Scholarship FAQs

In 2013, 112 students benefited from $142,650 in scholarships to help them pay for college. Our Community Foundation holds 38 scholarship funds.

Search for individual scholarship funds

Are you interested in establishing a scholarship fund? Here are some things to consider:

As a scholarship donor, you may choose the name of the scholarship as well as the criteria. Our Community Foundation staff are also available to help you create the criteria for your scholarship.

Some examples of criteria are:

Awarded to deserving students based upon:

  • Area of interest or study
  • Geographical origin
  • Leadership potential
  • Merit
  • Financial need
  • Demonstrated academic achievement
  • Student’s community service record

I am very excited and I am very, very thankful for the Otto Scholarship I received that helped me reach my goals."

— Emily Howitz, magna cum laude graduate of the University of Alabama

Most scholarship applications include an essay portion. Some ideas for essay topics include:

Background and influences: Who we are is closely tied to where we’ve been and who we’ve known. To learn more about the applicant, students are asked to write about their background and major influences. Some ideas:

  • Pick an experience from your own life and explain how it has influenced your development.
  • Who in your life has been your biggest influence and why?
  • How has your family background affected the way you see the world?
  • How has your education contributed to who you are today?

Future plans and goals: Some scholarship sponsors look for applicants with vision and motivation, so they might ask about the student’s goals and aspirations. Some questions to consider including in your application:

  • Briefly describe your long- and short-term goals.
  • Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
  • Why do you want to get a college education?

Financial need: Many scholarship providers have a charitable goal: They want to provide money for students who are going to have trouble paying for college. Some questions to consider including in your application:

  • From a financial standpoint, what impact would this scholarship have on your education?
  • Are there any special circumstances affecting your need for financial assistance?

Random topics: Some essay questions don’t seem directly related to the student’s education, but committees use them to test the student’s creativity and get a more well-rounded sense of their personality. Some ideas:

  • Choose a person or people you admire and explain why.
  • Choose a book or books and that have affected you deeply and explain why.

If you have further questions, please contact us by email at: or phone at 517-272-2870.

Contact Information

330 Marshall St. | Suite 300 | Lansing, MI 48912 | Directions
P: (517) 272-2870 | F: (517) 272-2871 | Email Us

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