The Kirkwood Foundation is Kirkwood Community College’s internal scholarship body that awards around $3 million in scholarships each year, which usually estimates to $2,000 per student awarded. The March 15 deadline, the first deadline of the year and when the most money is awarded, is approaching fast so students are encouraged to go to Kirkwood. edu/scholarships to apply.
According to Foundation Director Alison Robinson, the process is easy to complete. With a range of questions to match students with scholarships, and a 600-word essay about the student – the process is streamlined and allows them to apply for hundreds of scholarships with one application.
According to Robinson, last year the foundation awarded $3.4 million to students at Kirkwood with money sourced from the local community of about 400 or more scholarship funds. Everyone from community members to Kirkwood faculty contribute to helping students get through the financial burden of college. “A lot of our donors are people that students interact with every day like the instructors, and advisors they contribute money,” she said.
Robinson encouraged students to follow all the way through with the application process, even if they are discouraged due to the questionnaire. “We want students to apply even if they answer no to all of the questions on the survey because there are so many scholarships they can be matched with, even if they answer no,” Robinson said.
The Foundation is completely supported by the community in the corridor raising millions from the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area. “The community support that we have in the corridor area, and the amount of people in the community that believe in Kirkwood and Kirkwood students is astounding,” Robinson said. “We are always looking for more support and more ways we can help students.”
Fifty-four percent of the scholarships offered by the foundation are need based and go off of the financial aid information from students while only a small percentage have a grade point average qualifier.
“Our donors realize that Kirkwood students have a life outside of school and that’s why not a lot of our scholarships are set up as an academic scholarship, because a lot of students work while going to school or have kids to raise. So GPA is not often a requirement,” Robinson said. “We want to hear their story.”
Liam is attending Kirkwood to major in Journalism and Mass Communications to transfer to the University of Iowa.