Outer Banks Community Foundation accepting scholarship applications

Published 1:49 pm Monday, February 21, 2022

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The Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications on its website, obcf.org. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 7, 2022.

The Community Foundation manages 60 different scholarship programs and expects to award about $200,000 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 through the foundation’s partnership with College of The Albemarle. 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 Chris Sawin, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Art majors, nurses, firefighters, journalism students, tennis players, math majors, law enforcement majors, community college and vocational students — all are encouraged to apply. Thanks to two new funds established in 2021, students leaving community college to continue their education toward a bachelor’s degree are also now eligible to apply for scholarship funding.”

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Applicants begin the process at obcf.org, which has instructions and a link to the Community Foundation’s online scholarship portal. There is one application for all scholarships, for all high school seniors, returning students and Dare Guarantee graduates.

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.

“We encourage students to begin the application process early,” said Nandy Stuart, Community Foundation scholarship administrator. “Applications MUST be received before midnight on March 7. Students who begin the process late risk not having their Student Aid Report and necessary recommendation letters in time. Students who miss the deadline, even if it’s just by a few minutes, are unfortunately not eligible for any scholarships we manage in 2022.”

The Community Foundation partners with College of The Albemarle (COA) Foundation and the COA Workforce Development and Readiness program to offer additional, diverse vocational and continuing education scholarships, including for graduating high school seniors and adults of all ages and backgrounds. Interested students should visit COA’s website for more information and to apply for these college-specific awards.

New this year are two renewable scholarship funds. The R. Wayne Gray Memorial Scholarship and the Hanft McDevitt Family Scholarship both are designed to help Dare Guarantee program graduates who wish to continue their education toward a four-year degree. In addition, two new renewable scholarship funds have been activated and will award their first scholarships this year: the Bill Jones Memorial Scholarship, for NC State-bound students, and the Barbara Barnes Sherman Memorial Scholarship, for Dare County students.

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 252-261-8839.

All senior high school scholarship recipients will be announced at their schools’ Senior Awards Night in April and May.