Award

  1. There is no minimum award. The maximum award will be $30,000 dependent on the student’s debt.
  2. Awards are paid on an annual basis. a.
    1. Up to $5,000 made payable in the first year.
    2. Up to $10,000 made payable in the second year.
    3. Up to $15,000 made payable in the third year.
  3. There is no mandatory length of stay in Van Wert County for the award recipient.
    1. If the applicant ceases to live or be employed in Van Wert County, they forfeit all additional award monies.
  4. The applicant must sign a document agreeing to the terms and conditions of the award.

Learn & Return Student Loan Payment Program

About

The Learn and Return Student Loan Payment Program is a scholarship opportunity for individuals who lived in Van Wert at the time of graduating from an eligible local high school, who receive an accredited post-secondary degree or certificate, have student loan debt, and desire to live and work in Van Wert County.

The program will provide student loan payment of up to $30,000 over a three-year period to scholarship awardees. The Van Wert County Foundation accepts applicants for the L&R Program annually. The application period is from July 1st-September 1st each year.

This program is an initiative part of a broader effort with other community partners to create a well-resourced and thriving quality of life for Van Wert County. As such, applicants are expected to engage with local organizations as part of their scholarship award in the Mentorship Program

Criteria

This competitive program is for recent college graduates or certificate holders and is subject to the following terms and conditions.

  1. “Recent” means applicants have received an accredited post-secondary degree or certificate within the last 10 years.
  2. Applicants must have outstanding student debt associated with their degree or certificate.
    • The debt must be accrued during the time the student was obtaining their higher education.
    • The student loan debt must be in the student’s name.
  1. Applicants must have been a resident of Van Wert County when graduating from high school or obtaining their GED
  2. Residency
    • Applicants must already live in, or desire to move to, Van Wert County.
    • Applicants must find or create employment in the county.
    • Van Wert County must be the applicant’s primary residence for at least three years, the length of the program.
    • Applicants who move from Van Wert County during the three year award period forfeit future funds.
  3. Employment
    • Applicants who receive an award have 120 days from award announcement to demonstrate a written job commitment.
    • Written job offer from a Van Wert County employer.
    • Entrepreneurial ability to present a business plan for a new company.
    • Proven success from being self-employed within Van Wert County.
  4. All award recipients are required to complete follow-ups in December each year to confirm residency and employment in Van Wert County.
  5. Awardees of the program are required to participate in the Learn & Return Mentorship Program.

Selection Process

Applicants will be reviewed and selected by The Van Wert County Foundation Scholarship Committee. The Committee will make recommendations for award to The Foundation. The Committee will schedule interviews with applicants, if necessary, and hold meetings to make recommendations as they deem appropriate.

Mentorship Program

As part of the Learn & Return Award, recipients must participate in the Mentorship Program sponsored by The Foundation. The chosen mentor will provide support services to the recipient as they connect to the Van Wert community. The recipient must actively participate in this program to be eligible to receive an award at the end of each year. Recipients who fail to participate will forfeit their award.