02-23-2017 Vanderlyn scholarships announced by Berrien Community Foundation honor Hartford philanthr


Vanderlyn scholarships announced by Berrien Community Foundation honor Hartford philanthropists Arthur and Bonna Vanderlyn

By Jon Bisnett

The newly established Arthur and Bonna Vanderlyn Scholarships were created in 2016 by Bonna Vanderlyn to honor her beloved late husband Arthur and celebrate his love of the Hartford community. These scholarships add to a long list of philanthropy on the part of the Vanderlyns.

Berrien Community Foundation

 The new scholarships were officially announced only in the last week by the Berrien Community Foundation who serves as custodian of the funds. Executive Director Lisa Cripps-Downey applauds the effort commenting, “After speaking with Bonna, I truly understand her desire to preserve Art’s memory, but also to share his love for the community they called home. She spoke in earnest of Art’s desire to always bring out the best in his employees. The scholarship intended for later-life learners attest to Art’s belief that it is never too late to improve one’s self.”

Not to be confused with the local Hartford Public Schools Foundation for Quality Education, of which Bonna is a Life Member, this new scholarship opportunity is administrated by the Berrien Community Foundation.

All inquiries should be directed to www.berriencommunity.org/scholar.

The Berrien Community Foundation has been helping students achieve their college goals for more than two decades and provides more than $150,000 each year in scholarships to deserving students from all over Southwest Michigan.

All Berrien Foundation scholarships have a March 6 application deadline. However, since the inaugural release of the Vanderlyn scholarships came out a bit late, the staff at the Berrien Foundation has graciously extended the application deadline an extra two weeks to March 17.

Eligibility & Scholarship Criteria for current year graduates

 The first is a renewable scholarship of up to $3,000/year for four years, for current year Hartford High School graduates. The amount of the scholarship is dependent on the number of years the student attended Hartford High School.  (4-years: 100% eligibility, 3-years: 90% eligibility, 2-years: 80% eligibility, 1-year: 75% eligibility)

Eligible candidates will meet the following criteria: Must be graduating Hartford High School with at least a 2.5 Grade Point Average; must demonstrate unmet financial need by providing a FAFSA Determination; and show volunteer/community involvement.

This scholarship can be used at a U.S. college/university, or vocational/technical institute of choice (2-4 year program) anywhere for tuition, books, fees, and other costs related to attending.

To complete your application, provide the following in order: Signed application. Two letters of recommendation from two of the three choices listed: from a teacher, former teacher or school official; from a community member; or from a personal reference other than a relative. A one-page essay, typed, answering the question: How would this scholarship help you achieve your goals? High school transcript, and if not included on this transcript, ACT or SAT scores. Evidence of financial need: A copy of FAFSA Determination Letter with Estimated Expected Family Contribution.

Eligibility & Scholarship Criteria:

Non-traditional (Late-Learners) students

 The second scholarship is open to adults returning to school who are prior graduates of Hartford High School.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $3,000/year for four years.  The amount of the scholarship is dependent on the number of years the student attended Hartford High School. (4-years: 100% eligibility, 3-years: 90% eligibility, 2-years: 80% eligibility, 1-year: 75% eligibility)

Eligible candidates will meet the following criteria: Must show proof of having graduated from Hartford High School; eligible students do not need to currently reside in Hartford, only to have graduated from Hartford High School; must demonstrate unmet financial need by providing a FAFSA Determination; must show volunteer/communi