In recent years, Grand Rapids Community Foundation has averaged $650,000 in annual scholarship awards, but this year after receiving 1,877 scholarship applications, it has awarded 574 scholarships totaling $844,250.
Thirteen Michigan colleges and universities will receive a total of $690,050, with the largest award amount of $133,250 going to Grand Valley State University. Scholarships awarded to individual students range from $200 to $10,000 with an average award of $1,500.
Fifty-eight percent of this year’s scholarship recipients are first generation college scholars and 42 percent are coming from families with an income of $0-33,000.
“We were really pleased with the volume of applications we received this year,” said the Community Foundation’s Education Program Officer, Ruth Bishop. “The goal this time around was really about getting the word out about the scholarship opportunities available to students in the Grand Rapids community.”
Nearly half of all of the scholarship recipients this year are majoring in healthcare, business and law/social sciences.
The student recipient population is made up of 67 percent females and 33 percent males, with 26 percent of that total belonging to scholarship recipients from diverse populations. Over 100 current or former graduates of a Grand Rapids Public High School were awarded scholarships totaling $130,200.
Especially beneficial for Meijer team members and their dependents, the Fred and Lena Meijer Scholarship program, administered by the Community Foundation, awarded numerous $2,500 scholarships to team members and their dependents, as well as two $10,000 awards.
Scholarship History Grand Rapids Community Foundation has been awarding scholarships for over half a century. The first major scholarship program began in the 1940s in response to a nursing shortage. Since then, the Foundation has been building the scholarship program both in total awards given and overall award amounts. To date, just over $9.5 million in scholarships have been awarded.