WAHS senior receives full scholarship to Holy Cross University

Williamsport Area School District  |  Posted on

Williamsport Area High School (WAHS) senior Ian Sykes has been admitted to College of the Holy Cross and has been awarded a full, four-year QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship.

Sykes, who will be a first-generation college student, plans to study either psychology or political science when he arrives at the Worcester, MA, campus next fall. He said he is very thankful and honored to receive the scholarship, which will save him about $314,000 over four years in tuition and fees. He recognized that by applying himself and working hard in school was important and paid off, while also crediting his mother, April, for all of her support.

His schedule at WAHS includes several advanced placement courses, and he’s also a member of the tennis team and Model UN. Outside of school, he works part-time at Pudgies Pizza and volunteers at Bicycle Recycle at the Pajama Factory.

Out of over 20,800 applicants, QuestBridge, a national nonprofit that connects high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds with leading institutions of higher education and further life opportunities, selected 6,683 finalists to be considered for the scholarship.

This year, QuestBridge’s 50 college partners matched with a historic 2,242 finalists, who are now considered scholarship recipients.

“We’re thrilled to welcome this historic community of QuestBridge Scholars,” said Ana Rowena Mallari, co-founder and CEO of QuestBridge. “Their achievements speak to their depth of intellect and character, and we know they will continue to dream big on their college campuses and beyond.”

WAHS counselor Jessica Becker, who worked closely with Sykes through the application process, credits his tenacity and ambition as the driving factors in becoming a finalist.

“Ian is an example of what hard work and determination — and using the resources available at the high school — can do for you,” she said. “I am so proud and thrilled for him.”

Becker said Sykes will now be able to serve as a QuestBridge ambassador to help other qualified students receive the scholarship.

“We are incredibly proud of Ian for his outstanding achievement in gaining admission to College of the Holy Cross and receiving this competitive QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship,” said Head Principal Dr. Justin Ross. “His success is not only a testament to his hard work but also reflects the supportive community and educational environment here. We congratulate Ian and look forward to the positive impact he will make as he continues his academic journey at Holy Cross.”

“If you can become something from nothing,” Sykes said, “you have nothing to lose.”

Match Scholarship Recipients are admitted early to QuestBridge college partners with full four-year scholarships provided by the colleges and universities, ensuring for these students and their families that an education at a top college is affordable.

The Match Scholarship is made up of a generous financial aid package provided by the college that covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, housing and food, books and supplies, and travel expenses. The Match Scholarship does not include loans or parental contributions.