06/28/10 — Aid down for some county graduates

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Aid down for some county graduates

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 28, 2010 1:46 PM

The economy did not markedly hinder scholarships for the latest high school graduating class in Wayne County -- although one school saw its aid for students going on to college decrease by more than 50 percent from 2009.

The Class of 2010 in Wayne County Public Schools earned more than $4.3 million in one-time and annual grants, scholarships and work-study aid, and $13.3 million renewable aid. The figures matched those seen in 2008, but were lower than in 2009, when student aid for one-time and annual funding was $4.7 million and $15.1 million in renewable aid.

The number of graduates has also gone down in the past two years -- from 1,262 in 2008 to 1,205 for both 2009 and 2010.

At individual schools, financial aid dropped at four area schools, most markedly at Goldsboro High, while three schools saw an increase this year.

Charles B. Aycock's scholarship funding this year was $1.5 million, up from $1.2 million last year and $526,686 in 2008. The school had the second-largest graduating class in the county, with 291.

The largest class was at Eastern Wayne, where 299 students received diplomas.

Funding there, however, dipped to $805,101, compared with $1.1 million in 2009 and $1 million in 2008.

One of the smaller schools, Rosewood High, with 122 graduates, saw an increase in student scholarship money this year -- $616,137, compared to $547,060 in 2009 and $796,305 in 2008.

Spring Creek, which had 135 graduates, also topped their two previous years -- $544,888 in 2010, $382,566 in 2009 and 263,715 the year before that.

The biggest drop was seen at Goldsboro High School, where 123 diplomas were handed out earlier this month.

In 2008, seniors were awarded $1.2 million, dropping to $609,661 in 2009 and $287,445 this year.

At Southern Wayne, where 224 students recently graduated, $493,900 was awarded this year, compared with $675,099 last year and $433,021 in 2008.

The county's smallest graduating class, Wayne Early/Middle College High School, which had 16 candidates this year, also kept pace with its counterparts, although the amount of money awarded dropped off from previous years. Scholarship aid totaled $66,703, compared to $121,302 in 2009 and $126,570 in 2008.

Despite the economic impact on one-time and renewable aid, students deserve accolades for completing their high school career and receiving the diploma that will afford them the opportunity to go on to college, school officials said.

"We congratulate our graduates for their academic and financial achievements," said Dr. Steven Taylor, schools superintendent. "It is rewarding to see students work hard and take advantage of the rigorous academic programs offered in our schools so they can become successful in their college aspirations."