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First Coast family champions importance of college scholarships

7:38 PM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Would you like free money to go to college? How about a chance at winning $5,000 dollars?

It's all part of the First Coast News Hero Next Door scholarships and time is of the essence if you still want to apply.

First Coast News spoke to the Hoeppner family.

"Scholarships were a big deal," Charles Hoeppner said.

Husband and wife, Charles and Lisa said it was never a question if their three kids would go to college.

"I told them scholarships are going to be the easiest way because it's free money, basically," Charles explained.

The question was just how to financially cover their educations.

"It was either they're going to work, get student loans or scholarships," Charles said.

Two of the Hoeppner children earned scholarships. Felicia, 19, is a freshman at Florida State College at Jacksonville and works to offset her college costs.

Her brother Kevin, also 19, is a University of North Florida freshman. 

Their oldest brother Joseph, 21, is in year 3 of 5 at UNF's master's program. The brothers both earned full rides. 

Charles said without scholarships, paying for college would have been very difficult.

"It would've been more sacrifices," Charles explained. "Basically, I would have a lot more gray hair before I got to quit working."

"I may not have fully realized it back when I was applying for these scholarships, but it definitely pays off right now," Joseph said. 

Charles advises parents and students not to delay those applications.

"It's important to pay attention to when they come due and act," he advised. "Because you can't win if you don't play."

But, your chance at winning a First Coast News Hero Next Door Scholarship is ticking away.

Ten First Coast students will be awarded one-thousand dollar scholarships. One student will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship.

To apply, you must have a G.P.A of at least 3.0.

Community service will also be a factor in selecting the scholarship winners. You can enter online by clicking here.

Remember: you have until 9 a.m. Wednesday May 1, 2013 to apply.

A parent or guardian must nominate you. First Coast News will start announcing the winners May 8th on Good Morning Jacksonville.

First Coast News

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