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About Our Scholarships

Since 1983, the Community Foundation has awarded nearly $8 million in scholarships through 122 funds established by generous individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits to help area students pursue an education and establish rewarding careers.

Some scholarships are open to all students in our 42-town service area as well as some towns in western Rhode Island; others are open to only some towns, a particular town, or a specific school. Some are open to current or returning college students of any age, but most are for graduating high school seniors. Scholarships range from a one-time award of $500 to a multi-year award of up to $5,000 a year. In 2020, over $758,507 was awarded to 309 students. 2020 recipient list

How Our Scholarships Program Works 

Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year are now closed. 

Students can apply for most scholarships through one general application. A few scholarships have very specific eligibility criteria and separate applications. Foundation staff and volunteer committees review and assess the applicants, matching scholarships to recipients based on how well they fit the criteria of the scholarship and the strength of their application.

Because these scholarships are highly competitive, we strongly recommend that prospective applicants review the list of available scholarships to get an idea of what information would strengthen their application to maximize their chances for success. 

Graduating high school seniors: The application, including the transcript and letter(s) of recommendation, is due Friday, April 17 by 5 PM.

Current or returning college students of any age: The application, including the transcript and letter(s) of recommendation, is due Monday, April 6 by 5 PM.

All applicants are informed whether they have been selected to receive a scholarship by the end of June.
Some scholarships are multi-year awards, but most are one-year, one-time awards. Single-year recipients have to reapply for a scholarship each year. 
Scholarship awards are sent directly to the recipient’s educational institution, not to the recipient.

A few scholarships have their own unique application. They include:

Bulkeley Alumni-Harold J. Arkava Scholarship: For lineal descendants of former students of the Bulkeley School in New London, CT who are pursuing post-secondary studies at an accredited educational institution. The application deadline is Wednesday, April 15 at 5 PM

Cahill Black Point Education Fund Scholarship: For members and descendants of members of Niantic’s Black Point Beach Club Association who are graduating high school seniors and who will be enrolled full-time at an accredited college or university for the 2020-2021 school year. The application deadline is Wednesday, April 15 at 5 PM
Caryn Nesbitt, MD Memorial Scholarship: For female students with financial need who are residents of East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, Lyme, Montville, New London, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Salem, Stonington or Waterford, who have completed their undergraduate studies, and who will be enrolled full-time in an accredited medical school for the 2020-2021 school year. The application deadline is Monday, April 6 at 5 PM
John Coleman Prince, American Legion Post 9 Scholarship: For members, legal dependents and legal descendants (children, stepchildren and grandchildren) of American Legion Post 9 who are graduating high school seniors, current college students or adults returning to college to pursue post-secondary studies at an accredited educational institution. The member must be in good standing and have been a member of Post 9 for at least one year. The application deadline is Wednesday, April 15 at 5 PM
Skip Thavenet Scholarship Fund: For students who are residents of the Connecticut towns of Stonington and North Stonington, and the Rhode Island towns of Westerly, Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton, who are pursuing studies at an accredited community college, technical or trade school or in a certification program in the technical fields with preference for the industrial arts (i.e., welding, industrial manufacturing and construction management programs as well as industrial engineering). Students who are enrolled or intend to enroll in other engineering programs, including but not limited to, mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering are EXCLUDED from receiving this scholarship. The application deadline is Wednesday, April 15 at 5 PM.

Most Scholarships are Based on Geography

The following links list scholarships by geographic region:

2020 Applicant Access to scholarship Dashboard


The inspiration behind one family's decision to create a scholarship fund.

We decided to create a scholarship fund as a result of the growing conversations about equity in the United States. These conversations have challenged us to consider how we can be part of a movement for change. 

We both recognize the value of education, and have been able to pursue fruitful and rewarding careers as a result of our college degrees. Sponsoring a recurring scholarship for underrepresented students is one small way in which we can help young people in our community pursue their own higher education.

- The Johnson Family


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