Community Foundation of Western MassachusettsCommunity Foundation of Western Massachusetts
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Geraldo Cotton - Scholarship Recipient

Scholarship & Loan Program


The scholarship and student loan program is available to students attending accredited institutions of higher education in the United States. Institutions of higher education are typically colleges, universities or schools that provide an education beyond a high school diploma. The term ‘college’ will be used from this point forward. Awards are made primarily to residents of Western Massachusetts except as noted in the fund descriptions. Each scholarship and loan fund has specific criteria which determine eligibility. View our funds to see descriptions of the scholarship and no-interest loan funds and our guidelines for information about starting a new scholarship fund.

The Community Foundation requires just one central application for all scholarship and loan funds under its management. Students, however, must reapply each year to be eligible. Volunteer review committees made up of civic and educational leaders meet in May of each year to select recipients based on the information submitted by the applicant. The selection process is very competitive; most of these funds are based on financial need and scholastic ability, but many funds consider other criteria such as extracurricular activities, volunteer and community service or athletic activities.

Recipients are notified in June and scholarship awards are paid directly to the colleges. Loan awards are made directly to the students in time for the fall semester.

It is important to understand that the Community Foundation cannot consider the following:

  • Applications and supporting material received after the deadline.
  • Requests from students who reside outside the stated geographic areas.
  • Awards that exceed the college’s cost of attendance.
  • Unofficial academic transcripts.
  • Requests for funds other than to provide financial assistance to students for the purpose of seeking a higher education.