SCHOLARSHIPS AT THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
For Graduating High School Seniors and Adults Going Back to School
Educational Awards at the Polk County Community Foundation begin with the passion of donors who create and contribute to our scholarship funds. Their philanthropic desires are put into action through a variety of awards that support students in our community who wish to further their education past high school.
Awards are given on a competitive basis to those individuals who intend to continue their education or training at a recognized college, university, technical, vocational, or other accredited post-secondary educational institution. We have awards for high school seniors and adults returning to school. Many of our awards for graduating high school seniors are merit-based and do not require financial need. All awards for adults going back to school require financial need.
There is one application form for you to apply for all of the educational awards administered by the Polk County Community Foundation for your age group. These scholarships are awarded in a competitive application process by the Scholarship Committee of the Community Foundation in accordance with the donor's criteria. The criteria for these scholarships are listed in the Kirby Handbook of Polk County Area Scholarships, a booklet published annually by the Foundation.
Scholarship Committee members are volunteers from our community who are screened to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. The committee works hard to match the unique talents and accomplishments of students with the criteria established by the donors. The committee is responsible for reviewing all complete applications before meeting to make award decisions, which are then reviewed and approved by the Board.
The process for awarding scholarships is always competitive, with more applications being received than awards available. The first step towards receiving a scholarship is to submit a complete application.To treat all applicants equally, our policies dictate that any error made in completing your application according to the directions prevents it from being considered on its merits. You are encouraged to contact the Director of Grants at the Community Foundation well in advance of the deadline to review your application and certify that it is complete and submitted on time.
In 2015, 60 Polk County and Landrum graduating seniors and adults going back to school received awards totaling more than $190,000. All Foundation awards are a minimum of $1,000 and the maximum scholarships in 2015 were renewable awards worth $16,000 over four years. Donors' gifts will allow the Polk County Community Foundation to award a comparable amount next year. Please see the current application for details and additional information.
For Eligible Students in 7th-9th Grade to Attend Summer Camp Programs through Duke University's Talent Identification Program
The Merit Award for Duke TIP Summer Studies is a new scholarship awarded by the Polk County Community Foundation to academically gifted students in our community whose high SAT scores have qualified them for Duke University's Talent Identification Program. The Summer Studies programs are three-week camps held on college campuses where rising 8th-10th grade students take advanced level courses and live with peers from many other states. Local Polk County and Landrum students who are accepted into certain Summer Studies Programs may qualify for a full tuition scholarship. Please contact us regarding eligibility and application details. More information about Duke TIP is available by visiting the Duke TIP website.
Read More: Community Foundation Continues Duke TIP Scholarships, Investments in All Students (December, 2015)
For Local High School Students to Live and Study Abroad
The Leadership and International Understanding Merit Award is a scholarship managed by the Polk County Community Foundation for well-qualified local students to participate in the AFS experience of studying abroad. Students are encouraged to apply to study abroad through the local AFS chapter and receive the benefits of learning a new language, exploring the world, and making lifelong connections. More information about AFS is available by visiting the AFS-USA website.