Starke County


Starke County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

The primary purposes of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholars program (LECS) are 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, government, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state. With this purpose in mind, the Starke County Community Foundation scholarship committee seeks candidates who exhibit the ability to succeed at the post-secondary level, who show potential in their chosen field of study, and who exhibit potential as a future leader.

The program will provide one scholarship for full tuition, required fees, and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis, leading to a baccalaureate degree at any Indiana public or private college/university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Scholarship recipient is to be known as a Lilly Endowment Community Scholar.

Criteria for Eligibility:

  • Student must be a Starke County high school senior, graduating by the end of June 2018, with a diploma from an accredited Indiana high school.
  • Student must be accepted for a full-time baccalaureate course of study at an accredited public or private nonprofit college or university in Indiana. Home schooled students are not eligible to apply.
  • Student must be a current Starke County resident.

Selection Process
1. Applications will be "blinded" and then reviewed by the Community Foundation Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Committee, comprised of select members of the Starke County Community Foundation and citizens of Starke County.
2. From the pool of “blinded” applications, the Community Foundation Scholarship Committee will select Finalists for the Final Phase of the Nomination Process.
3. All Finalists will write an impromptu essay (not to exceed 300 words) and participate in an oral interview process.
4. The Scholarship Committee will nominate one recipient and two alternates for one full tuition scholarship.
5. A separate, statewide committee, appointed by Independent Colleges of Indiana, will make the final selection of all recipients in accordance with the criteria and procedures consistent with applicable law and the overall goals of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program.

Scoring Process
Scoring Process: The Starke County Community Foundation Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Committee uses a scoring process that is based on the following criteria each of which is weighted as listed:

First Phase of the Nomination Process 100 Points Possible:
Academic Performance-Weight 40%, Work Experience-Weight: 10%, School Activities-Weight: 10%, Community/Volunteer/Church activities-Weight: 10%, Honors, Awards &/Or Any Recognitions (School & Community)-Weight: 5%, Essay (Short Essay)-Weight: 10%, Application Essay-Weight: 15%
Second Phase of the Nomination Process for Finalists 100 Points Possible: Impromptu Essay-Weight 30%, Interview-Weight 60%, Letter of Recommendation 10%

Click on the "Upload the Application Button" below or towards the top of the page to take you to the online scholarship application then follow the instructions provided in the application. The deadline for the application, all required attachments and recommendation forms is September 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm CT.


  • Before you apply, gather all required documents.  The following documents must be uploaded to your application and formatted as a .pdf with the exception of the photo which must be formatted as a jpg.
  • A high quality photo of yourself from your shoulders up.  Your junior yearbook photo works great!
  • Letters of Recommendation:  Seriously consider whom you will ask to submit your letter of recommendation. Choose someone who knows you well enough to write a letter. You will need one letter of recommendation that describes what sets you apart from your peers.  You will enter your recommenders’ email address. They will be contacted via the online system to provide a letter of recommendation.   Please note that we DO NOT accept recommendation letters.  Your references must complete an online recommendation form.  Letters of recommendation are due September 1 at 2:00 pm CT.
  • Start Early!  Begin filling out your application early, including inputting names and email addresses for your references.  By doing so, you give your references ample time to submit a recommendation form on your behalf.  If you wait until the deadline or near the deadline, your references may not be able to get their recommendation submitted in time which will make your application incomplete.
  • Keep record of your work, community service and extracurricular activities.  Your ability to demonstrate that you have invested your time wisely and for the benefit of others is meaningful to scholarship committees. 
  • Spend time on your essays.  These are what can set you apart from others and gives insight to the scholarship committee about you!
  • Follow deadlines. Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Application:  September 1,  @ 2:00 pm CT

QUESTIONS?  Contact NICF Scholarship Coordinator Alison Hyde at 574-223-2227, toll free at 1-877-432-6423 or email

QUESTIONS?  Contact the Northern Indiana Community Foundation scholarship coordinator at 574-223-2227 or

Starke County Community Foundation Preschool Scholarships
Application available for download

Download the application

Preschool application

Preschool application

Obtener la solicitud en español

Aplicación preescolar

Aplicación preescolar

The NICF is in the third year of a partnership with local preschools, schools and other organizations,to offer preschool scholarships for the children of Fulton, Miami and Starke Counties.

The goal of the program is to make one year of preschool education affordable to every child in our counties. Need-based scholarships are available to families of four-year-old children.

Many people underestimate the importance of preschool education. The expectations of what a child entering kindergarten should know have risen dramatically in recent years and local children who arrive for kindergarten unprepared often have difficulty catching up to their peers.

Eighty-five percent of a child’s brain growth happens by the age of five, and children who attend preschool are more likely to read at grade level, graduate from high school, and continue on to secondary education.

Rigorous studies have shown that for every dollar invested in early childhood education programs for low-income children, between $4 and $9 is returned to the community.

These financial returns come in the form of reduced special education costs, less grade repetition in schools, better job preparedness and a greater ability to meet future labor force demands, higher incomes due to higher educational attainment, fewer welfare payments, and lower criminal casualties and prison costs.

“It’s clear that investing in early childhood education leads to long-term community benefits that would be unwise to ignore,” says NICF Executive Director Jay Albright.

For more information about the scholarship program, contact To contribute, visit the Giving Connection to invest in the Preschool Scholarship Program for Starke County children.