Rock Bridge senior wins full-ride scholarship to Columbia College

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COLUMBIA- An 18-year-old Rock Bridge High School senior is going to Columbia College with her tuition paid in full.

Columbia College staff, along with her family, surprised Logan Widhalm during one of her classes on Feb. 14. She was overcome with emotion as she accepted the $87,744 check.

“I kind of knew it was for me, because nobody else in my class I had known had gone to the scholarship days and I just got super nervous, but excited,” she said.

The scholarship requires students to submit their high school transcripts, ACT scores and three letters of recommendation. They also have to interview with Columbia College staff and are given an hour to write an essay about the scholarship.

“I felt really good coming out of the scholarship day,” Logan Widhalm said. “So I was really hoping that it happened, but I didn’t know for sure.”

Rock Bridge High School was one of approximately 60 high schools that participated.

Logan’s parents said they learned she won the scholarship about a week and a half before the presentation. They said it was a little difficult to keep it a surprise.

“It wasn’t hard until this morning,” her father, Darrell Widhalm, said. “I was dressed up more than normal. So she said ‘Well you look nice’ and I said ‘I’m going to a special meeting today.’”

Despite a few scares, and even almost running into Logan in the parking lot, her father said the family's cover was never blown.

“I’m very proud of Logan and what she’s done over the last 18 years,” he said.

Her mother, Monica Widhalm, said she is extremely proud.

“I just want her to be happy, and that’s my number one goal,” she said. “It just really felt like Columbia College was a great fit."

Columbia College Admissions Assistant Director Jeff Barringer said Logan Widhalm was clearly one of the top competitors.

“We had over 60 people compete this year," he said. "Logan did a fantastic job and blew away our committee.”

Barringer said Columbia College wants to recognize its students and all of their hard work.

“This is the type of thing that is going to change their lives forever,” he said.

Logan Widhalm said she thinks Columbia College will be great for her and that she’ll enjoy staying in town.

“I love the campus,” she said. “It’s so pretty. I like the smaller campus feel. It’s really welcoming.”

She plans to study environmental science and said she will apply for other scholarships.