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Our community mourned the loss of two young athletes.

So they gave…

Derek Padilla Scholarship Fund • Lucas Oberkiser Scholarship Fund
What do you love? We can help you create a lasting charitable legacy.

We Awarded the Following Scholarships in 2020.

scholarship recipients


Community Foundation DeKalb County awards scholarships each year
thanks to the generosity of donors who understand
that education is important for a rewarding and successful life.

We award about $150,000 from scholarship funds each year, making it possible to recognize the accomplishments of as many students as possible. Most Community Foundation scholarships support full-time undergraduate study toward a Bachelor’s degree for a current-year high school graduate. A limited number of scholarships are available for work toward an Associate or technical degree.

Scholarship Requirements

Community Foundation scholarships are highly competitive. Scholarship criteria vary based on a donor’s wishes, IRS regulations, stipulations of the Community Foundation as well as coordination with high school and post-high school educational institutions. Applicants may be scored on non-exclusive categories such as GPA, SAT and ACT scores, school courses, school activities, community service, financial need, work/internship/job shadowing experiences and an essay.

Community Foundation scholarship recipients are to limit use of their scholarship funds for IRS qualified educational expenses (i.e. only tuition, fees, and book costs).


Recipients may not “bank” scholarship funds for future use, or use beyond that which they were awarded. All applicant information is maintained confidential in order to protect their privacy. Content on this web-site is intended to be informational only; actual policy may be different.

Scholarships for Graduating High School Seniors

This website contains application information and forms for scholarships available from several sources. Some of the scholarships are administered and awarded by the Community Foundation of DeKalb County; others are administered and awarded by other community organizations. Each scholarship is awarded based on criteria suggested by the donor or the community organization that sponsors the award. Scholarship application forms and procedures vary depending on the award’s donor or sponsor.

Community Foundation of DeKalb County Administered Scholarships

Click the button below to be directed to our scholarship program login page. The deadline to apply is January 31. A wide range of scholarships are available for which you apply by submitting just one application.


DeKalb County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

This scholarship provides full tuition, required fees and up to $900 per year for required books and equipment for four years of undergraduate study leading to a baccalaureate degree. The recipient must begin her/his college career as a full time student in the fall of 2021. S/he may attend any Indiana public or private college or university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Eligible students will meet all of the following criteria:

  • Current resident of DeKalb County
  • Graduate of a DeKalb County high school or Hamilton High School before the end of June 2021
  • Top 10% of her/his high school class
  • Involved in the community as a volunteer

The application requires an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number from the FAFSA worksheet.  Scholarship applications are evaluated using established areas of measurement. FAFSA4caster


Ready to apply? Click the button below to be directed to our scholarship program login page. The deadline to apply is August 31st.

Independently Administered Scholarships

Local organizations offer scholarships with their own requirements and forms. Use the link below to see a current list.

Questa Scholars

Questa Scholars Program provides low-cost college loans of which up to 50% is forgiven you meet specific academic and residency requirements.

Scholarships for Current and Non-Traditional* College Students

*You are a non-traditional college student if you are beginning, or began, your college career in a year other than the year you graduated from high school or if you are returning to college after a break in continuous enrollment. Scholarship applications are evaluated using established areas of measurement. Judging criteria are shown in the following essay score rubric (see button below). Only a few of our scholarships require an interview. We will contact you if you are selected as a finalist for a scholarship that requires an interview.

Scholarship Eligibility Policy

To assure the public that the Community Foundation DeKalb County maintains impartiality when awarding educational scholarships, the following individuals and their relatives* are not considered eligible for scholarships provided by the foundation:

  • Foundation employees, scholarship committee members and scholarship reviewers

This restriction applies to employees, scholarship committee members, and scholarship reviewers for the year scholarships are awarded.  Community Foundation Interns are exempt from this policy.

This restriction also applies to the relatives* of donors or organizations, including a corporation, partnership or trust, that make a substantial contribution to a scholarship fund to which the relative is connected.

Foundation directors’ families are eligible for scholarships provided by the foundation. Multiple steps have been set forth to prevent any conflict of interest:

  • Full disclosure: At the beginning of each calendar year, Board members will identify on the Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy form any conflict of interest, including any family member(s) who might be eligible for a scholarship in the upcoming graduation year.
  • Participation in the Scholarship Committee: Board members who indicate a conflict of interest in regards to potential scholarship recipients, will not be able to serve on the Foundation’s scholarship committee for the year that the conflict occurs. Board members shall be able to serve on the scholarship committee the year prior to and/or the year after the conflict occurs.
  • Abstention from discussion and voting: Board members who have a conflict of interest in regards to potential scholarship recipients will excuse themselves from the Board meeting room during discussions regarding scholarship awards and when voting to accept scholarship recipients occurs.
  • Blind scholarship application review: Scholarship applications will have identifying student and parent information omitted prior to being sent to reviewers for the review process. Board members with the conflict of interest will not participate in the reviewing process the year the conflict occurs. Board members will be allowed to participate in the reviewing process the year prior to and/or the year after the conflict occurs.

*Relatives are defined as: Spouse, lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, great grandchildren whether by whole or half blood, step-children, step-grandchildren, step-great grandchildren) and their spouses, brothers and sisters (whether by whole or half-blood) and their spouses, as well as ancestors. Other relatives (i.e. nephew, niece, etc.) are eligible to receive scholarships provided by the foundation.

Document Retention of Scholarship Applications
  • Scholarship applications for students who receive awards are filed electronically at the Community Foundation office and are retained for seven years after the scholarship is awarded.
  • Electronic copies of application files for students who do not receive awards are retained for three years after the year of application.
  • Paper copies of scholarship applications and score sheets completed by community foundation screening, selection, and interview committee members are returned to the foundation staff for destruction.


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