OKLAHOMA CITY — The application process for Oklahoma’s largest private scholarship program is underway, and nearly $2.5 million is available to hundreds of high school seniors and college students from Central Oklahoma and throughout the state.

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation offers students more than 150 scholarship opportunities supported through contributions from countless private donors dedicated to enriching educational opportunity for thousands of young Oklahomans.

“Each year, we award scholarships to more than 800 students,” said Nancy Anthony, Oklahoma City Community Foundation president. “Through the support of our donors, the community foundation has established itself as the place to find scholarships in Oklahoma.”

The community foundation has developed an online application system that places students in consideration for  the scholarship programs available. The online system evaluates each application to match students with the most appropriate scholarship opportunities. The average scholarship is $2,000, and they benefit students with many interests and backgrounds.

Some scholarships target academic achievement, while others consider community service contributions. There are scholarships for students who attend specific colleges or universities, and there are others for students in certain fields of study. There’s even a scholarship program for students who are the first in their families to pursue higher education.

Chris Coronado graduated from Oklahoma City’s Southeast High School in 2016 and moved on to the University of Oklahoma as the first in his family to attend college. The community foundation provided him with a New Opportunities Scholarship, a scholarship designated for first-generation students, as well as the Frierson Scholarship, a scholarship awarded to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Now Coronado is a senior with plans to enroll in medical school after graduation.

“I couldn’t be more grateful for the community foundation’s support for me and other students who are like me,” Coronado said. “They have stood with us, helping to open the doors to opportunities for education, careers and successful lives.”

While most community foundation scholarships do not cover the entire cost of a college education, they can ease the financial burden for students and their families. On average, students at OU borrow $33,000 in loans over four years, and students at Oklahoma State University, take out $25,000 in loans, according to College Factual, an advocate for reducing the cost of college.

“Our scholarship programs are among the most fulfilling things we do,” Anthony said. “We are grateful to our many benefactors, who share the same value for education and the same enthusiasm for the future of our state.”

Visit OCCF.academicworks.com to apply.

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