Scholarship Eligibility Policy

Revised by the Board of Directors on June 19, 2018; August 22, 2019

To assure the public that the Community Foundation DeKalb County maintains impartiality when awarding educational scholarships, the following individuals and their relatives* are not considered eligible for scholarships provided by the foundation:

  • Foundation employees, scholarship committee members and scholarship reviewers

This restriction applies to employees, scholarship committee members, and scholarship reviewers for the year scholarships are awarded.  Community Foundation Interns are exempt from this policy.

This restriction also applies to the relatives* of donors or organizations, including a corporation, partnership or trust, that make a substantial contribution to a scholarship fund to which the relative is connected.

Foundation directors’ families are eligible for scholarships provided by the foundation. Multiple steps have been set forth to prevent any conflict of interest:

  • Full disclosure: At the beginning of each calendar year, Board members will identify on the Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy form any conflict of interest, including any family member(s) who might be eligible for a scholarship in the upcoming graduation year.
  • Participation in the Scholarship Committee: Board members who indicate a conflict of interest in regards to potential scholarship recipients, will not be able to serve on the Foundation’s scholarship committee for the year that the conflict occurs. Board members shall be able to serve on the scholarship committee the year prior to and/or the year after the conflict occurs.
  • Abstention from discussion and voting: Board members who have a conflict of interest in regards to potential scholarship recipients will excuse themselves from the Board meeting room during discussions regarding scholarship awards and when voting to accept scholarship recipients occurs.
  • Blind scholarship application review: Scholarship applications will have identifying student and parent information omitted prior to being sent to reviewers for the review process. Board members with the conflict of interest will not participate in the reviewing process the year the conflict occurs. Board members will be allowed to participate in the reviewing process the year prior to and/or the year after the conflict occurs.

*Relatives are defined as: Spouse, lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, great grandchildren whether by whole or half blood, step-children, step-grandchildren, step-great grandchildren) and their spouses, brothers and sisters (whether by whole or half-blood) and their spouses, as well as ancestors. Other relatives (i.e. nephew, niece, etc.) are eligible to receive scholarships provided by the foundation.


Scholarship Selection Policy and Procedures

Approved by the Board of Directors April 19, 2018; August 22, 2019

Community Foundation DeKalb County offers donors the opportunity to provide educational scholarships to students. The foundation’s scholarship funds are administered to meet the goals of the donors and to comply with Internal Revenue Service regulations.

  • Scholarship awards are used only for tuition and the expense of required books and fees. Scholarship awards are not used for room and board or travel expenses.
  • Scholarships are designed so that the field of eligible recipients is sufficiently large to constitute a charitable class.
  • No eligibility restrictions are based on race or employment.
  • Selection of recipients is made on an objective, nondiscriminatory basis.
  • Eligibility requirements and deadlines for submitting applications are broadly disseminated.
  • Volunteers who serve on the foundation’s scholarship committees receive no benefit.
  • The foundation’s board of directors ratifies all scholarship award recommendations.
  • Community Foundation Scholarship Committee members and scholarship reviewers:
    • Review the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Eligibility policy when recruited and each year thereafter. This is done to ensure the awareness of how their involvement impacts their family members’ eligibility for scholarships administered by the foundation.
    • Review Community Foundation’s policies on Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality, and Privacy and  agree to abide by the policies’ terms. This is done at the beginning of each year.

 Scholarship Selection Policy and Procedures
For the current year’s graduating high school seniors

Application Submission

  • A press release with all important application/due dates will be placed in the three county newspapers and also sent to the four county school systems announcing that the Community Foundation of DeKalb County’s scholarship application information is available online at the Foundation’s website: CFDeKalb.org.
  • Scholarship application information and forms are available electronically to students through the community foundation’s website.
  • Student submits completed application files directly to the community foundation through the website. An application file consists of a cover page, core application and a standardized essay question.
  • Community foundation staff members review each application file and determine the scholarships for which the student qualifies.
  • Community foundation staff members request grade transcripts from the appropriate high school guidance department.
  • High school guidance departments’ email requested grade transcripts to community foundation.

