Lilly scholarship winners
Keith Mughmaw congratulates his son Ryan after it was announced he was one of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Award winners Wednesday evening during The Community Foundation awards banquet.
The Community Foundation of Grant County will accept applications for more than 120 scholarships through March 1.
“We want students to know this isn’t just for the highest (academic performance). … Our scholarship providers and donors have a lot of different ideas for who they want to fund,” said Program Manager Ashley McKnight. “Everybody is qualified to apply for a scholarship with us.”
Applicants should be prepared to enter their “class rank, class size, ACT Score, SAT Score, diploma type and high school guidance counselor’s email address,” according to a news release.
In another first for 2013, applications will also require financial information similar to a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application to complete a need assessment from the National Center for College Costs through the Indiana College Cost Estimator.
FAFSA information includes “parent and student tax forms” including the 1040EZ, 1040A, 1040 and/or W-2; “parent and student untaxed income information”; “parent and student asset information”; and “parent business and/or farm records, if applicable.”
“Not only does that give us that estimated family contribution (EFC, the FAFSA’s indicator of financial need),” McKnight said, “they’ll have a report that National Center for College Costs will give us for individualized counseling on what their personal financial picture will look like depending on what school they choose.”
About 200 applications have been filed since they opened Dec. 1, and McKnight hopes to break the previous record of about 400. Records will be editable online until March 1, and she encourages applicants to look at the “other opportunities” tab for further scholarship possibilities.
Community Foundation scholarships are decided by a selection committee including Community Foundation staff, community leaders and fund founders. Funds are usually distributed in May at senior nights and similar events, McKnight said.
Last year, the foundation distributed more than $336,000 through 248 scholarships, not including the Lilly award. McKnight said fewer scholarships will be given but at greater values for 2013.
Winners of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship and other Community Foundation Academic Excellence Awards will be announced in the Chronicle-Tribune in May.
The Lilly Scholarship has granted a full ride to any Indiana college to two Grant County students each spring since 1999 after distributing one local award in 1998.
Each Grant County high school submits a nominee for the Lilly award; the Community Foundation selects two county-wide finalists and one alternate; and Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc., decides the winners.
Tyler Davis, a 2000 Mississinewa High School graduate and Lilly scholar, said he wouldn’t have been able to pay $30,000 per year to attend University of Notre Dame and study biochemistry without the award.
“The ability to attend a school like that coming from a small town, really can’t be understated,” he said. “It really enabled me to be more selective with my next choice in schooling and other career choices.”
Davis later attended medical school at Tufts University in Boston and is now a physician and oncology student through Indiana University Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis.
Davis credited his pursuit of the scholarship with getting him involved in so many activities as an MHS student. He served as National Honor Society president, Student Council vice president, elementary school tutor, Sunday school teacher and St. Martin Community Center volunteer.
Davis continues to receive networking and community service opportunities as a Lilly scholar, though he can’t take advantage as often as he’d like.
“It was truly one of the best things that’s happened to me,” Davis said of receiving the award. “I’m very grateful to the Community Foundation, the people at Mississinewa High School and the Lilly Endowment.”
Timber Ross, a 2003 Lincoln High School graduate, received $1,000 from the Evelyn L. Kensler Fund in 2012 to study licensed practical nursing at Marion Community Schools, about an $8,000 investment.
Ross is now working as an LPN at Faithful Friends Home Healthcare, 326 E. Main St., Gas City, and planning to pursue registered nurse training through the online College Network this spring.
“It allowed me to buy books and continue my education. I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise because I ran out of Pell Grant (funding),” she said. “I’m very appreciative.”