179 WSU Tri-Cities students receive scholarships

Seven college-bound students studying math, biology or engineering discovered they won't need to worry about paying tuition next school year.

They were among the 179 Washington State University Tri-Cities students honored at the annual Scholarship Recognition Breakfast held FridayAug. 19 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.

Students who received the Distinguished Scholarships for students with high academic merit, worth $8,000 to $10,000 each, were:

- Northwest Technical Resources/Bob Norris Memorial Scholarships: Trisha Watson, a junior, studying mechanical engineering; Jason Gunter, a senior, studying mechanical engineering; and Lauren Swanson, a senior, studying civil engineering.

- Washington River Protection Solutions Scholars: Courtnee Grego, a junior, studying biology; Pedro Guajardo Jr., a junior, studying electrical engineering; and Sadie McKee, a junior, studying mathematics.

McKee also received the Battelle Memorial Institute Foundation Scholarship and Guajardo also received the George and Marianne Grant Engineering Endowment scholarship.

- U.S. Department of Energy's Scholarship Distinguished Scholar: Arnulfo Martinez, a senior, studying electrical engineering.

In all, 203 scholarships were awarded at the breakfast, totaling nearly $370,000.

This year's base tuition at WSU campuses is $9,886 and doesn't include fees, books, room and board. That's an increase of 16 percent in one year.

With costs associated with earning a college degree climbing more and more, students are seeking financial help through grants and scholarships. In fall 2009, there were 119 applications for WSU scholarships. This year, there were 535 - an increase of 350 percent.