College Fund of Pinellas County Awards $18,000 in New Grants
PINELLAS COUNTY − On July 31, 2015 after completing a five-week series of interviews at the Largo and Seminole Libraries, the Board of Directors of the College Fund of Pinellas County, Inc. selected eighteen Pinellas County residents to receive $1,000 per year grants to help with their college expenses. Board member Dr. Shirley Lorenzo of St. Petersburg will soon be calling the new grant recipients to notify them of their good fortune and $500 checks for the fall 2015 semester will shortly thereafter be mailed out by Treasurer Ronald Renz of Seminole. A second $500 check for the spring 2015 semester will be distributed to the students at a December holiday party after their fall semester grades are reviewed.
Seventy-six students requested applications this summer and applications were sent to the 73 who appeared qualified. Thirty-one applications were subsequently received and reviewed for academic performance and financial need before scheduling an interview for each candidate. “The students we interviewed this summer give us great confidence that the future of this country will be in good hands; they were awesome!” said Board president Bette Ra Ivey of Largo.
The eighteen new grant recipients join 31 additional students selected in previous years who have already been sent their $500 check. Once selected, recipients are supported until they graduate - - up to four years for freshmen. All totaled the College Fund expects to pay out over $50,000 in student grants this fiscal year.
The eighteen newly-selected students are from all over Pinellas County. Seven are from St. Petersburg, four from Clearwater, two each from Largo and Tarpon Springs, and one each from Gulfport, St. Pete Beach and North Redington Beach. And all are well-qualified academically. Six of the new grant recipients are freshman who had a 3.76 average high school grade point average (unweighted). The twelve sophomores and juniors selected had a 3.64 average college grade point average. Most of the eighteen will be going to colleges in Florida, but two are going out of state to Oklahoma City University and Cedarville (Ohio) University.
The College Fund of Pinellas County is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization run entirely by volunteers. Money is raised to help financially disadvantaged Pinellas County residents who have excellent scholastic potential, but insufficient funds to obtain a bachelor’s degree and thereby improve themselves, their family’s living standard, and their role in the community.
The College Fund has no paid employees. The financial contributions from its Directors and Advisors exceed its administrative costs; therefore, 100% of the donations from the public are used to support students. Since 1965 the College Fund has awarded over one million dollars in scholarships to over 700 Pinellas County residents.