The application period for college scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year from the Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas is open now until Feb. 1, 2020.

Full-time students enrolled in at least 12 hours of college courses are eligible for at least $1,000 in scholarships through the foundation if they submit a successful application, executive director Pat Hamit said.

“We are known as the scholarship queen of Kansas,” Hamit said.

For the 2019-2020 school year, 150 scholarships totaling $194,000 were awarded to students from all over southwest Kansas.

The foundation delivers a quick turnaround. Money is disbursed to the respective schools of scholarship recipients typically by March, Hamit said.

The application requires the student to provide high school and college information, two or three references and a personal essay. But he warned that the 11-member board of directors receives twice as many applications for college scholarships as there are scholarships available, so he encouraged students to use the essay portion of the application to shine.

“It helps to make it entertaining and fun to read,” he said. “Let us know who you are.”

Include personal information, such as “I was the first kid in my family to go to college,” Hamit said. “Or I need financial aid because my family is already paying for college tuition for my two older siblings and I want to go myself.”

The foundation “caters to graduating seniors,” he said. “But we do make scholarships for non-traditional students — mainly undergrads. Or maybe a parent who never went to college or a student who’s been out of school for a year or two.”

Scholarship applications are available on the foundation’s website, as well as the Dodge City Public Library, Dodge City Community College, the high school counseling center, and Sunflower, Landmark and Fidelity banks.

The foundation is a public charity that provides valuable tax advantages to donors.

It takes responsibility for disbursing $43 million in private money to various funds that benefit college hopefuls, women, cancer sufferers, school and city agencies and nonprofit organizations located in southwest Kansas.

For more information, visit the Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas at 208 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd., Suite 200, or visit www.communityfoundationswks.com.

Contact Hamit at 620-225-0959 or email pat.cfsk@sbcglobal.net.