How to obtain UCAN scholarships


After a month of celebrating the Scioto Foundation UCAN program’s 15 years, no doubt numerous students and their parents in the local area are asking the question, “How do you get a UCAN Scholarship?” or any of the other abundant scholarships that are offered through the Scioto Foundation?

First, all twelve Scioto County school districts and the six UCAN Neighbor Schools have set up their own UCAN Scholarships with each one’s specific criteria, application process and deadlines for the applications. Students at each high school need to consult their guidance counselors about the requirements and application procedure, the sooner, the better.

However, students and parents in Scioto County and the surrounding area are also advised to start searching for many more scholarships valued at more than $660,000 accessible this year on the Scioto Foundation’s website,

The Scioto Foundation’s 2023 scholarship application went online Monday, December 12, so now is the time that all area college-bound high school seniors can get started on their scholarship applications in pursuit of approximately 200 scholarships available at the Scioto Foundation. To apply, they should go to the Scioto Foundation website, and click on “Scholarship Application” at the bottom of the page.

The deadline for submission of 2023 scholarship applications is Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 5 p.m, according to the Foundation’s Scholarships & Grants Coordinator Ginnie Moore

who added that all required letters of recommendation must be received online before 5 p.m., Sunday, March 19, 2023.

Along with the application, students must submit a current transcript of high school and/or college grades. Graduating seniors participating in College Credit Plus must also attach a college transcript. In addition, a letter of recommendation from a member of the student’s school faculty and one from a member of the community are required. Some scholarships require a letter from a coach, a 4-H advisor, an employer or others, and applicants may have to complete one or more essays as directed by the online scholarship form, said Moore.

Applicants are advised to ask in person the people they select to write their letters of recommendation and to keep in contact with them to be sure letters are completed prior to the deadline. Moore also suggests inviting additional backup recommenders to write letters in case they are needed.

“Remember, without the proper letters of recommendation, an application is not complete and cannot be accepted,” Moore said. “Applications must be submitted or they are not complete, but an application can be submitted before all recommendation letters are received.”

Moore also advises students to contact their counselors about getting their transcripts in a timely fashion and noted that music majors must submit a music video.

Factors most frequently considered in the awarding of scholarships include financial need, academic achievement and leadership potential, as well as school and community involvement. Students wishing to renew previous scholarships must reapply each year through the specified application process.

Long-time Scioto Foundation Board Member Julia Wisniewski offered her view of the UCAN Scholarship Program and its value to area youth and the community, as well as the many scholarships available through the Scioto Foundation and the numerous donors.

“Following my ten-year term as a member of the Scioto Foundation’s Board of Directors, I have had the privilege of being a member of the Donor Services Committee,” she said. “Being on this committee is an awesome experience, watching the generous donations from the community continuously grow the UCAN Funds.”

“Another awesome experience is reading thank you notes from students who have received the UCAN Scholarships. They are most grateful for the financial support which will enable them to begin their college career and/or finish their studies. It is not unusual to learn that many would like to come back to the community and give back,” Wisniewski continued. “the UCAN Scholarships are a blessing to our young students – just ask one!”

Actually, we asked two former UCAN Scholarship recipients to express how the scholarships had impacted their educations and their lives.

New Boston graduate Alex Williams was one of the first area students to receive a scholarship through Glenwood High School’s newly endowed scholarship fund at the Scioto Foundation after the UCAN program (University/College Access Network) was launched in 2008. He strongly credits the program with success and said the scholarships through the Scioto Foundation, which also included a Sister City Scholarship, were an important part of what made his first year of a college education possible.

“It made me realize that college was affordable,” Williams said. “It made me want to succeed. I learned that college was realistic and attainable.”

Williams graduated from Glenwood as valedictorian in 2010. With the help of the UCAN Scholarship and a Sister City Scholarship, he enrolled in Boston University with a double major in German Language and Linguistics. While there he was able to study abroad in Dresden, Germany in the spring of 2013.

After graduation from Boston University in 2014, Williams received a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship which enabled him to stay in Turkey and teach English in a university there for a year while he studied German and Turkish languages. In 2018 Williams started work on his Master’s Degree at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, completed his Master’s and graduated from IU in 2020. He is now the Associate Director of Financial Aid at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington.

“The UCAN Scholarship and the Sister City Scholarship made me able to focus on the academic aspects of education without having to stress about the financial angle,” said Williams.

Kyle See is another early UCAN Scholar who appreciates the help his UCAN Scholarship gave him in gaining an education and realizing his professional goals.

“I’d like to thank the Scioto Foundation for awarding me the UCAN Scholarship,” said See. “With the support of the UCAN Scholarship, the Scioto Foundation, Valley Schools, family and friends, I was able to attend my dream school, Ohio Northern University. Studying in ONU’s T.J. Smull College of Engineering, I achieved my Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Computer Engineering.”

After completing my degree, I went on to work as an Embedded Software Engineer and later DevOps Engineer for Rockwell Automation. Today, I am a Senior Manager for Accenture,

based out of St. Petersburg, Florida. It was all made possible by the start enabled by the help and support of my scholarships, teachers, mentors and family,” said See.

Additional information about UCAN Scholarships and the various scholarships available at the Scioto Foundation, as well as the application process, may be obtained by contacting Moore, (740) 354-4612 or UCAN College Advisor Christy Wilcox, who is available for individual or group consultations regarding all aspects of planning, preparing and paying for college educations at [email protected] or (740) 935-1558.

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