Attending college has suddenly become easier for an 18-year-old Carson City student.
Amanda Palmer, a freshman at Western Nevada Community College, is receiving a $500 scholarship as one of 103 WNCC students to be awarded money tonight at the school's fifth annual Scholarship Appreciation and Recognition Reception at Sarah Winnemucca Hall at the Carson City campus.
"It's going to help me out greatly," she said. "Luckily, we won't have to be taking money from our own pockets."
Palmer, who recently began working for Albertsons, plans to avoid school loans until her junior year, when she hopes to be at a university.
"We're basically paying cash for college (now)," she said.
About $113,000 will be dispersed to students for 49 different scholarships. Mike Greenan, WNCC public information officer, said that's a record.
"It's up by about a third" from 2003, he said.
Scholarship sponsors include Soroptimists, the Carson-Tahoe Hospital Auxiliary, the National Science Foundation, Sierra Pacific and WNCC.
"There are all different kinds of scholarships," Greenan said. "Some of them are waivers, and some have cash values from $200 to $4,000. They are all scholarships. None of them are loans."
Palmer, who is taking classes in photography, journalism, art appreciation and English this semester, will receive $250 for each semester of her freshman year.
She is receiving the WNCC Student Leadership Scholarship along with eight other students. Sarina Smith is also from Carson City; the others are from Lyon, Douglas and Churchill counties.
The leadership scholarship recognizes student leaders from high schools in seven counties.
On her scholarship application, Palmer wrote about her hopes of becoming an art historian or being in a career that helps people. She received notification of the award in the mail about a month ago.
"I was completely surprised," she said. "I seriously doubted I would get it. I thought I was too late with the application. It was pretty much a loss of hope."
Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at email@example.com or 881-1219.