The Community Foundation is privileged to administer scholarship funds on behalf of the communities we serve. The Community Foundation makes grants to individuals in the form of scholarships that qualify as a charitable activity and provide income to scholarship recipients that is non-taxable. To meet those objectives, scholarships are awarded to qualified individuals who are candidates for a degree at an eligible educational institution and agree to use the scholarship or fellowship to pay qualified education expenses.
Qualified education expenses include tuition and fees; and course-related expenses such as books, supplies, and equipment. Room and board, travel, research, clerical help, and non-required equipment are not qualified education expenses, and scholarship funds used for those purposes may be considered taxable income for the recipient.
As administrator of over 40 different scholarship funds, we follow each donor’s intent as outlined in the governing documents. Community Foundation scholarships are highly competitive awards, and our review committees are charged with looking at many different factors to follow the donors’ wishes when giving awards.
Donors include initial eligibility such as those who attend (or attended) a particular area high school; academic achievement (based on GPA); those entering a particular career; those who are attending a particular college or university; financial need (based on FAFSA/EFC calculations); and other factors.
Donors also establish award selection criteria that meet their charitable goals when they establish scholarship funds. Some of those criteria – but not all – include preference to applicants who have demonstrated community volunteerism and personal development; applicants who demonstrate a plan to fund their college costs (with additional preference given to those who have worked to save money for college or who demonstrate why they were unable to work); applicants who are likely to be successful on their field of study (with preference given to those with volunteer or paid work and/or high school course work aligned with career goals, e.g. BACC courses in the proposed field); preference to those who are entering a field that is in demand; give preference to applicants attending a Michigan college or university.
Our 2017 Scholarship Program is closed. If you are selected to receive a scholarship award from the Branch County Community Foundation, you will be receive an invitation to our Scholarship Award Breakfast in June. (If you are a graduating senior, your award may also be announced at your high school's senior awards night.)