Scholarship Recipient Selection Procedures

  • Community foundation Scholarship Screening Committee members:
    • Receive electronically the finalists’ application file, transcript, and additional documentation required.
    • Two committee members individually review and score each application.
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  • Community foundation staff:
    • Use application scores to identify finalists for each award.
  • Scholarship fund donors, or a representative appointed by the fund donor, may participate in the review and scoring process for the scholarship(s) awarded from their fund only as minority members of an otherwise impartial group. The donor, or a representative of the donor, may:
    • Individually review and score the applications.
    • Submit their recommendation(s) for recipient(s).
    • Make no recommendation and allow the Scholarship Selection Committee to select the top candidate(s).
  • Should a tie occur between applicants for a scholarship award, the Community Foundation will break the tie as follows:
    • Average the essay scores given each applicant and the applicant with the highest average essay score will receive the scholarship award.
    • If there is still a tie after the essay averaging, the applicant with the highest combination of SAT and ACT scores shall receive the scholarship award.
    • If the applicants each only took the SAT or the ACT, then the applicant with the highest SAT or ACT score shall receive the scholarship award.
    • If each of the applicants did not take the same test, either SAT or ACT, then the applicant with the highest actual GPA will be awarded the scholarship. Applicants with a GPA on a 12 point scale, shall be converted to a 4.0 scale, with the conversion methodology being selected exclusively by the Community Foundation.
  • The names of students identified as recipients are recommended to the board of directors for approval.

For students who are currently college students: All procedures are identical to those for current high school graduates except:

  • The student submits a transcript from her/his most recent college semester.

For students who are home schooled: All procedures are identical to those for current high school graduates except:

  • The student submits a transcript of her/his grades.

Scholarship Selection Policy and Procedures
Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

Approved by the Board of Directors June 22, 2017; August 22, 2019

Community Foundation’s Scholarship Committee

  • Community Foundation Scholarship Committee members:
    • Review the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Eligibility policy when recruited and each year thereafter. This is done to ensure the awareness of how their involvement impacts their family members’ eligibility for scholarships administered by the foundation.
    • Review Community Foundation’s policies on Conflict of Interest, Confidentiality and Privacy and agree to abide by the policies’ terms. This is done at the beginning of each year.

 Application Process

  • A press release with all important application/due dates will be placed in the three county newspapers and also sent to the four county school systems announcing that the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship application information is available online at the Foundation’s website: www.CFDeKalb.org.
  • Student submits his/her completed application directly online at the Community Foundation’s website (www.CFDeKalb.org). An application consists of the core application and a standardized essay question.
  • An auto-reply message is sent to the student confirming receipt of his/her application.
  • A Community Foundation staff member requests grade transcripts from the appropriate high school guidance department. The high school guidance department e-mails requested grade transcripts to the Community Foundation.

Scholarship Nominee Selection

  • Scholarship committee members:
    • Two committee members score each student’s applications and essay using the Application and Essay Scoring rubrics online. The scores are tallied electronically and then averaged by staff members.
    • The number of students invited for an interview will be determined by the committee.
    • Conduct personal interviews. The same questions are asked of each interviewee.
    • Individually score each finalist’s interview using the Interview rubric.
    • At this time financial need points will be added.
  • Community Foundation staff:
    • Totals and averages scores after each process: application/essay and interview.
    • In case of a tie, the student with the highest SAT/ACT score will become the nominee. If those scores happen to be the same, then the student with the highest GPA will be the nominee.
    • Submit nominee and alternates’ applications to Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) for approval.
    • Announce recipient after approval by ICI.

 Document Retention of Scholarship Applications

  • Scholarship applications for students who receive awards are filed electronically at the Community Foundation office and are retained for seven years after the Foundation’s relationship with the recipient ends (as defined by the donor, Lilly Endowment).
  • Electronic copies of application files for students who do not receive awards are retained for three years after the year of application.
  • Paper copies of scholarship applications and score sheets completed by Community Foundation scholarship committee members are returned to the Foundation staff and are shredded.