FORT MYERS, Fla. (Dec. 18, 2013) – The Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s scholarship application process for the 2014-2015 school year will begin on Friday, Dec. 20. Approximately $400,000 in scholarship money is available from 37 scholarships for local high school seniors and 22 scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students from Lee, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry and Collier counties through the SWFLCF scholarship funds.

Students interested in applying for a scholarship can access the E-Apply online scholarship application tool through the SWFLCF’s website at on the Scholarships page. Even before the application process opens on Dec. 20, students can review the scholarships available online as well as a tutorial about how to create and submit the online application.

Students may apply for multiple scholarships and are given the option to upload transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, letters of recommendation and financial documentation (if required). For need-based scholarships, students are required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2014.

“Thanks to supportive donors who value the importance of post-secondary education, we offer a variety of scholarships including those for vocational or specialized training schools, as well as for attendance at colleges and universities,” said Anne Douglas, regional initiatives director for the SWFLCF. “In the past, we have had some scholarships that were not awarded because students did not apply for them, so we are trying to do our best to educate local students on the various types of funding available.”

According to Douglas, examples of some of the more unique scholarships include support for students with disabilities, student athletes, adult students going back to school, students from particular schools or communities and students pursuing a graduate or professional degree.

For example, The Howard P. and Magdalen K. Breitenbach Scholarship was established to fund a needy student who was either a service member in the United States Navy or is a child or grandchild of a service member in the United States Navy.

The G. Napier and Ellen Wilson Scholarship was established in honor of U.S. Navy pilots killed in Korea and will support high school students volunteering at the veteran’s administration clinic to help veterans.

Scholarship donor Nip Wilson with last year’s recipient Catherine Hackler 

The Mary Ann Elder Scholarship was established to provide funding for students entering or continuing a master’s degree program in social work. The scholarship was established by Rudy Elder in honor of his wife who was a social worker and worked for a number of local nonprofit organizations.

The SWFLCF chose the month of December as the launch date after receiving numerous calls from students who wanted to be able to work on scholarship application submissions during winter break. In 2013, the SWFLCF awarded nearly $450,000 in scholarships.

With a streamlined online application process available, students are not required to submit paper applications.

Founded in 1976, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation supports the communities of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry counties and also acts as the regional convener and leader with firsthand knowledge of community needs. With assets of more than $72 million, the SWFLCF has provided more than $57 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. During its 2013 fiscal year, the SWFLCF granted more than $4 million to more than 100 different organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services.

For more information about the SWFLCF, call 239-274-5900 or visit