It is Scholarship Season
The scholarship season is upon us once again. One of the many things I get to do here at the foundation is to coordinate scholarships. When I arrived last year I was shocked to find out how easy it is to apply: There are no essays, there are no personal statements, you don’t need 1,000 hours of community service, and there is no age restriction. If you have financial need and you graduated from a Richland County High School or are a resident of Richland County, chances are, you are eligible. In order to maximize the number of students that receive an award, each student is matched with one fund using the qualifying questions. Last year Richland County Foundation awarded $380,172.00 in scholarships.
Scholarships are available for some trade school programs and technical certificate programs, in addition to traditional two- and four-year colleges. In my travels throughout the county this year, I was impressed to see some of the great work students are doing at local programs offered at Pioneer Career and Technology Center and Madison Adult Career Center. You don’t have to travel far for a few more options at Knox County Career Center or Ashland County West Holmes Career Center. At the Richland County Foundation, scholarships are based on financial need and they are competitive.
Traditionally, scholarships for two- and four-year degrees have been more competitive. Having a minimum 2.5 GPA if you are graduating High School or a minimum 2.0 GPA if you are continuing in college is helpful. Before you begin, you will need to obtain a transcript and a FAFSA Student Aid Report so that we can verify your eligibility and keep the process fair. This can take some time so it’s a good idea to get started early.
Please do not be discouraged if you did not receive a scholarship in a previous year. Each scholarship cycle is a new opportunity. Some scholarships are renewable. All scholarships require you to reapply each year to verify continued eligibility. You can receive up to four years of scholarships. The applicant pool changes from year to year. Additionally, new scholarship funds are added annually by the generous philanthropists within our community. It’s truly amazing to be a part of such a generous community.
Please don’t forget that I’m here to help. Applying to college can be overwhelming or confusing; we want to make the scholarship process at the Richland County Foundation as easy as possible. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email. Scholarship applications will be open through April 1. The application is on our website.