valuable about an SPU education? I’ve been challenged here — in a good way. The diversity of different cultures, religions, beliefs, and seeing how other people see the world has challenged what I believe. The community is not too big and not too small; it’s the perfect size.

Community Involvement: I volunteer at the Union Gospel Mission in Rainier Valley, helping elementary kids with their homework and playing games.