By Mona Allen, Director of Philanthropic Development | Contributor
Since 1991 Southwest Community Foundation and its affiliates have awarded almost $2.4 million in college scholarships, helping over 800 students attain degrees. Many of the students have become leaders in their field and some even give back by returning to serve on the college scholarship committee!
ABOUT THE COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS
While the overall majority of scholarships are for students from Dallas, Denton and Collin counties, there are many exceptions. There are also scholarships for students attending University of Oklahoma, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Southern Methodist University and Texas A&M.
In addition to general scholarships, there are specific scholarships for those studying the following fields: veterinary medicine, medical, law, education, fashion merchandising, nutrition, special education and are for both undergraduate and graduate students. While many of the college scholarships have specific criteria or are unique to certain fields or studies a majority of scholarships are awarded based on financial need, academic merit, and extracurricular activities/community service.
All these scholarships have one thing in common: each scholarship was created by a fundholder who established endowment funds -funds that continue forever, because they care deeply about helping students attend college.
For the 2021-22 school year there are more than 60 college scholarships available, with the average scholarship totaling $2,500.
Because each donor has different wants, there are scholarships that are specific to a major/minor like:
- an undergraduate or graduate student who is majoring in theatre or musical theatre at either a four-year university or The Juilliard School.
- A junior or senior majoring in fashion merchandising, marketing and retailing
- an education major
- a major or minor in nutrition, holistic medicine, or closely related nutrition-based program
- Doctor of veterinary medicine
Also, there are scholarships for the type of person like
- a visually impaired student
- immigrants who have achieved legal status as a result of legal proceedings for asylum or Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
- an ethnic or racial minority student
APPLICATION REVIEW COMMITTEE
The process that the college scholarship recipients are selected is also very unique. At no point during the review process are committee members provided information that reveals the identity of the students. Furthermore, the committee of over 55 people only look at certain sections of the applications- either financial need, academic merit, or extracurricular activities/community service. That way the committee member can follow the donor intent to ensure the scholarship is awarded based on the criterion of the scholarship.
Though there may be 60+ scholarships, students need only complete a single application to be considered for every scholarship.The questions are designed to allow each applicant to be considered for every scholarship for which they are eligible. That is why the applications are to be completed by the student, not the parent or teacher as this can affect the results.
Students who are U.S. citizens, or who have attained legal status to reside in the U.S., and who plan to attend school full time from fall 2021 through spring 2022 are welcome to apply. High school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students of any and all faiths are encouraged to apply.
To be eligible for a scholarship, an applicant need only be both:
- A full-time student attending school from the fall of 2021 until the spring of 2022
- An American Citizen or an individual who has achieved legal status to reside in the US
Can say YES to at least ONE statement below:
- I have resided in Collin, Dallas, or Denton Counties within the last 12 months
- I will be attending The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma next school year
- I am a doctoral or masters student conducting extensive research on special education for children and studying within the state of Texas.
Other criteria are detailed in the application.
Applications are due by February 11, 2021. For more information and to apply, visit www.SouthwestCF.org/scholarships.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST COMMUNITY FOUNDATION:
Throughout Texas, the Southwest Community Foundation (SWCF) and its affiliated entities have been serving families, businesses, and nonprofits for more than 40 years.
SWCF skillfully works to improve the community and the world through the development and stewardship of philanthropic resources of donors and community partners. Consistent with this mission, the Foundation and its supporting organizations have contributed more than $125 million in charitable distributions in the last decade to support a wide range of philanthropic interests, including education, human services, the arts, and faith-based organizations. By providing the highest level of personal attention, SWCF helps transform their fundholders’ philanthropic objectives into reality.
Through SWCF, donor directed philanthropy may be in the form of designated, endowment, field of interest and donor advised funds for current giving or to perpetuate philanthropy from one generation to the next. One excellent vehicle utilized at the Foundation to memorialize or honor loved ones. Additionally, their legacy initiative for the future has surpassed $270 million in bequests and endowment commitments*. With an outstanding team of volunteers, professional leadership, and experienced staff justify the Foundation has earned standing as one of the premier community foundations in Texas.