Outer Banks Community Foundation accepting scholarship applications; $173,000 available in 2020

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications on its website www.obcf.org for a variety of scholarships. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.

The foundation manages 55 different scholarship programs and expects to award about $173,000 to local students this year. Graduating high school seniors from Dare County, Currituck County and Ocracoke are eligible to apply online. Non-traditional students also are eligible to apply for several scholarships. Scholarships range from one-time awards of $1,000 to four-year awards totaling $24,000.

“We have scholarships for a huge diversity of students,” said Lorelei Costa, executive director of the foundation. “Art majors, nurses, firefighters, journalism students, tennis players, math majors, law enforcement majors, community college students, vocational students and more — all are encouraged to apply.”

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Applicants begin the process at www.obcf.org by completing a short questionnaire, which quickly and easily directs them to the scholarships for which they’re eligible.

“The Community Foundation uses a common application,” said Costa, “which means that the student only has to complete the form once. Then all of his or her information, including letters of recommendation, carries forward to all subsequent applications.”

Though many of the Community Foundation’s scholarships are merit-based, the majority of awards consider financial need. For the need-based awards, students are required to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and upload the resulting Student Aid Report into their application. Students whose citizenship status prevents their completion of a FAFSA (e.g., DACA students) may still be considered for need-based awards and should talk to their guidance counselors for instruction.

“If I could give one tip to every applicant, it would be: Start early!” said Costa. “Please don’t wait until March 22 to begin your application. We have a strict deadline, and if you start too late, you might not get your recommendation letters and Student Aid Report in time.”

This year, the Community Foundation is launching three new scholarship programs. The Billy G. Roughton Memorial Scholarship for Medical Professions awards learners from Dare or Currituck counties with a strong academic record to pursue studies related to medical professions. The Billy G. Roughton Memorial Scholarship for Tourism and Hospitality helps students from Dare or Currituck counties with a strong academic record to pursue studies related to the tourism and/or hospitality industries. Both scholarships are administered in partnership with College of The Albemarle. The Karen Phillips Memorial Scholarship, administered in partnership with Mount Olivet United Methodist Church in Manteo, will support local students who plan to pursue a career in a medical field.

The Community Foundation also partners with College of The Albemarle (COA) to offer many other diverse vocational and continuing education scholarships, including the First Flight Society Scholarship, which supports students in the field of aviation systems technology, the Joe Riddick Scholarship, which supports students in the construction field, and the Tom and Peggy O’Brien Scholarships, which help students from Currituck County in the building trades. Interested students should contact COA to apply for these college-specific awards.

Scholarship funds have been donated from individuals, families, businesses, nonprofits, civic groups and government agencies to help local students pursue higher education. Any community member can establish a scholarship fund with the Community Foundation by calling Costa at 252-261-8839.

All scholarship recipients will be announced at their schools’ Senior Awards Night in May and June.

Based in a historic flat top cottage in Southern Shores, the Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that connects people who care with causes that matter. The foundation manages more than $20 million across 190 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to local nonprofits, administers 55 scholarship programs and provides tailored services to help donors leave a legacy and pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the foundation has awarded more than $10 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.

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