How to Establish a Scholarship


Offering a New Scholarship

Congratulations on your decision to fund a scholarship for a deserving student from the New Haven Unified School District! When you endow a scholarship, your generosity makes a significant impact on the life of a student, and helps them achieve success in life.

Quick links:

Our Role:

The New Haven Schools Foundation administers the Pathways to Success community scholarship program for the youth of our school district. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and this program is a key element of our mission.

The Foundation’s role is to help you to establish your scholarship fund, to provide scholarship information to graduating students, and to host an annual award ceremony and luncheon.

We manage our program using AwardSpring, a cloud-based scholarship application system. Your scholarship selection criteria will be set up in the system, and students will submit their applications using the same system. At the appropriate time, you will use AwardSpring to review the applications of students who qualify for your scholarship. You and/or your review team will score the applications according to the qualities that are most important to you. Finally, you select your scholarship recipient. If you prefer, the Foundation board can make that selection on your behalf.

We prepare certificates of recognition for each awardee and coordinate the award ceremony. You are encouraged to attend the luncheon and present your award directly to your recipient. Later, we distribute the scholarship funds to the winner, upon proof of enrollment in higher education.

Your Role:

As the scholarship sponsor, your role is critical to the process, and there are several key components.

  • Establish the scholarship by completing the new scholarship form.
  • Provide the scholarship funds prior to the deadline.
  • Review submitted applications, if desired and select the recipient. You may have multiple reviewers participate in the selection.
  • Attend the award ceremony to present your award. If you cannot attend, a board member will present your award on your behalf.

It is important to note that sponsors must be impartial when reviewing and selecting recipients. If a reviewer has a close personal relationship with an applicant, the reviewer should abstain from the review process that year. This may happen on occasion, and Foundation board members would be happy to assist you with the review process.

Getting Started:

When you establish your scholarship, you must make three key decisions:

  1. Name the scholarship.
  2. Determine the student qualifications for your scholarship.
  3. Decide how much to award the student that is selected.

The Foundation can guide you as you make those determinations. We will provide you with some examples to follow, and help fine-tune your criteria.

Eligible Students:

In general, any graduating senior in the New Haven Unified School District may apply for scholarships offered through the Foundation. This includes:

  • James Logan High School
  • Conley-Caraballo High School
  • Decoto School Program for Independent Studies
  • New Haven Adult School

If you wish to provide a scholarship to a student attending a specific school or program, you may include that information in your qualifications.

General Timeline:

Exact key dates are announced to the scholarship sponsors each year.

November / December: Scholarship sponsors will receive an email or letter containing the account balance and requesting a review of your current application criteria. Only established scholarships receive this notice, so you must initially set up your scholarship well before this date in order to receive the message. (After this date, please contact us.)

January:  Deadline to submit changes to scholarship selection criteria, or to change the amount of your scholarship. 

February: All funding payment for the scholarships must be in the Foundation’s bank. Student applications will be completed online.

March:  Scholarship sponsors review applications and submit the names of their selected students to the Foundation. 

April or May: Scholarship luncheon is held where sponsors may present award certificates to their winners.

July: Students may begin requesting their scholarship funds, upon submission of proof of enrollment in classes at a college or university.

January 31: Last day that students may request their scholarship funds from the prior school year. Any unclaimed funds are returned to the sponsor’s fund with the Foundation for use the following year.


If you have any questions about starting or renewing a scholarship fund, please feel free to contact us.

NHUSD Employees

You can conveniently contribute to scholarships, grants and other Foundation programs by payroll deduction. Donations are tax-deductible and may be directed to one or more of the specific programs. Even small donations add up and make a difference for our students!

Send the completed form to the Payroll Department at the ESC.