At Grand Rapids Community Foundation, we believe that education opens doors, creates opportunities and prosperity for individuals, families and West Michigan. We know that students are working hard to fuel the future and education, so we are committed to removing barriers - removing financial strain and providing options to help them along the way. One way we do that is through the distribution of scholarships to local students.
This year in particular students are facing the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In December of 2020, the National Student Clearinghouse reported a 21.7% decline in year-of (2020) high school graduates enrolling in college, compared to the prior year. The decline of enrollees overall, and not just year-of high school graduates, was 3.6%. Despite these challenges, the Community Foundation remains diligent in its efforts to support students as their pursue their career and education dreams.
The Community Foundation is committed to providing opportunities for first generation students and those with financial need. Scholarships are need-based and available for students with a wide variety of backgrounds, GPAs and levels of education from public and private institutions in Kent County. They are for students pursuing undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees or technical training certificates.
By filling out one application, students are considered for opportunities from more than 80 scholarship funds. Last year, the Community Foundation awarded $1.16 million in scholarships to 449 students.
Examples of the variety of scholarship funds students will be considered for:
- Hackett Family Scholarship
Student is a senior at or has graduated from any Grand Rapids Public high school and is an undergraduate attending an accredited college/university or skilled trade school of their choice. Preference is given to women of color.
- Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids Minority Scholarship
Students of color attending a non-profit public or private college/university in West Michigan majoring in Fine Arts including all visual and performing art forms. Must have financial need, be a Kent County resident and have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
- Grand Rapids Chamber ATHENA Eileen DeVries Scholarship
Student identifies as female and will be over the age of 30 at the start of academic year for which the funds are awarded attending an undergraduate program at an accredited vocational, technical or four-year institution located within a 20-mile radius of Grand Rapids Michigan. Must have financial need and a 2.5 minimum cumulative GPA.