Type to search

Philanthropy Thought Leadership

Scholarships help students achieve the reality of a postsecondary degree

©2019 Decisive Moment Event Photojournalism, Spellman College

By Errika Moore, senior program officer, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

This is the time of year when high school seniors in the region are awash in paperwork – college applications, school assignments and, for many, scholarship applications. And the Community Foundation is here to help with many scholarship options now available for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Foundation awarded nearly $5 million in academic scholarships (and counting) for the 2019-2020 academic year, benefiting almost 2,000 students. Scholarships range in size from $500 to $40,000 and many are recurring as long as students maintain eligibility. Each scholarship fund was established by a Community Foundation donor with a unique story and passion, who set eligibility and preferences for scholarship selection. As a result they supported 25% of our students who are first in their family to attend college. And approximately 42% are students with families who can’t afford to support any portion of their education.  

The Dreams Squared (Dreams2) Scholarship was established by a donor who was determined to set up a scholarship for average students who could not access typical merit scholarships because of their less-than-perfect grades. The intent of the scholarship is to support students who demonstrate potential, with the hope that scholarship aid can help the students improve their grades. The Dreams2 scholarship currently provides $3,000 to students who have GPAs between 2.0 and 3.0.

The Nancy Penn Lyons Scholarship was established by a donor who was accepted to an Ivy League school but had to drop out after his first year because he could not afford the high tuition expenses. He did well in the insurance business and sold his company after becoming very successful. His desire with the fund is to support young people who, like himself, who may not be able to afford the cost of an Ivy League education. Today, the scholarship provides up to $5,000 to students attending an Ivy League school.

Other scholarships were formed with dedication to a specific profession, school or geographic region. The Foundation’s newest scholarship, the E. David and Linda C. Ballard Family Foundation Scholarship aims to award current juniors or seniors enrolled full-time at Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University and Georgia State University who are at risk of dropping out due to outstanding school tuition and/or fees. The James E. Cox Medical Scholarship provides support for medical school students pursuing degrees at a Georgia medical institution. The Everett Williams scholarship supports residents of Oconee County, Georgia and the Brightstar Education Foundation Scholarship will award $3,750 to seven nursing students pursuing a bachelor or associate degree on a registered nursing curriculum track.

You can learn more about all of the Community Foundation’s competitive scholarships and apply here. The deadline for our scholarships is February 14, 2020, so apply now!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.