Creating opportunities for success

Chris Brown, Baylor graduateThe Community Foundation administers a variety of scholarships to help individuals, families and businesses create a brighter future by encouraging education.

During 2013, we awarded $354,000  in scholarships to students who might not otherwise have been able to afford college tuition.  Since the beginning of this Community Foundation program, donors have made possible $3.8 million total to help young men and women through scholarships.

Many other scholarship applicants did not receive assistance from us — not because they were not deserving, but because we did not have enough money available to distribute. You can help send enterprising students to college by making a gift to the Community Foundation College Scholarship Fund or by setting up a named scholarship fund.

How our scholarships work

If you are a student seeking assistance with a Community Foundation scholarship, read the material below or contact Sheree Wilkerson, Scholarship Manager, with additional questions:

  • applyherebuttonHow you can apply: Applications for all of our scholarships are completed through the online STARS system.  Once you enter your general information, there will be screening questions related to the criteria of various scholarships.  At the end of the process, the system will tell you which scholarships you are eligible for based on your answers. Applying to those will open up additional questions and requirements for each individual scholarship.  For an overview of the scholarships prior to beginning the application, simply click on the Scholarships tab in the STARS program.  If you have difficulty with the online applicationcontact Sheree Wilkerson, Scholarship Manager.
  • Choosing scholarship winners: Volunteer review committees review information submitted by applicants and consider eligibility requirements, such as enrollment at a particular high school or specializing in a particular field of study.  Criteria include financial need, academic performance, extracurricular activities, volunteer/community service or other talents. Applicants typically are notified before the school year ends.


All scholarship applications are completed using the online system available in the link above.  The following is a quick description of the available scholarships.  Deadlines for all scholarships fall in February, unless otherwise noted.

  • Award for Excellence (open to Ramsay High School students only, awards made to one male and one female senior, requires 3.0GPA and 21 ACT, along with community involvement and demonstrated leadership skills)
  • Community Foundation Scholarship (open to students at high schools in the Birmingham School System with a 3.0 GPA and 21 ACT score)
  • ELG Scholarships (open to descendents of ELG asbestos lawsuit, requires 3.5 GPA and 20 ACT score or 1000 SAT score.  College enrolled applicants must have a 3.0 college GPA.)
  • Colonel James M. Sims Memorial Scholarship (open to members of the Marine Corps Reserve, 4th Marine Division, Antiterrorism Battalion)
  • The Cromwell Trust Scholarship (open to aspiring students and adults for career advancement and/or education, primarily in the performing arts and musical theatre; requires artistic submission)

For donors

If you are interested in setting up a Scholarship Fund with a minimum gift of $50,000, contact Erin Stephenson.

  • Establishing or adding to a Scholarship Fund: You can make a gift in any amount today to the Community Foundation Scholarship Fund benefiting students at Birmingham City Schools or the Award for Excellence benefiting students at Ramsay High School by writing a check, directing a stock transfer or giving on-line.
  • How we serve you: Our Scholarship Manager makes sure that information is distributed to guidance counselors and potential applicants, and works with volunteer committees to determine scholarship choices. We process applications, send scholarship checks to educational institutions and keep track of student progress in compliance with the terms of each scholarship.