Anchor Bay area students scrambling to find college, technical or trade school funding in the wake of COVID-19 unemployment highs now have a little more time to get their local scholarship applications in order.
The Anchor Bay Community Foundation announced April 3 that deadlines for its 23 scholarship applications have been extended to May 1. The deadline was previously April 15.
Lynne Hoover Musilli, the foundation’s community relations director, said the extension was determined upon due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order closing in-person instruction for K-12 schools for the remainder of the school year. The order ensures continued learning by setting guidelines for remote learning but closed all K-12 school buildings for the remainder of the school year unless restrictions are lifted.
“It was originally due March 30. We actually had the process starting in early January. By Jan. 2 we had it all posted at the high school and on our website with a March 30 deadline,” Musilli said. “With the COVID-19 virus, we knew we had to make adjustments.”
Whitmer originally issued an executive order closing all K-12 school buildings for in-person instruction through April 5, with many schools planning to reopen beyond this after spring break. Anchor Bay School District calendars indicate the school’s spring break was scheduled to run from April 6 to 10, which is why the foundation initially pushed the scholarship application due date back to April 15.
“Now with the schools closed we decided as a board to give students a little more time to get materials together, and we’d like to have them to us by May 1,” Musilli said.
Due to COVID-19 closures, students may need more time to obtain items such as transcripts or letters of recommendation needed to apply for scholarships, she noted.
Scholarship award checks are written directly to the student. Any type of ceremony will depend upon the status of the governor’s stay-at-home order. If necessary, scholarship announcements and presentations can be made by mail, Musilli said.
“We are really hoping to have some kind of event. Normally we present at the Anchor Bay High School honors assembly in May, and that is not going to happen. We are hoping to have some kind of venue and invite students and parents there to receive their awards,” Musilli said.
Organized in 1995, the nonprofit Anchor Bay Community Foundation raises and distributes financial and additional resources to promote lifelong learning for children and families. The foundation also works to enhance and strengthen cultural, charitable, social and educational opportunities for the community.
Scholarships are designed for graduating high school students interested in pursuing higher education. Scholarship funds were created by donors to provide financial assistance for students. To date, more than $200,000 has been provided for scholarships that benefit area students.
Some scholarships are available only to Anchor Bay High School students, while others are available to graduating high school seniors who reside within the Anchor Bay School District boundaries. Each application has different requirements, and students can apply for more than one scholarship.
Students interested in applying are encouraged to read beyond the scholarship name, as they do not necessarily reflect the areas of study for an individual selection. The first page of each listing indicates areas of study and whether they are intended for colleges, universities, trade schools, apprenticeships or technical programs.
Students are generally required to provide all requested supporting materials when submitting applications in order to be considered. Scholarships are submitted to application committees for review.
Due to the difficulties students may have in obtaining some supporting materials due to COVID-19, committees could be willing to look at some applications that include detailed explanations as to why the materials couldn’t be obtained, Musilli said.
Applications can be mailed to ABCF, P.O. Box 88, New Baltimore, MI 48047-0088. Applications that have already been submitted to Anchor Bay High School will be collected and provided to selection committees, which are working on methods of collaborating while following COVID-19 restrictions and hope to potentially have selections made by the end of May.
Selection dates and award information will be available online at abcf.us and anchorbay.misd.net.
For more information or to view a full list of scholarships offered, call 586-281-3275, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to abcf.us.
Nicole Tuttle is a freelance reporter for MediaNews Group.