Scholarship application season offering more than $300,000

Sunday, December 1, 2013
Attending the recent Scholarship Forum at the Ivy Gallery at Area 30 were (seated, from left) Tina Tapy, Ivy Tech; Melanie Boesen, Ivy Tech; Alan Zerkel, North Putnam High School; Vicki Timm, PCCF Scholarship co-chairman; Ellie Ypma, PCCF Board president; Brenda Meyer, Greencastle High School; Lora Busch, Area 30; Kirstie McClamrach, North Putnam; Lauren Alspaugh, North Putnam, and Beth Sewell, Cloverdale High School; (second row, from left) Dean Gambill, director of community development, Putnam County Foundation; Russ Hesler, Greencastle; Vickie Parker, PCCF scholarship co-chairman; Jennifer Zigler, Greencastle; Karen Nelson-Heavin, Lilly Community Scholarship chairman; Kami Hyde, Area 30; Carrie Milner, Cloverdale Community Schools, and Emily Sellers, 21st Century Scholars; (back, from left) John Dittmer, PCCF Scholarship Committee; Mark Wildman, South Putnam High School; Bruce Bernhardt, South Putnam; Bill Smith, Greencastle; Brian Gardner, South Putnam; Sonny Stoltz, Cloverdale, and Elaine Peck, executive director, Putnam County Foundation.

The Putnam County Community Foundation is now receiving applications for scholarships for academic year 2014-15.

To kick off the scholarship season, local education leaders met with the Community Foundation staff and committee members in the Ivy Gallery at Area 30 Career Center to hear about the more than 60 different scholarships that are available through the Community Foundation in 2014.

The Scholarship Forum is designed to give school professionals the information they need to help their students successfully navigate the sometimes-overwhelming transition to post-secondary school.

The Community Foundation again has more than $300,000 available to be awarded as scholarships for 2014.

The National Center for College Costs reports that the average cost of tuition, public and private, for a bachelor's degree in Indiana is $80,000 -- that is $20,000 per year. Scholarship dollars are an important piece of the financial pie for students.

This year's forum, sponsored by Hendricks Power Cooperative, included a presentation by Emily Sellers, Western Region outreach coordinator for the 21st Century Scholars program. Sellers made note of the changes being made to the program and stronger emphasis on degree completion. Students are eligible to sign up for the program in the seventh and eighth grade.

Dean Gambill, community development director of the Community Foundation, demonstrated how to access information, instructions and application forms at

They are also available in county high school guidance offices. To be considered for scholarships using the Community Foundation's application, students must submit the electronic "Intent to Apply" form by Jan. 3, 2014 and the application itself by 5 p.m. Jan. 10. Applications may be printed/handwritten or downloaded onto a computer, completed electronically and printed for signature and submission.

The Foundation website also provides a comprehensive list of all available scholarships and the eligibility criteria for each.

"Every scholarship is unique," Executive Director Elaine Peck said.

There are scholarships for colleges, universities, trade schools and even private high schools, such as Culver Academies. Annual award amounts vary from five hundred dollars to the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship which covers full tuition and fees for four years. Some scholarships are for specific institutions; others like the Lilly, may only be applied to an Indiana school, while others such as the Lyon Family Scholarship, may be used at any accredited college. Awards can be need-based or merit-based.

With this amount of variety, anyone seeking financial assistance should visit the Community Foundation's website to see if they qualify for any of the more than 60 available scholarships.

The Putnam County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1985 to serve donors, award grants and provide leadership, enriching the quality of life and strengthening community in Putnam County. The Community Foundation administers more than 240 funds and endowments, supporting a variety of charities.

Questions about scholarships should be directed to Dean Gambill, director of Community Development, 653-4978 or

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