College Fund of Pinellas County expands and increases award amount

The College Fund of Pinellas County, Inc. is increasing its annual award amount for current and future scholarship recipients

PINELLAS COUNTY – The College Fund of Pinellas County, Inc. is increasing its annual award amount for current and future scholarship recipients. The nonprofit, volunteer-led organization has also reduced application requirements in response to the academic hardships faced by students nationwide resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The board of directors overwhelmingly approved an increase in the annual assistance per student to $1,200 from the previous $1,000 at its annual meeting. The increased award amount will apply to incoming applicants who will receive awards after this application cycle and existing recipients. Further, the board approved a new minimum high school grade point average of 2.5 from the previous 3.0 required to apply.

The College Fund of Pinellas County has seen declines in student applications for scholarship assistance this year, but the Fund’s response has been to step up and face these challenges.

“We understand that the financial pressures on today’s college students have never been greater,” said Fund President Britt Hart at the conclusion of the meeting. “It’s reflected in the quantity of our scholarship applications, and in the tough circumstances our applicants are sharing with us. So, with all of this in mind, we’re trying to remain nimble in serving our students in the best ways we can.”

In all, 57 Pinellas County residents are currently receiving College Fund scholarships, generating an outlay of $49,880 for the fall 2020 – spring 2021 school year. Funds are distributed directly to students and may be used at their discretion upon receipt of proof of enrollment in an accredited post-secondary institution.

The College Fund of Pinellas County is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization run entirely by volunteers. For more than 55 years, its members have raised money to help Pinellas County residents who are eligible for the Pell Grant fund their educational pursuits to receive a bachelor’s degree.

Details and an application are available at www.collegefundpinellas.org. The deadline for receipt of applications is July 16.

Its board of directors and advisors cover administration costs, ensuring that 100 percent of donations directly support students. Since 1965, the College Fund has awarded more than $2.2 million to over 830 Pinellas County residents.

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