Millions in Scholarships from Community Foundation of Sarasota County Support Local Students Completing Degrees

The Giving Coast

During a time of increased costs for gas, food, and school supplies, young adults pursuing higher education are also facing higher prices for enrollment in secondary education. With a focus on ensuring students have the means to complete their education and earn degrees, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County adjusted its scholarship awards this year to more fully address the true cost of college attendance.

“Getting to college is one thing, but staying there is an entirely different matter,” said Kay Carrington, Manager of Scholarships at the Community Foundation. “We know students can be derailed from attaining their degrees for a variety of reasons; we feel it is important to support students who are persistently pursuing higher education and help them achieve their goals.”

Of the 294 scholarship recipients who received more than $1 million from the Community Foundation for the 2022-2023 school year, 100 – more than one third of awardees – were already enrolled in college. This reflects a larger national trend of supporting students already in college with related expenses, as well as renewable scholarships. The average scholarship awarded this year was about $3,500, with some annual awards reaching as high as $12,500 for the school year as with the Lela D. Jackson Foundation Scholarship – a 4-year, $50,000 scholarship – which recognized seven students this year. Additionally, the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition (SNAC) provided 33 scholarships to working nursing professionals who are pursuing RN, BSN, Doctorate and PH.D. degrees to enhance the local nursing workforce. Nearly 80 percent of this year’s scholarship recipients will be attending institutions in Florida with the University of Florida, University of South Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida and State College of Florida making up the top five colleges for enrollment among scholarship recipients. By completing a single application, local students are considered for more than 88 scholarship funds. The applications are reviewed by nearly 90 local community volunteers.

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