Little known to the rest of the community, May means scholarship season for the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Our staff, especially Manager of Education Services Cheryl Fowler, work at a feverish pace this time of year to coordinate the selection process and the awarding of hundreds of scholarships to students in the Oshkosh area.
This year, the Foundation will award more than 200 scholarships totaling $287,020. Our volunteer committee members have a tough job narrowing down more than 600 applications, all from worthy students with plans to pursue further education.
So far, our scholarship committees have selected the following total awards:
- OACF scholarships (71 Funds) – $133,400 awarded to 98 students, of these 68 renewable
- Winneconne (30 Funds) – $17,500 awarded to 30 students, of these 3 are renewable
- Neenah (29 Funds)- $38,750 awarded to 41 students, of these 11 are renewable
- Omro (25 Funds) – $52,370 awarded to 47 students, of these 8 are renewable
- Oshkosh Corporation — 30 scholarships total $45,000 – 30 renewable
Over the next several weeks, awards ceremonies will take place at local high schools and our donors, board members and staff will be present to grant these awards. It’s such an honor for all of those who are involved and the highlight of the year for many on both the giving and the receiving end.
Remarkably, the scholarships we award this year are just a fraction of the total scholarship and education grants that go out the door at the Foundation each year. Renewable scholarships — those that allow from multiple years of awards as long as the student meets criteria for each semester — bring the total scholarship awards each year to more than $650,000.
Here’s a look at our selection process:
- 95 percent of our applications are received online in January, February and March. (We have a killer website that a virtual scholarship warehouse and application hub called FoxRiverScholarshipCenter.org!)
- Cheryl collects and organizes the eligible applications, and distributes the appropriate applications to committee members.
- Committees read each and every application and nominate their choices for the scholarships they are assigned to
- After the selections are made, award packets are put together and arrangements are made for scholarship donors, OACF board members and staff to present the awards at Senior Award ceremonies.
We couldn’t make all this happen without the support of many people and local school districts, and for that we are ever so grateful.
Have you received a scholarship from the Foundation? We’d love to hear your story! Please contact us at 920-426-3993, email at [email protected] or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.