Scholarships open to non-traditional students


PENDLETON — Not everybody follows — or is able to follow — the same road when pursuing their education.
A new South Madison Community Foundation-managed fund acknowledges this fact and seeks to help people on the path less traveled.
The non-traditional scholarship fund was created by “people who believe a lack of means should not be the ultimate factor in accessing the world of opportunity achieved through higher education,” Executive Director Tammy Bowman said.
Those donors — who wish to remain anonymous — are “a group of neighbors who understand the value of education and seek to give others the opportunities that education afforded them.”
A non-traditional student is someone “pursuing higher education as an adult or is returning following an interruption in their pursuit of a degree,” the foundation explains on its website.
“Non-traditional students may have started working toward a degree and been financially unable to continue or might be pursuing higher education for the first time as an adult, having never been able to pursue a degree due to a variety of circumstances.”
Bowman said the total number and value of non-traditional scholarships to be awarded this year has not been determined yet. The foundation is waiting to see the public response before figuring out those details.
“It’s new, so we don’t really have an idea yet of how many or what kind of applicants we might receive,” she said.
While the new scholarship endeavor seeks to serve the non-traditional student, it doesn’t completely close the door on others: “Strong applications from graduating high school seniors following a traditional college track will be considered,” reads part of the application.
Preference will be given to graduates of Pendleton Heights or Lapel high schools, or those residing within those district boundaries.
Applications for a non-traditional scholarship are due by 4 p.m. May 15; the blank application can be be found at
The community foundation was established in 1992 and has awarded more than $1.7 million in scholarships for higher education.
During the past few years, the foundation has awarded about $100,000 in scholarships annually to dozens of students, Bowman said.
The deadline to apply for traditional scholarships has passed, and the foundation will review and decide on those in the next couple of months.
Contact Tammy Bowman at [email protected] or 778-8444 for more details about the non-
traditional scholarship.

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