Each summer spent in the barns at the fairgrounds helped her save money for college.

When Sydney Ponsler, a Franklin Community High School graduate, sold the livestock she showed at the fair, she put the money in her college fund.

Paul and Jennifer Ponsler knew that selling hogs each year could help their daughter with her college fund, Paul Ponsler said.

So each year, her parents would then buy the animal she would show the next year.

Those summers of hard work have netted her about $1,000 for college.

“She can use all the money now to put toward college,” Paul Ponsler said.

But that money will only cover so much.

When she saw the price tag of Purdue University, Sydney Ponsler knew she would need more options to pay the $22,000 per year costs, she said.

“I realized that this would be hard to pay for,” she said.

So she got to work.

Ponsler applied for about eight scholarships, most relating to being in FFA or 4-H, which goes along with her major: business agriculture.

They will reduce her college tuition load by $3,750. And she can reapply for a few of them each year, she said.

And when she was looking at what college to attend, cost played a factor, she said.

Her parents are helping out, too, Paul Ponsler said.

They knew she wanted to go to Purdue and they knew the general cost of that school. So, two years ago they started saving money for college. They will contribute about $6,000 to her education.

“We found ways to try and make it happen,” he said. “We tried to save a little bit so we could contribute.”

She got some money from family and friends at her high school graduation party and that money will go toward her college fund, she said.

The rest of her education will be paid for with student loans, she said.


Name: Sydney Ponsler

School: Franklin Community High School graduate

Parents: Paul and Jennifer Ponsler

GPA: 3.67

College: Purdue University

Major: Agricultural business

Cost: $22,000

Where it’s coming from:

$6,000 from parents

$1,000 personal savings

$1,000 Umbarger Show Feed Scholarship

$1,000 James Voland Scholarship

$1,000 Franklin FFA Alumni Scholarship

$500 Franklin FFA Scholarship

$250 FFA State Scholarship

$1,500 gifts from graduation party.

The rest: student loans

Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at mkritsch@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2770.