Community Foundation opens 2018 scholarship program

Marion Community Foundation’s 2018 Scholarship Program is now underway for area high school seniors and graduates. The Foundation’s scholarship program, which has grown exponentially since its first award in 2000, now includes 116 funds.

Last year, the Foundation’s scholarship funds generated 193 awards – totaling just over $291,000 – for 140 Marion area high school seniors and graduates.

“Every year, the number of scholarship funds has grown. Since last year alone, the Scholarship Program has added 14 new funds,” said Marion Community Foundation President and CEO Dean Jacob. “Our donors care about the future of Marion and generously support its students.”

The application process is entirely online and starts with a visit to Visitors will find the application link on the homepage.

“As Marion Community Foundation’s scholarship program has become better known,” said Jacob, “the percentage of applications from high school graduates continues to increase.”

According to Scholarship Committee chair and retired educator Kathy Goodman, a typical scholarship program focuses primarily on awards for high school seniors. Marion Community Foundation’s program is unique in that it includes a large number of awards available to both high school seniors and graduates, she said. Some of the Foundation’s scholarships are even targeted for beyond the bachelor’s degree, such as the Judge Thomas K. Jenkins Scholarship Fund for law school students, or nontraditional students, such as the Harper-Stuckey Marion Technical College Scholarship Fund.

The Paul Pezley Baseball Scholarship will again offer a $5,000 scholarship to a Harding or River Valley baseball player. This scholarship’s criteria highlights many of the traits Paul exemplified–love of baseball, holding a job during high school, and striving for higher education.

Another highlight for 2018 will be the Whirlpool Corporation/One Energy STEM Scholarship. This fund will award one $5,000 scholarship to a Marion County student pursing a degree in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or math (S.T.E.M.) to attend any eligible educational institution. Additionally, $10,000 will be awarded to students with STEM majors that are attending The Ohio State University at Marion, Marion Technical College, or other eligible educational institutions.

”It is a challenge to highlight only a few,” said Goodman. “There are many great scholarship opportunities for our Marion area students. Families, individuals, organizations, and companies have established endowment funds in order that this scholarship assistance that is available locally.”

New this year to the program are the William & Martha Buckingham Scholarship, Collier Scholarship, Bill & Joan Cones Scholarship, Alex Cooper Memorial Scholarship, Elgin Alumni Association Scholarship, Donna M. Flach Memorial Scholarship, Eric Foos Memorial Scholarship, Kathy & Malcolm Goodman Scholarship, Harris Scholarship, Richard & Donna (Converse) Lawrence Scholarship, Cheryl Oehler Memorial Scholarship, Jacob & Kevin Pfeiffer Memorial Scholarship, John T. & Lois Schmidt Scholarship, and the Marion Women’s Business Council Scholarship.

“Each scholarship has its own selection criteria,” said Goodman, “based on the donor’s preferences.” The one application allows students to be considered for all of the scholarships for which they are eligible.

The online application requires documentation such as personal recommendations, financial details, and essays to be attached. According to Director of Programs, Julie Prettyman, students can save the application in progress while they gather the supporting documentation and return to finish the application, including making updates and corrections, before filing.

Applications are available now through March 1, 2018, at 5 p.m. The review process continues for several weeks, culminating in the Board’s final decisions in late April. The 2018 Marion Community Foundation Scholarship Committee consists of Kathy Goodman, Larry Geissler, Sue Jacob, Ruth Johnston, Megan Queen, Kevin Smith, Chuck Speelman, and Nikki Workman.

“We have increased the size of the committee this year,” said Prettyman. “With a growing number of new awards available–and the subsequently anticipated increase in the number of applications–a larger committee is necessary to thoroughly review each application we receive.”

Additional information and access to the online scholarship application is available at Marion Community Foundation can also be reached by calling 740-387-9704.

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