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NNYCF accepting scholarship applications

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The Northern New York Community Foundation scholarship program will expand in the 2013-14 academic year to include more offerings for nontraditional students and more awards for St. Lawrence County students.

April L. Fallon, coordinator of partnerships, said there are 14 new scholarships, for a total of 100 offered in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. The program also has opened up the scholarship process to part-time nontraditional students.

While completed scholarship applications are due April 1, the deadline for nontraditional students has been extended to June 1.

“For me, that’s the best change we made,” Mrs. Fallon said. “It’s based on real life and helping people make a difference. It just gives them more opportunities.”

Nontraditional students previously had to return to school full time to receive Community Foundation scholarship assistance. Mrs. Fallon said the foundation took into consideration nontraditional students having to balance work and a busy home life.

The expansion of St. Lawrence County students’ scholarship opportunities is reflective of the growing partnerships the foundation has made with community members and organizations, Mrs. Fallon said. For the 2013-14 academic year, freshman scholarships will be available to students in the Madrid-Waddington, Massena, Norwood-Norfolk, Parishville-Hopkinton and St. Lawrence central school districts. They’re already offered in Canton, Colton-Pierrepont, Edwards-Knox, Gouverneur, Hammond, Harrisville, Hermon-DeKalb, Heuvelton, Lisbon, Morristown, Ogdensburg and Potsdam schools.

All of those scholarships come from money the Community Foundation sets aside for scholarships, not funds from those specific schools.

“We needed to open it up to everyone,” Mrs. Fallon said. “I’m interested to see the increase we get this year from St. Lawrence County” applicants.

Historically, money to the foundation has come from sources in Jefferson and Lewis counties, so scholarships in those two counties, which are based on unmet financial need, could total $12,000 over four years.

While the program in St. Lawrence County gains momentum, scholarships there remain $2,000 one-year awards. With the added outreach in St. Lawrence County, Mrs. Fallon said, the foundation hopes to expand partnerships so much that students someday will be able to receive the same-size scholarship as their neighboring peers.

She said the 14 new scholarships, including one honoring Douglas L. Murray, a dairy farmer who died last summer, are all one-year awards driven by major of study and donor specifications.

The foundation’s board of directors soon will decide how much money it will set aside for scholarships. For the 2012-13 academic year, the foundation awarded $740,662 to 352 students. Since 1980, the agency has awarded more than $11 million in scholarships.

Applications are available at high school guidance offices, the Jefferson Community College financial aid office and the Community Foundation office, 120 Washington St., and through the foundation’s website, www.nnycf.org.

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