The Cumberland Community Foundation manages more than 60 scholarship endowment funds created by local individuals, families, civic organizations and corporations who want to provide a path to higher education for future generations.
“Right now we are getting ready to open the community scholarship cycle, and the applications will be available online starting Wednesday, Feb. 16,” said Mary Holmes, president/CEO, Cumberland Community Foundation, Inc. “Between now and then, students should complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and this is the process the foundation uses to verify financial need.”
She added, “Most of the scholarships are based on financial need, academic achievement and community service, but we do have a few that are not need-based and are achievement-based only.”
“So the student will go online between Wednesday, Feb. 16 and Wednesday, March 23 to fill out the application and answer questions about themselves,” said Holmes. “The questions want to know the high school you attend, which colleges you want to attend, your grade point average (GPA) and your intended major in college.”
Holmes added the online system would present the opportunities for which the student is eligible, and the applications will pop up for the student to apply.
Each year, Cumberland Community Foundation awards more than $900,000 in college scholarships to students from southeastern North Carolina. The Cumberland Community Foundation Scholarship Committee selects most scholarships. A few scholarships are selected by external selection committees at the individual high schools. High school students should check with their school’s guidance office to learn about scholarship opportunities.
“A lot of scholarships are narrowed down to a specific high school, and for example, the John Thomas Gibson Memorial Scholarship is for a student going from EE Smith High School to North Carolina A&T University,” said Holmes. “Some of our scholarships are for students in any high school in Cumberland County going to any college, and they just have to go online and apply to be presented with all of the opportunities.”
“We have a wonderful committee of mostly retired educators that serve as our scholarship selection committee,” said Holmes. “They read all of the applications, make the selection, and then they score all of the applications based on the priorities that the donor established.”
She added, “For example, a donor may want 50% of the points based on financial need, 25% on academic success, and 25% on community service.”
“We just completed the process of selecting 21 students for the Robert H. Short scholarship, and he left 10 million dollars to the Cumberland Community Foundation to help local students go to college,” said Holmes. “Those students will receive up to $30,000 payable over a 4-year period.”
Applications are due Wednesday, Mar. 23 at 11:59 pm. Students will be asked to submit their information from their FAFSA application, their transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.
Visit https://www.cumberlandcf.org/scholarships/how-to-apply-.html for information on how to apply for the scholarships. For more information, visit https://www.cumberlandcf.org/scholarships/.