College Board announced that West Haven High School student Antonio Ponton has earned one of two monthly $40,000 scholarships through BigFuture, the College Board’s online guide that helps students plan for life after high school.
“I was surprised when we got the call and to learn that one of our students won such a large scholarship,” said WHHS Principal Dana Paredes. “That was exciting news, so we quickly threw together a student assembly to make it an exciting moment for Antonio and his family. I’m just shocked that someone in our school would win such a large scholarship.”
During the assembly for junior and senior students, College Board Senior Director Dena Johnson made a brief presentation before inviting Antonio to the stage. Once on stage, Dena surprised Antonio with the scholarship. His mother, who was also surprised by the announcement, joined her son on stage shortly after.
Powered by College Board, BigFuture simplifies the path to life after high school by recommending small steps that all students—no matter their high school—can take at just the right time to explore career interests, identify potential majors, find colleges and scholarships, and access financial aid. It rewards the effort students take by providing chances at scholarships.
“Now more than ever, students need simple and credible tools to help them choose the college and career that’s right for them,” said Tarlin Ray, College Board senior vice president of BigFuture. “We’ve integrated these scholarship steps into BigFuture so every student—no matter where they are on their journey to college—can take the steps Antonio has taken to raise their hands and earn themselves a big future.”
All class of 2023 students are now eligible to win $500 and $40,000 scholarships they can use at two- or four-year institutions. There are no essay, test score, citizenship status, family income, or minimum GPA requirements. Drawings for $500 and $40,000 are held every month. Students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year have extra chances at scholarships and earn double the entries for every drawing. The sooner students complete the following steps and the more steps they take, the more entries they’ll earn:
Build a College List: Students search for colleges and add 6 or more to their list.
Practice for the SAT: Students use Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy to get ready for test day.
Explore Scholarships: Students explore a list of scholarships personalized for them, based on their background, achievements, and future plans.
Strengthen Their College List: Students make sure their list has a mix of reach, match, and safety school.
Complete the FAFSA: Students complete the free government form to apply for financial aid.
Apply to Colleges: Students apply to at least 2 colleges they want to attend.
College Board has dedicated $25 million to the program that lays out six simple steps all students can take to get to college. More than $14 million in scholarships have been awarded to more than 15,000 students since the program launched in December 2018. Class of 2023 students with College Board accounts in the United States and U.S. territories will be automatically entered into monthly drawings for $500 and $40,000 by completing specific steps on bigfuture.org.