Applications being accepted for Community Foundation scholarships

The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region is accepting applications for more than $1 million in scholarship money available to area students.

A change in federal rules allows many college-bound students to apply for scholarships sooner than they could have in the past. They now can use information from their parents’ 2015 federal tax to complete the FAFSA rather than waiting for them to complete their 2016 return, as the old rules would have required. Many of the Community Foundation scholarships require the FAFSA, which provides information about the family’s financial situation.

The Community Foundation’s scholarship web page at lists scholarships available to students from 60 schools, primarily high schools in its Fox Valley service region, which includes regional families of funds in Brillion, Chilton, Clintonville, Shawano and Waupaca.

Most applications are due March 1. Many can be filed online from the web page, while others are available from high school counselors.

Some scholarships do not require students to prove financial need, and not all are based on superior academic performance. Some scholarships are directed at students pursuing particular fields of study, attending particular colleges or universities, or coming from designated high schools, based on the wishes of the donors who established the scholarship funds. Last year, the Community Foundation awarded a record $1.1 million in scholarships to 314 students.

The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, a Fox Cities-based nonprofit, helps people provide long-term support for favorite charities through endowments and other charitable funds. The second-largest certified community foundation in Wisconsin, its donors have allowed it to award more than $240 million to nonprofit organizations from more than 1,400 charitable funds.

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