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Blandin Foundation’s applications for need-based scholarships are now available and are being accepted until May 1.

Blandin Foundation’s applications for need-based scholarships are now available and are being accepted until May 1.

Blandin Foundation’s applications for need-based scholarships are now available and are being accepted until May 1. Up to $950,000 in Education Awards will be granted to Itasca County area students pursuing higher education during the 2013-2014 school year.

The Education Awards scholarship program is the longest-running program of the Blandin Foundation, with the first awards given in 1956 by founder Charles K. Blandin. Since then, more than 19,000 area youth have received scholarships totaling more than $20 million.

“Our scholarship program has a strong and important history with Itasca area communities,” said Kathy Annette, president of the Blandin Foundation. “For 57 years we have worked with area students to help achieve their dreams of further education. Achievement of our young people was a great passion of Mr. Blandin’s, as it is for the Foundation still today.”

Blandin Foundation’s Education Awards are available to local students who attend, or have graduated from, one of the following high schools: Grand Rapids, Bigfork, Deer River, Hill City, Greenway, Nashwauk-Keewatin, Remer, Blackduck, Northome, Bug O Nay Ge Shig, Northern Lights Community School, and home-schooled students in the  greater Itasca County area. To be eligible, students must be under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2013, be registered as a full-time student (12 credits per semester) at any accredited trade school or two-year or four-year college or university, and make satisfactory academic progress toward their degree program (at least a 2.0 GPA or higher).

Scholarship recipients are selected on a need-based system, and scholarship amounts are based on the federal government’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) formulas. Other factors considered include total cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and miscellaneous expenses), family income, and number of siblings also attending college. Students can receive $1,000 to $4,000, and must reapply each year. The Foundation’s Education Awards scholarships are available for a variety of forms of secondary (post-high school) education, including college and university, community and technical colleges, and certificate programs.

Applications are available at local high school counseling offices, can be downloaded from the Foundation’s web site (http://itasca.blandinfoundation.org) or can be requested from the Foundation directly by calling 218-326-0523 or email to scholarships@BlandinFoundation.org.