Coolidge scholarship gives Union High junior free ride

first_imgPhillip Meng is more than a year away from starting college, and while he’s not sure which school he wants to attend, he already has the bills covered.Meng was named a 2018 Coolidge Scholar, which gives him free tuition and room and board for four years at any college of his choosing. The scholarship, which is in its third year, is given out by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation. Meng is one of four recipients to earn the scholarship this year, and one of 10 people overall to earn the award, which was given to three students in both 2016 and 2017.Meng, 15, a junior at Union High School, said it took a while to sink in that he was one of four students chosen for the scholarship out of 3,200 applicants. He also said earning the scholarship has opened up his collegiate possibilities.“When you take cost out of the equation, it changes how you think about higher education,” he said. “College is too expensive.”If the past recipients are any indication, Meng, who skipped first grade, will have his choice of prestigious universities. Of the six previous Coolidge Scholars, three are attending Harvard University, one is at Rice University, one is about to start at the University of Chicago in the fall, and one is heading to Grove City College in Pennsylvania this fall, according to Matthew Denhart, executive director of the Coolidge Foundation, which is based in Coolidge’s home village of Plymouth Notch, Vt.Meng heard about the scholarship from a friend and teacher, and went in with an “expect nothing, hope for everything” attitude, he said. He thought the application process itself was worth going for it, since all applicants have to read “The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge” and write an essay about the country’s 30th president.last_img read more

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