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BURNET — Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association officials cite at least two big reasons for offering scholarships.

“We really want to encourage students who are studying something horticulture-related to keep at it,” said the association’s Lavona Fry. “And college is so expensive that we want to help some students.”

Last year, the association awarded three scholarships: one for $2,500 and two for $1,250.

“We would love to offer more scholarships, but we want to keep the amount fairly significant so it does help,” Fry added.

The scholarships are open to both current high school students and college students who are either planning to study a horticulture- or agriculture-related degree or already are. Fry said the possible areas of study are quite extensive as the types of degrees have expanded over the years.

Along with the horticulture connection, there are other stipulations such as students must have a primary residence in either the Burnet or Marble Falls school districts — though private and homeschooled students also may apply.

For a complete list of requirements and an application, go to Applications are due by April 15.

But don’t think this is simply a “fill out the application and wait for it” process. The Master Gardeners like meeting the perspective recipients.

“We’re probably one of the only scholarships who still interview the students,” Fry said.

And while the students may come away with a scholarship, the Master Gardeners come away with an appreciation of the youth.

“They will just blow your socks off with what they know, what the say and how they present themselves,” she said. “These students we meet, they’re going to make something of themselves.”