- The mission of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County is to enable single parents to attain self-sufficiency through post-secondary education.
- Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County (SPSFBC) focuses on the whole student and the needs of his/her family. We provide an empowering and nurturing growth environment that helps a single parent attend school, while addressing issues which, if not addressed, could undermine academic success or cause early withdrawal.
- During our inaugural semester, SPSFBC awarded 7 $150 scholarships.
- Within 6 months of graduation, about 85% of scholarship recipients obtain a job above the poverty level.
- SPSFBC is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The office is located at 2601 SW D Street in Bentonville, Arkansas. There are 7 staff members, the Executive Director, Development Director, Admissions Counselor, Student Accounts Coordinator, Program Director, Licensed Certified Social Worker and the Office Manager. Scholarships are funded by donations from businesses and individuals along with grants from local foundations such as the Walton Family Foundation, Walmart Foundation and the United Way. SPSFBC is not funded by any government program.
- Application Process: Potential recipients complete an application form detailing their financial resources and expenses. They also submit transcripts from high school course work, GED scores and/or transcripts from previous post-secondary schoolwork. They must provide three letters of recommendation and a personal goal statement. If eligible for a scholarship, applicants are invited to a personal interview with members of the board of directors and volunteers. This allows us to get to know applicants and offer advice, suggestions, mentoring, and referrals to other available community resources. Students may reapply each semester they remain in school. Approval of renewal applications requires proof of progress toward the student’s degree.
- Scholarships are awarded for the spring and fall terms. Funds are not distributed directly to each student. Students submit bills to SPSFBC and they are paid on behalf of the student pending scholarship amount awarded.
- Eligibility: Students must be low-income single parents with custody of their children under the age of 18; must be a resident of Benton County and enrolled in an approved college or vocational program and maintain a 2.0 GPA.
- Statewide there are affiliate programs serving all 75 counties. The state organization, Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, provides logistical support and up to $7,000 in matching grant money for each county served ($8,000 for Delta counties).
- Students attend NorthWest Arkansas Community College, University of Arkansas, John Brown University, Northwest Technical Institute, Crowder College and other approved institutions as needed.
Statistics and Information
- Average age of SPSFBC recipient is 32
- Average number of children per SPSFBC recipient family: 1.9
- Average income of 2015 recipients: $15,857 per year
- Average age of children: 10
Note: Above statistics are as of November 17, 2015.