The New Canaan High School Scholarship Foundation represents a broad-based community effort to provide financial aid for New Canaan High School graduates who are pursuing higher education at the undergraduate level. The Foundation currently makes awards annually to students who are enrolled in a variety of four year, two year and technical programs.
The bulk of the Foundation’s funding is provided by gifts from local individuals, service clubs, businesses, corporations and memorial contributions. High School students actively participate in an annual door to door drive.
Organizationally, the Foundation has a Board of Directors chaired by the High School Principal. The Board sets overall policy and guides the work of the two standing committees: Finance, which oversees fundraising; and Grant and Aid, which determines the actual awards. Foundation membership includes teachers, Board of Education members, parents and residents of the community at large. As such it is a strong community effort.
Students are eligible to receive aid for a maximum of four undergraduate years. The first two years, awards are 100% grant and the last two years they are 50% grant and 50% loan. Loan repayments are interest free and will be made beginning one month after graduation and will continue until said sum is fully paid. Payments will be made in such amount that all payment will be completed within five years.
A student must apply for each year that he/she is seeking aid. He/she must file a simple loan application form and provide financial information as compiled by the College Scholarship Service. In addition, each applicant must seek aid from his/her college before he/she can be considered locally. Of great significance is the fact that each applicant’s financial status is assessed by the College Scholarship Service. The basis for the Foundation’s decisions is the information reported on the Financial Aid Form and analyzed by the Service. Thus, the Foundation is using the same data, which colleges employ in making their awards.
Another significant feature of the process is that the decisions are based on need alone, and all applicants’ files are treated with total anonymity. The Foundation examines each case after colleges and any other groups have made their decisions about the applicant. In that fashion, local funds help local students and do not preclude that individual from receiving aid from other sources. Considering such variables as college costs, individual family situations, and other grants received, awards currently range to a maximum of $10,000 per year.
Foundation expenses are minimal. Except for an administrative director, a stipend to a guidance secretary and manager to the Scholarship Committee, there are no salaried officials. The committees are staffed entirely by volunteers.
Finally, even though the Foundation receives generous support from the New Canaan community, there is an ongoing need for additional funding. Clearly, the cost of education is accelerating, and the needs of all applicants cannot be fully met.
The New Canaan High School Scholarship Foundation, Inc., established in 1967, is a 501 (c) (3) organization, and our tax identification number is 23-7102732.