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Dane Hansen scholarships get significant boost





Kathy Spicer said she always likes receiving information on the Dane Hansen Scholarship Program.

This year's release about the annual program, which began in the mid-1970s, was especially pleasing to the eye.

The first sentence in the release announced there would be "significant increase in the scholarship stipends for the 2012-13 academic year."

Four of the five scholarship categories will increase by $1,000, and the 10 largest scholarships -- called Leaders of Tomorrow -- will increase by $1,500 each.

"I had to read it twice," said Spicer, guidance counselor at Hays High School for nearly 40 years. "I was thrilled."

The Hansen scholarship program makes scholarships available to graduating seniors in 26 counties in northwest and north-central Kansas.

For the past several years, 10 students have received $5,000, renewable for three additional years if certain criteria are met, as well as 50 scholarships for $3,000 each and 100 more for $2,000 each. In addition, the program awards 100 career and technical education non-renewable scholarships for $2,000 each and 20 community or technical college transfer scholarships that will increase by $1,000 this year to $3,000 each.

This year, the yearly amount for the top scholarships will increase to $6,500. The 50 Hansen Scholar level awards will increase from $3,000 to $4,000, and the former Hansen Student Scholarships of $2,000 now will be $3,000.

"The cost of expenses at college keep going up, and scholarship amounts generally stay the same, aren't able to keep up with inflation," said Kathy Taylor, guidance counselor at Thomas More Prep-Marian High School. "So I know the kids will be really pleased with this news."

To qualify for the Hansen scholarships, a student must have scored a 21 or higher on the ACT, have at least a 3.50 grade-point average and be active in extracurricular school and community activities.

Students must register at their school, and information for the qualifying tests will be sent in the mail. Test dates this year are Sept. 12 and 13 at five locations -- Colby, Concordia, Hays, Logan and Salina. A scholarship committee pares down the list, then calls students for interviews.

More information about the scholarship program can be found at www.hansenfoundationscholarships.com. Students in these counties are eligible to apply: Cheyenne, Cloud, Decatur, Ellis, Ellsworth, Gove, Graham, Jewell, Lincoln, Logan, Mitchell, Norton, Osborne, Ottawa, Phillips, Rawlins, Republic, Rooks, Russell, Saline, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Trego and Wallace.