State treasurer visits with local high school students about higher education
PITTSBURG, Kan. — Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers stopped by Pittsburg High School Tuesday morning to talk with students about his office’s partnership with Sallie Mae, a company specializing in student loans and helping students fund college through scholarships.
Rogers met with roughly 70 students who are members of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), a class/club that helps prepare students for post-high school education, whether at a four-year university, trade school or vocational apprenticeship.
“What we realize is if you’re gonna get a higher education,” Rogers said, “the amount of money you will make over your lifetime just goes through roof, compared to just leaving high school with a high school diploma.”
Rogers’s presentation focused on an online tool called ScholarShop, a website, run through Sallie Mae, that finds any and all verified scholarships a student could qualify for. In total, the website has curated over six million scholarships totaling over $30 billion in funds to students.
“We hope it makes higher education a little more attainable for kids in Pittsburg,” he said.
Rogers, who was previously the lieutenant governor, recently took over the position of state treasurer following Jake LaTurner's election to the US House of Representatives. Rogers said the transition has gone very well.
“Tomorrow marks our one-hundredth day in office,” Rogers said. “We’ve returned over $5.5 million of unclaimed property. We’ve a number of big tasks for the legislature, the city utility program, the economic recovery loan program. Both will get implemented sooner rather than later, so we’ve been very, very busy.”
Emily Wachter, a senior at PHS, was very appreciative of Rogers’s time and the information he provided the students.
“I think it was so important that he was here because we got another option that kids could do with scholarships,” Wachter said, “and it was also really neat because we’re working on college stuff in class, so the timing was fantastic.”
Wachter plans to attend Pittsburg State University next year majoring in social work. She eventually hopes to work with foster kids.
JAG Kansas Career Specialist Jessica Avery, who was also in attendance, said it was great to have the treasurer in Pittsburg so the students could see they have someone in their corner.
“I think it is so impactful for students to see someone that is working for hard on the quality of their life and their future,” she said, “because I think they sometimes don’t realize that there are people who are working hard to provide them with all the things that they need.”
Jordan Meier is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.