Greater Hartford students in the process of applying to colleges and seeking financial assistance have access to an extensive directory of college scholarships at HFPGscholarships.org, a website of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
The mobile-friendly directory includes information on scholarships available from organizations throughout the region as well as more than 100 scholarships awarded by the Hartford Foundation. Most are for graduating high school students, but scholarships for graduate students and adult learners are available as well.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in February of 2017 that student loan debt rose for the 18th consecutive year and that borrowing for higher education has doubled in just eight years. For students graduating from college in 2016, those with loans owed an average of $37,712. That represents an increase of nearly 20 percent in real terms over just four years.
"Our scholarships help ease some of the financial burden of obtaining a college education," said Jennyfer Holmes, who directs the Hartford Foundation's scholarship program. "We are so proud to assist so many deserving students in our region as they pursue higher education."
Last year the Hartford Foundation awarded nearly $1.3 million in support of new and renewed college scholarships to more than 600 traditional-aged students and adult learners at four-year and two-year colleges, as well as local community colleges and graduate and medical schools.
Many of the Foundation's scholarships are awarded through over 120 endowed funds created by individuals, families and organizations. The donors work with the Foundation in establishing selection criteria and award amounts. These scholarships help a variety of students from traditional-aged to graduate students.
Donors also support the General Scholarship Endowment Fund, which pools donors' contributions and the Foundation's discretionary dollars, and awards $3,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. These awards are renewable for up to three years. That means a student could receive up to $12,000 for his or her undergraduate expenses.
The Foundation's scholarship program also includes $140,000 in block grants to local two-year colleges for scholarships and $100,000 in block grants to local four-year schools for awards to students transferring from community colleges.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. In 2015, the Foundation celebrated 90 years of grantmaking in the Greater Hartford region, made possible by gifts from thousands of generous individuals, families and organizations. It has awarded grants of more than $650 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.