Millions in Scholarships from Community Foundation of Sarasota County Support Local Students Completing Degrees

Categories: EMPOWERMENT AND SUCCESS: Scholarship Opportunities, SCHOLARSHIPS: Students Under 24 Years of Age,

SARASOTA, FL – During a time of increased costs for gas, food, and school supplies, young adults pursuing higher education are also facing higher prices for enrollment in secondary education. With a focus on ensuring students have the means to complete their education and earn degrees, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County adjusted its scholarship awards this year to more fully address the true cost of college attendance.

“Getting to college is one thing, but staying there is an entirely different matter,” said Kay Carrington, Manager of Scholarships at the Community Foundation. “We know students can be derailed from attaining their degrees for a variety of reasons; we feel it is important to support students who are persistently pursuing higher education and help them achieve their goals.”

Of the 294 scholarship recipients who received more than $1 million from the Community Foundation for the 2022-2023 school year, 100 – more than one third of awardees – were already enrolled in college. This reflects a larger national trend of supporting students already in college with related expenses, as well as renewable scholarships.

“With a focus on degree attainment, students can feel more secure that they have the support to guide them throughout their degree program,” said Carrington. “This is especially helpful when costs not directly related to higher education – like transportation or living expenses – increase alongside tuition and school supplies”.

The average scholarship awarded this year was about $3,500, with some annual awards reaching as high as $12,500 for the school year as with the Lela D. Jackson Foundation Scholarship – a 4-year, $50,000 scholarship – which recognized seven students this year. Additionally, the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition (SNAC) provided 33 scholarships to working nursing professionals who are pursuing RN, BSN, Doctorate and PH.D. degrees to enhance the local nursing workforce.

Nearly 80 percent of this year’s scholarship recipients will be attending institutions in Florida with the University of Florida, University of South Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida and State College of Florida making up the top five colleges for enrollment among scholarship recipients.

By completing a single application, local students are considered for more than 88 scholarship funds. The applications are reviewed by nearly 90 local community volunteers.

Looking Ahead Adult Scholarships for Students 24 Years of Age or Older Open in August

Scholarship opportunities at the Community Foundation continue throughout the remainder of the year, beginning with the Mid-Year Adult Scholarship application which is available mid-August 2022. Scholarships awarded from this cycle will support students 24 years of age or older pursuing further education from January through July 2023. Applicants will be considered for more than 40 different types of scholarships through a single application.

For more than 40 years, the Community Foundation continues to invest in the next generation of community leaders of Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties through traditional and adult scholarships, awarding approximately $2 million to students each year. Learn more about available scholarship opportunities here.


About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of $520 million in more than 1,570 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $27.5 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $350 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit or call (941) 955-3000.