GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For the third consecutive year, Meijer team members and their children will have a chance to receive up to $10,000 to further their college education with the Fred & Lena Meijer Scholarship, a competitive scholarship administered by Grand Rapids Community Foundation.
“Our dad always believed that continued education and lifelong learning were invaluable,” stated Doug Meijer, co-chairman of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. “My brothers and I are pleased to continue providing this scholarship opportunity for Meijer team members and their children.”
The Fred & Lena Meijer Scholarship is a private scholarship fund that was established at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation in 1975 originally for children of Meijer team members. In 2010, the scholarship program was expanded to include Meijer team members themselves and awards were increased from $500 to $1,000. The Meijer Foundation funded the scholarship in 2011 with a significant endowment to the Community Foundation, and enhanced the scholarship in 2012 to $2,500, while also providing two $10,000 scholarships: one each in Fred and Lena Meijer’s names.
Last year, the program awarded $315,000 in scholarships, furthering the college educations of 120 Meijer team members and their children. Of that amount, two recipients were awarded $10,000 scholarships and 118 others throughout the retailer’s five-state footprint received $2,500 scholarships. While administered in Grand Rapids, the scholarship is open to all team members regardless of where they reside.
The Fred & Lena Meijer Scholarship is awarded by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation based on financial need, academics and community involvement. A written essay of aspirations and educational goals is also part of the application process.
“We enjoy working with Meijer to provide scholarships for its team members and their families,” Grand Rapids Community Foundation president Diana Sieger said. “The opportunities that higher education offers can change a person’s life, and the scholarships can help make that happen.”
The scholarships are available for use at any accredited college, university, vocational, technical or specialized educational institution nationwide. The number of scholarships awarded each year is determined as a percentage of the total number of applicants as set by the federal government.
To qualify for the scholarships, Meijer team members must have one year of continuous service by the April 1 application deadline, and may be full- or part-time students. Dependents of Meijer team member must be full-time students with a minimum of 12 credit hours.