Accolades for Academic Achievement


Ethan Taylor, Writer

As the year draws to a close, the class of 2022 prepares for their upcoming endeavors. Some plan to attend college and pursue their passions, but this can be difficult for many families. The costs of tuition and housing (among other things) can cost tens of thousands of dollars and  43.4 million Americans are left with student loan debt. However, the Montana University System (MUS), annually offers four-year tuition scholarships to 16 colleges across Montana. The scholarship covers an average cost of $5,000 a year and $20,000 for four years. This year, ten Helena High students were awarded scholarships: Erik Callery, Lucas Canty, Cassidy Carpenter, Emmi Highness, Olivia Huber, Mackenzie Lincy, Isaac Nehring, Zeta Phillips, Chloe Roberts, and Natalie Seburn.  

Once students apply, scholarships are awarded by creating a composite score of student’s ACT or SAT score (whichever is higher) and their GPA. Students with the highest scores are offered MUS scholarships.  

Natalie Seburn is going to Montana State University for pre-nursing and plans on a career as a family nurse practitioner. Seburn credits her scholarship to her GPA, ACT scores, and taking “rigorous core” classes.  

Zeta Phillips, who will also attend MSU, plans to study pre-med. Phillips’s interest in the medical profession was sparked by a family member’s health scare. “One of my younger cousins actually had a heart defect when she was a baby, so that introduced me to the world of pediatrics. Now, my dream job is to be a neonatologist to help babies like her.”  

The recipients who have decided to attend school outside of the MUS, forfeit the scholarship. Cassidy Carpenter plans to attend college at Oregon State University. “The university has one of the best research facilities in the U.S. and I like the area,” Carpenter said. Carpenter plans to study Environmental Science and pursue a career in Environmental Science and Policy. Along with grades, schools look at “what clubs you’re in, sports, and your personal essay because they want to give everyone a chance,” Carpenter added. She also adds that taking the ACT or SAT and getting a high score is a requirement. 

Isaac Nehring is interested in either going to Yale or Stanford to study law. “I’d definitely like to do something in advocacy,” Nehring said. He also adds that the application process for the MUS scholarship was “really easy, because it was all online.”  

Each individual student has unique dreams and aspirations, and college can open countless doors. Congratulations to Helena High School’s MUS scholarship winners, as well as every senior setting off on their new adventures.