Student loan debt has become a major obstacle to college access and completion. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF

Deadline approaching for huge local scholarship program

Local students have two weeks left to apply for scholarships through the Dayton Foundation, which offers close to 1,200 college scholarships per year from more than 170 individual funds.

The scholarships, created by donors, range from $500 up to $5,000, according to the Foundation, and many are multi-year renewable awards if students meet stated requirements. The application deadline is March 10.

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ScholarshipConnect is the Dayton Foundation’s online scholarship search and college readiness resource, available at www.daytonfoundation.org/scholars.

“The Foundation has made it easy for students to search for a lot of scholarships in one, online system,” said Michelle Brown, program officer for The Dayton Foundation. “The process is simple and cuts down on the amount of time spent completing individual applications.”

The system uses a detailed questionnaire to match Dayton-area high school and current college students to possible scholarship opportunities, based upon their educational interests and background.

Dayton Foundation officials said there are scholarships for students who are interested in creative arts, and for students who attend particular schools (including Dayton Public Schools, Miamisburg, Oakwood, and Vandalia-Butler), plus scholarships for students who want to major in journalism or math, and for children and spouses of police officers and firefighters, among others.

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In the last 10 years, The Dayton Foundation has awarded more than $14.5 million in scholarships.

“All students have to do is complete the general application,” Brown said. They will be matched with opportunities that are local and fit their interests, versus national scholarships that students are competing against the entire country to receive.”

The website also includes informational links to online financial aid, scholarship and loan resources, and tools, such as a college debt calculator.

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