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A 21st Century Scholar’s Perspective College Cost 

A 21st Century Scholar’s Perspective

Mike Werle
21st Century Scholar
Cathedral High School, Class of 2016
Indiana University, Class of 2020
Behavioral health tech
in a mental health group home

About the scholarship program: I got involved in the 21st Century scholarship program because my older siblings went through it and mom and dad knew it worked! At Cathedral, my counselor made a point of keeping me on track. That pushed me to work on my grades, because I knew that better grades equal less college debt. (Ask your high school counselor if you can see their drawer of scholarship stuff. I know they have one and it will make their day.) When going over my awards summaries every year, I was SO grateful to see the 21st Century scholarship. That was the main reason I was in the program, and I’m happy with the result.

Lesson learned: Make sure to fill out the FAFSA on time—and do it correctly. “When I messed up my FAFSA in junior year, I was no longer eligible for 21st Century covering that part of my tuition. I ate that loss.”

Career path: As a high school freshman, I knew I enjoyed writing and video games, so I believed I should take a “safe” job in computers or coding. But in high school I got a lot more social and involved with my group of friends, and through various crises with them I found I had a talent for listening to others and talking them through crises. I decided I’d rather make a career out of talking to and listening to others.

Advice for college freshmen: Initially you will probably have fewer friends than you did in high school, but get out of your dorm. You might not have any solid friendships until sophomore year. That’s normal. 

Future plans: I plan to move laterally into a related field at a nursing home or geriatric care facility to diversify my experience as a helping professional. Maybe I’ll go back to school to become a social worker or therapist. 

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