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NNY Community Foundation gives $740,662 in scholarships

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POTSDAM - The Northern New York Community Foundation has awarded scholarships totaling $740,662 to 352 students for the 2012-13 school year, and that number is expected to continue to rise.

Executive Director Rande S. Richardson said while about half of that amount comes from the foundation’s unrestricted funds, the other half is specific to certain high schools, colleges or named scholarships.

“Overall, it’s the largest portion of investment into our community,” he said. “What you’ll see is the Northern New York Community Foundation program may stabilize, but we may see more growth in restricted scholarships.”

While 11 new scholarships were introduced for this school year, the foundation is also in talks with three school districts to transfer their scholarship endowments to the foundation.

April L. Fallon, coordinator of partnerships, said the 2012-13 grant award amount was an increase of $58,092 from the total $682,570 awarded throughout the 2011-12 school year to 303 students. Grant awards mostly ranged from $2,000 to $5,000. Recipients will use that money to study at a total of 102 colleges, universities or trade schools throughout the country. About one-third of recipients will study in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.

“It’s pretty amazing to think a lot of students even from really small schools here are going to schools such as Princeton University,” Ms. Fallon said. “This year we even had one nontraditional student who went for culinary school.”

The total scholarship amount for the 2012-13 school year included $30,000 earmarked for St. Lawrence County students. Mr. Richardson said that is the fourth academic year since the foundation expanded its academic support in St. Lawrence County, and people there continue to show interest in supporting the program to expand it further.

Since 1980, the foundation has awarded more than $11.1 million in scholarships, with more than half of that in the last 10 years.

Excluded from that number is matching funds from colleges that participate in Scholarship America’s Dollars for Scholars Program, to which the foundation belongs. According to a Community Foundation news release, 24 students who received a scholarship through the foundation also received additional funds, totaling $24,750, as a match from their college.

The foundation provides scholarships for full-time undergraduate students and nontraditional students at any level of college or technical school. Applications are available in February of each year and are due April 1. More information may be found on the agency’s website at www.nnycf.org.

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