This month, Community Foundation for Southwest Washington (CFSWW) opened online applications for its 2021 scholarship cycle on the heels of closing out a record year of awards in 2020 that provided $766,379 to aspiring students.
The local charitable foundation manages 66 scholarship funds established by donors, organizations and businesses from across the region. Collectively, these funds support students at various levels of education and within specific fields of study, such as the arts or engineering. Deadlines for applications vary by scholarship, with a majority closing on April 30, 2021. Students interested in learning more or applying for a scholarship award can visit www.cfsww.org/how-we-grant/scholarships.
Deanna Green, Scholarship Manager and Program Associate for the organization, encourages students and families to apply soon, because scholarships are an increasingly important source of financial aid. This is the third consecutive record-setting year for the CFSWW program—a trajectory that reflects national trends according to Sallie Mae. In its annual “How America Pays for College” study, the lender reported that scholarships were the second largest source of funding for students, with 58 percent utilizing awards in 2020. Tracking this data over time also shows that the average amount of tuition covered by scholarships has risen nearly 34 percent during the last ten years, from $5,692 to $7,626.
In 2020, the average CFSWW scholarship award was $2,402. A total of 319 awards were distributed to a diverse group of students, which included high school seniors, undergraduates, graduates and other students, such as those attending technical and K-12 private schools. More than a third (112 awards) are supporting students attending college at southwest Washington institutions (Clark College, Lower Columbia College and WSU Vancouver).