Scholarship Selection Policy and Procedure

Washington County Community Foundation Policy and Procedure on Scholarship Selection


It is the policy of the Washington County Community Foundation (WCCF) to administer all scholarship funds in compliance with all Pennsylvania and Federal rules and regulations regarding scholarships.

All scholarship applications shall be reviewed by the Allocations & Programs Committee, which consists of Trustees of the WCCF as well as community members and donors. The members of the Allocations & Programs Committee (Committee) are defined by name and approved by the Board of Trustees. WCCF Staff are responsible for ensuring that any donor, donor advisor, or related parties do not control the selection process, and do not directly or indirectly control the Allocations & Programs Committee.

It is the policy of the WCCF to make the availability of scholarships widely known through the WCCF website, news releases, social media post, and through communications with school guidance counselors and/or school directors.

It is the policy of the WCCF to take reasonable steps to protect confidential information obtained through all scholarship processes.

All scholarship grants shall be awarded on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis using the procedure outlined in this document, which has been approved by the Board of Trustees. When selecting scholarship recipients, the Committee shall adhere to the selection criteria defined in the fund agreement, court order, Last Will and Testament, legislative act, or other governing document that created the scholarship fund.

Post-Secondary Scholarship Process

WCCF staff notifies school district guidance counselors regarding the scholarships available for students in their school district. School counselors are asked to encourage eligible students to submit applications by the April 1 deadline. Applicants of are required to submit their applications via the WCCF website and to send supporting documentation (FAFSA, SAT/ACT scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendations) to the WCCF.

All applications and documentation received by the deadline are exported into a schedule for review by WCCF staff. Each application is reviewed by Staff who verifies that the applicant meets all requirements of the scholarship fund. Ineligible applicants are removed from the application schedule with the reason documented.

After deliberation, WCCF Staff prepares a schedule of applications and recommendations for review by the Allocations & Programs Committee. The committee meets in April to discuss and to make final selections for recommendation to the Board.

After the recommendations are approved by the Board, letters are sent to all selected students, with copies sent to donors and guidance counselors.

Scholarship awards are announced via a news releases and inclusion on the WCCF website.

Scholarship award recipient applications and supporting documentation are scanned and filed on the WCCF’s internal network. All original supporting documentation is shredded. Scholarship check transmittal letters and checks are prepared in July and mailed early August. All transmittal letters and checks are scanned and filed on the WCCF’s internal network.

K-12 Scholarship Processes

The WCCF currently administers two funds which provide K-12 Scholarships, EOS Fund and the ESO Fund.

Educational Opportunity Scholarships (EOS Fund)

In compliance with Pennsylvania legislation, EOS Fund scholarships are made available to students in grades K-12 who reside within the attendance boundary of a low-achieving school to attend a participating nonpublic school or a participating public school located in a school district outside of the recipient’s school district of residence.

In August WCCF Staff obtains the schedule of low-achieving school districts in Pennsylvania from the www.education.pa.gov website for the current school year. In September WCCF Staff notify the low-achieving schools in Washington County that the applications are available on the WCCF website. A link to the website is provided, as well as detailed information regarding family eligibility.

WCCF Staff also notify all families who received an EOS scholarship in the prior five years, as they are still eligible for a scholarship under the state guidelines.

Applicants are required to submit their applications via the WCCF website and to send proof of family income to the WCCF by October 31. WCCF Staff export all data from the website, and verify the income on the application is the same as the income on the tax return. If necessary, discrepancies are reconciled through another form of documentation.

WCCF Staff verify that the family address listed on the tax return is located within the district of the low-achieving school. If the address is not in the low-achieving district, WCCF Staff contact the applicant for proof of current address; current utility bill, car payment invoice, medical invoice, etc.

A schedule of applicants is prepared and sent to the private/public school for verification of student attendance and tuition. Once all information has been verified, a scholarship recommendation schedule is prepared for the Allocations and Programs Committee. After Committee review, the final recommendations are sent to the Board for approval.

After approval by the Board, check and transmittal letters are prepared and scanned into the network and the originals are sent or hand delivered to the schools.

Educational Scholarship Fund (ESO Fund)

In compliance with Pennsylvania legislation, ESO Fund scholarships are distributed to financially-needy students attending a DCED-approved non-public K-12 educational facility.

In September, WCCF Staff notify approved private schools in Washington County that the applications are available on the WCCF website. A link to the website is provided, as well as detailed information regarding family eligibility.

Applicants are required to submit their applications via the WCCF website and to send proof of family income to the WCCF by October 31. WCCF Staff export all data from the website, and verify the income on the application is the same as the income on the tax return. If necessary, discrepancies are reconciled through another form of documentation.

A schedule of applicants is prepared and sent to the private/public school for verification of student attendance and tuition. Once all information has been verified, a scholarship recommendation schedule is prepared for the Allocations and Programs Committee. After Committee review, the final recommendations are sent to the Board for approval.

After approval by the Board, check and transmittal letters are prepared and scanned into the network and the originals are sent or hand delivered to the schools.

Pre-School Scholarship Process

The WCCF currently administers one fund which provides pre-school scholarships, the EPK Fund.

Educational Pre-Kindergarten Fund (EPK Fund)

In compliance with Pennsylvania legislation, EPK Fund scholarships are made available to financially-needy students attending a DCED-approved Pre K educational facility. For its students to be eligible, the Pre K program must provide a minimum of two hours of instructional and developmental activities per day at least 60 days per school year, and the program must utilize a curriculum aligned with the curriculum of the elementary school where its students will likely attend upon completion of the program. Interested schools are encouraged to forward a letter of interest to the Foundation in the spring of each year and include a letter from the elementary school with which its curriculum is aligned. Once approved by DCED, schools are notified of the online application process so they can notify eligible Pre-K families.

In January WCCF Staff notify eligible pre-school programs that the applications are available on the WCCF website. A link to the website is provided, as well as detailed information regarding family eligibility.

Applicants are required to submit their applications via the WCCF website and to send proof of family income to the WCCF by February 1. WCCF Staff export all data from the website, and verify the income on the application is the same as the income on the tax return. If necessary, discrepancies are reconciled through another form of documentation.

A schedule of applicants is prepared and sent to the private/public school for verification of student attendance and tuition. Once all information has been verified, a scholarship recommendation schedule is prepared for the Allocations and Programs Committee. After Committee review, the final recommendations are sent to the Board for approval.

After approval by the Board, check and transmittal letters are prepared and scanned into the network and the originals are sent or hand delivered to the schools.

Date of Adoption: February 22, 2018