The J Lee Foundation for the Arts & Sciences has established the Merit Scholarship Award to be presented to students that have displayed a record of and/or aptitude for academic success, as well as qualities of leadership and community service. This is a merit-based program that will provide monetary awards to selected recipients on the basis of academic performance in their college studies. The J Lee Foundation for the Arts & Sciences is a private non-profit entity, funded by an endowment from its founder and from the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, and organizations that support the Foundation’s work.

Basic Requirements for Candidacy:

  1. Applicant must be between the ages of 17 and 24.
  2. Applicant must be a United States citizen.
  3. Applicant must be a high school graduate or graduating senior with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
  4. Applicant must be accepted as a full-time student at an accredited four-year college or university.
  5. Preference will be given to graduating high school seniors residing in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, or South Carolina.

Application Process / Requirements

Candidates wishing to apply for acceptance into the Merit Scholarship Award Program must submit the following:

  • An official high school transcript showing a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (based on a 4.0 GPA system) for at least the last three years of high school
  • An official report of ACT test score (minimum composite score of 22 is required)
  • An official letter of acceptance (or proof of registration) at an accredited four-year college or university
  • Two letters of recommendation from community leaders (teacher, minister, business owner, etc.)
  • A synopsis of the applicant’s community service activities
  • An original essay (of no more than 500 words) by the applicant, discussing his/her personal and community service achievements, academic goals, career objectives, and ambitions in life
  • A completed Merit Scholarship Application
  • Candidates must submit all of the above application materials to the Selection Committee of the J Lee Foundation no later than March 31 to be considered for the coming academic year.

Selection Process

The J Lee Foundation for the Arts & Sciences Selection Committee meets annually in May to select an individual (or individuals) for admission to the Merit Scholarship Award Program. The Selection Committee will review application materials from all qualified candidates. The Selection Committee will evaluate ALL components of the application package: community service, grades, test scores, and all written materials.

Decisions of the Selection Committee are final. All deliberations and discussions of the Selection Committee, as well as all applicants’ materials, are private and confidential.

Successful candidate(s) will be notified by mail no later than three weeks following their selection. Unsuccessful candidates may reapply as long as they meet the basic requirements for candidacy.

The number of successful candidates in any given year is dependent upon the quality of the candidates and the resources available to the Foundation, as determined by the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee reserves the right to select no candidates in any given year.

The Merit Scholarship Award

Successful candidates are admitted to the Award Program, which pays a per-semester award based on grade point average according to the terms and formula below:

Award Criteria:

  1. Awards will be considered for each division of an academic year (semester, trimester, or quarter) completed in good standing as a full time student.
  2.  A student will be considered for award for a summer session if they complete a total of 12 credit hours for the full session.
  3.  Awards will be made within 60 days of submission of an End of Semester Report and official college transcripts.

Award Formula:

Grade Point Average *  Award per credit hour
2.75 to 2.99 $ 25
3.0 to 3.49 $ 50
3.5 to 3.99 $ 75
4.00 $ 100
* Based on 4.0 GPA system

Award Maximums

  • The award maximum per participant per semester (or trimester or quarter) is $1,500.
  • The award maximum per participant for a single academic year is $3,000
  • The cumulative lifetime award maximum for any program participant is $12,000.

Program Participant Requirements

To remain in the Merit Scholarship Award Program, participants must:

  • Maintain registration as a full time student
  • Maintain a grade point average of at least 2.75
  • Submit an official grade report from the college/university as soon as possible (no later than 30 days) after the end of each semester, accompanied by the J Lee Foundation End of Semester Report
  • Conduct themselves in a manner that demonstrates good character and ethical judgment

Equal Educational Opportunity

The Merit Scholarship Award Program of the J Lee Foundation for the Arts & Sciences accepts applications for candidacy from any individual who meets the Basic Requirements listed above.

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