Students can apply for CFO scholarships beginning Jan. 1

Applications for about $1.8 million in scholarships administered by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks will open on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023 — a month earlier than previous years. The change gives students pursuing advanced educational opportunities an additional month to apply for scholarships, most of which will close in mid-March.

The CFO holds about 480 scholarship funds that will provide nearly 1,000 scholarships for students across central and southern Missouri for the 2023–24 school year. The scholarships are open to students for higher education and technical training programs.

Information about the scholarship opportunities is available at

From there, students will be required to answer two eligibility questions, which will bring up a list of scholarships for which the student may be eligible. Students also can contact the counseling offices at their schools. Application deadlines vary, with the first due in mid-March. Amounts range from $400 to $7,500 per academic year, with many renewable for up to three additional years.

Several scholarship funds are awarding for the first time this year, including:

• The Ruby Ayla Griffin Scholarship, for graduating seniors of Wheatland and Dadeville high schools that participated in Future Farmers of America;

• The Mary P. Pettit Memorial Scholarship, for graduating seniors of Lutie High School and students receiving a HiSET certification from Theodosia;

• The Hanks Family Scholarship, for graduating seniors of Ozark High School that demonstrate financial need; and

• The Kennett Class of 1972 Scholarship, for graduating seniors of Kennett High School, marking the first CFO-administered scholarship for the Bootheel region.

Scholarship funds are established by individuals, families or organizations with specific intentions, such as supporting students who graduate from the donor’s alma mater, pursue a certain field of study, or are members of marginalized or underserved populations. On the CFO’s online application system, each scholarship entry lists criteria for eligibility.

“After hearing from many guidance counselors, the decision to move the start of our scholarship application period was an easy one,” said Beth Hersh, the CFO’s director of scholarships. “We are grateful to serve as this important resource for both students and donors in our region.”

For more information about CFO scholarship programs, contact Beth Hersh at, or call (417) 864-6199.

Founded in 1973, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks is the region’s largest public charitable foundation serving a network of donors, 53 regional affiliate foundations and nonprofit partners across central and southern Missouri through with assets of $375 million as of June 30.