The class of 2022 sits during one of four commencement ceremonies at McNary High School on Friday, June 10. (JOSHUA MANES/Keizertimes)

They were donning their blue caps and gowns at Friday’s commencement ceremony, but the McNary High School class of 2022 is bringing in the green as they head to college. 

This year’s graduating class has accumulated $13,209,726 in scholarship offers, a 40% increase from 2021’s $9,438,763. 

The senior class’ reported offers include one student who applied to nearly 30 schools, and one student that received a near full-ride scholarship offer of almost $75,000 to a private school. 

And while such an impressive offer seems like a miracle, McNary College and Career Coordinator Kimberly Conolly doesn’t want to use that word when talking about it. 

“The reality is when the right student goes after the right school and tells their story in a way that’s meaningful it can move people,” Conolly said. “That makes me emotional. It’s an incredible story.”

There was one full-ride offered to a McNary graduate, a rejected offer from Lewis and Clark College in lieu of what Conolly said was a better choice for the student. 

That money does get taken into account for the $13 million sum, which reflects offered scholarships, not accepted ones. 

An increase in money this year from last year should be expected, college applications are up — but nowhere near the 40% increase that McNary’s scholarship offers saw. 

Applications using the Common Application, used for over 950 schools across all 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as internationally, are reportedly up 22%. 

This spike in applications can be partly attributed to graduates deferring in 2020 and 2021, choosing to not leave for college in the middle of the pandemic.