Lilly scholarship application deadline moved up

Tribune staff reports

Lilly Endowment recently announced it will renew a program that offers full-tuition scholarships for Hoosier high school graduates attending any accredited public or private college or university in Indiana.

With that news came a new, earlier deadline for submitting applications for the program, according to the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

As a result, applications for all scholarships administered by the Community Foundation of Jackson County must be submitted by Aug. 17 this summer. Applications soon will be available on the foundation’s website, cfjacksoncounty.org.

“The challenge for us is to communicate this change to our current juniors, and counselors across the county are doing that now,” foundation Vice President Sue Smith said. “Our juniors need to be focused on completing the materials during the summer so that they can turn them in to counselors when school starts.”

Once that’s done, counselors will attach transcripts and the appraisal sheets for each applicant.

“We have also asked counselors to suggest to their juniors that they secure letters of recommendation from teachers now before the end of the school year,” said Dan Davis, the foundation’s president and chief executive officer. “This will help speed the review process in August.”

The foundation’s scholarship committee will work with the same material as it did with the later deadline, but the information must be submitted sooner, Davis said.

The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program in 1998 to help address Indiana ranking near the bottom of the 50 states in the percentage of its residents 25 years old who hold a baccalaureate degree.

The program, which will continue to be administered with help from the state’s community foundations, including the Community Foundation of Jackson County, is designed to raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana and increase awareness of the potential of Indiana’s community foundations to improve the quality of life of the state’s residents.

The scholarship program, which has helped more than 4,200 Indiana high school graduates, also provides $900 per year for required books and equipment.

The program is administered by Independent Colleges of Indiana and includes significant participation by the community foundations in each of Indiana’s 92 counties. Jackson County residents interested in information about the program may contact the Community Foundation of Jackson County at 812-523-4483.

Information also available online at cfjacksoncounty.org, and high school guidance counselors also generally can provide information.

With the selection this spring of Trinity Lutheran High School senior Luke Onken as the recipient of the 2016 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, there are now 35 Lilly Endowment Community Scholars from Jackson County. During the 2016-2017 academic year, there will be four Jackson County Lilly Scholars on college campuses throughout the state of Indiana, Smith said.

Criteria for selection includes academic achievement, school and community activities showing depth of involvement and leadership and employment showing time management and a desire to help oneself, Davis said.

Additional criteria includes advanced placement and honors classes taken in high school, a required essay and some evidence of financial need.

There were 142 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships awarded statewide this spring.

“The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment initiative to help Indiana students reach higher levels of education,” Smith said.

Increasing educational attainment among Jackson County residents is an important part of the foundation’s mission to help grow better tomorrows, Davis said.

“Concern about the education levels here was a key factor when the foundation brought together other partners from the community, such as the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce, to build the Jackson County Learning Center,” Davis said. “We remain committed to improving the educational levels of our residents. It is certainly part of our guiding efforts in administering scholarship funds entrusted to the foundation.”

The foundation’s efforts to improve educational opportunities extend beyond programs focused on college, including support of the Jackson County Education Coalition’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program for 4-year-olds and the encouragement of workforce development in partnership with Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. and others.

At a glance

The Community Foundation of Jackson County offers endowment services, gift planning, charitable gift annuities and scholarship administration.

For information or to make a donation, call 812-523-4483.