USF encourages students to apply for the $135,000 Pay it Forward Scholarship

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The University of Saint Francis (USF) is once again giving away one full-tuition scholarship and two half-tuition scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year to students who apply for the Pay it Forward Scholarship. This is the 5th year the university is awarding the scholarships, and time is running out to get applications in.

First-time students seeking their first undergraduate degree at USF are eligible to apply. The full-tuition scholarship is worth about $135,000.

At USF, it’s believed that acts of kindness make the world a better place, and a core value is to serve and help others. Students who share in that sentiment are asked to fill out an application and write an essay explaining how they serve others in their communities. The winning submission will grant the student a full ride to USF.

“[Serving others] gives us a higher purpose, it gives us a reason to get up in the morning, it’s something bigger than ourselves. And we think that as students you learn to do that more and more and they really just pull everybody else up with them. And as we do that as a community we are all much better for it,” said Beth Terrell, the vice president for enrollment management at USF.

Kevin Brown won the full-tuition scholarship in 2018 when he was a senior at Adams Central High School. He’s now studying pre-med at USF and will graduate college debt-free.

“It really takes a burden off me and allows me to focus on my academics and trying to get into med school instead of worrying about the cost,” said Brown, now in his junior year.

Terrell says the scholarship winners will have little or no debt when they leave the university, which can be a big benefit for those students considering how big an investment education is.

“When they can come in and really value their education and focus on that , and live in a community of learners and people who want to be leaders and give back to the community itself, we feel the students have a huge takeaway from that,” she said.

There is still time to apply for the Pay it Forward scholarship. The deadline for applications and essays is Nov. 1.

“Be authentic, tell us your story, share what it’s like to be in your community, to lift up those other community members and to give back,” said Terrell.

A winner will be announced in December. Kevin Brown encourages any student to give it a shot.

“Don’t count yourself out. When I heard about the scholarship I was iffy on applying, lots of kids probably are, what are the chances,” he said. “But it really doesn’t matter how smart or athletic you are, it’s truly just about writing about a time you served in your community and every single student can do that.”

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