College tuition program renewed

Tribune staff reports

Lilly Endowment recently announced it will renew a program that offers full-tuition scholarships for Hoosier high school graduates attending any accredited public or private college or university in the state.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship program will continue to be administered with help from the state’s community foundations, including the Community Foundation of Jackson County.

Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment created the program in 1998 to help address Indiana’s ranking near the bottom of the 50 states in the percentage of its 25-year-old residents who have a bachelor’s degree.

The program is designed to raise the level of educational attainment and increase awareness of the potential of the state’s community foundations to improve the quality of life of the state’s residents.

The program, which has helped more than 4,100 Indiana high school graduates, also provides $900 per year for required books and equipment.

The program is administered by Independent Colleges of Indiana and includes participation by the community foundations in each of Indiana’s 92 counties. Jackson County residents interested in information about the program can contact the Community Foundation of Jackson County at 812-523-4483.

Information also is available online at, and high school guidance counselors generally also can provide information.

With the selection this past spring of Seymour High School graduate Andrew Rudge as the recipient of the 2015 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, there are now 34 Lilly scholars from Jackson County. During the 2015-16 academic year, there will be four Lilly scholars on campuses throughout the state of Indiana, said Sue Smith, the foundation’s vice president.

Criteria for selection includes academic achievement, school and community activities showing depth of involvement and leadership, and employment showing time management and a desire to help oneself, said Dan Davis, president and CEO of the foundation.

Additional criteria includes advanced placement and honors classes taken in high school, a required essay and some evidence of financial need.

There were 143 Lilly scholarships awarded statewide this past spring.

Increasing educational attainment among Jackson County residents is an important part of the foundation’s mission to help grow better tomorrows, Davis said.

The foundation’s efforts to improve educational opportunities extend beyond programs focused on college, including support of the Jackson County Education Coalition’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program for 4-year-olds and the encouragement of workforce development in partnership with Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. and others.

The deadline for applying for the nearly 50 scholarship funds administered by the foundation is Dec. 3.

The foundation offers endowment services, gift planning, charitable gift annuities and scholarship administration. For information or to make a donation, call 812-523-4483.