June 14, 2016 - Grand Rapids Community Foundation awards 630 scholarships to deserving students. This year’s awards totaled the foundation’s largest sum yet of $1,148,150.
“We are pleased to be able to award over $1 million for the third consecutive year,” said Grand Rapids Community Foundation Education Program Officer Ruth Bishop. “Each year the program adds new scholarship funds, which means we expect to see this trend continue.”
Scholarship Advisory Committees consisting of 94 community volunteers conducted over 20 meetings to review 2,244 applications. Scholarships are awarded based on a variety of criteria, including academic achievement, financial need or intended major. 610 of the scholarships awarded are valued at $1,000 or more.
Committed to creating and maintaining a community that values diversity and fosters inclusion, the Community Foundation awarded 47 percent of scholarship awards to first generation college students and 30 percent to diverse populations.
Current and former Grand Rapids Public Schools students received 84 awards, totaling $166,300.
“Our scholarship program reflects the priority of many of our donors to support local students in their pursuit of higher education,” Bishop said.
Three new scholarships were awarded this year:
Anonymous Scholarship Fund: The fund was established from a bequest. The trust document stated that the donor wished to establish an anonymous scholarship fund for the purpose of providing students who are residents of West Michigan and cannot otherwise afford undergraduate or vocational school costs with up to five years tuition at no more than two institutions or vocational schools per each individual student. One $1,000 renewable scholarship was awarded this year.
Grand Rapids University Prep Academy Founders Scholarship Fund: The fund was established by the founders of Grand Rapids University Prep Academy. The scholarship is for seniors graduating from Grand Rapids University Prep High School. Selection is based on financial need, demonstrated leadership at school and/or in the community and academic standing. One $1,000 scholarship was awarded this year.
Kenneth and Shirley Morris Memorial Scholarship Fund: The fund was established from a bequest and the first scholarships will be awarded beginning next year. Scholarships are for Ionia county residents enrolled in an undergraduate nursing program at any college or university in the U.S.