The primary mission of the Watson-Brown Foundation is to provide college scholarships to area students based on merit and need. This internal scholarship program is entirely managed by the staff of the Foundation. The Foundation awards individual annual renewable scholarships of $3,000 and $5,000. Over 800 students receive Watson-Brown scholarship assistance. The Foundation plans to award 200 new scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year.
Scholarships are reserved for students from 16 Georgia and South Carolina counties who attend U.S. four-year, non-profit accredited colleges and universities. Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors and current undergraduate students. To be considered, on-line scholarship applications must be completed, and required support documents must be mailed to the Foundation by February 15 (postmarked deadline).
Scholarships are awarded to help defray the costs of tuition, books, room and board, and other college expenses. All scholarship checks are mailed directly from the Foundation to the financial aid office of the applicable college or university.
All scholarship applicants are advised in writing of the Board’s decisions. Letters will be mailed from the foundation office on April 15. For more information, please contact:
Sarah Katherine McNeil, Director of Scholarships & Alumni Relations.
Who is eligible for the scholarship?
The Foundation awards scholarships to students from the 16 Georgia and South Carolina counties listed below.
What test scores and GPA do I need for scholarship consideration?
Although standardized test scores do not solely reflect academic merit, the scholarship committee does note SAT and/or ACT scores when evaluating applications. Please keep in mind that the scholarship committee considers all aspects of the student’s application.
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Which online application do I need to complete?
All applicants who have never received a Watson-Brown scholarship must complete the scholarship application for First-Time Applicants.
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What do I need to include with my application?
Along with the completed application, the Watson-Brown Foundation requires students to submit the following support documents:
1) High School and/or College Transcript: Please submit a copy of your official high school transcript. If available, make sure that your SAT and/or ACT scores are listed on the transcript. If you are currently enrolled in college, please submit a current college transcript. Current college students do not have to submit high school transcripts; however, the Foundation may request them under certain circumstances.
2) SAT and /or ACT Scores: If they are not included on the high school transcript please send a copy of the official or student (on-line) score report.
3) Letters of Recommendation: We want to know what others have to say about you! Please submit two letters of recommendation from teachers/professors, religious leaders, coaches, employers, or others who have important roles in your life. Keep in mind that one recommendation must be from your school. It is wise to choose someone who knows you best and who can take the time to write a descriptive letter.
4) IRS Form 1040 or 1040 EZ: If you are considered a dependent and are listed on your parent’s tax forms, please enclose a copy of their tax forms. If there is a reason you cannot provide these forms, please explain in the Financial Need Statement section of the application or include a written statement with your other mailed supporting documents. You may submit 2009 tax forms if 2010 forms are not available. Please explain any significant income change and include an estimate of current income. Financial information is confidential and used by the office to estimate financial need; however, feel free to black out or remove the social security numbers. The documents will be destroyed 60 days after scholarships are awarded.
If possible, please send all documents in ONE envelope to:
Director of Scholarships
310 Tom Watson Way
Thomson, GA 30824
To be completed or submitted with the on-line scholarship application:
1) Essay: The essay not only demonstrates your writing ability but also conveys your personality and other qualities previously not listed on the application. The essay portrays the student beyond test scores and GPA. Many college applications require essays. If applicable, you may submit an essay that you have written for college admission. However, make sure that it falls within our scholarship application parameters (i.e. 500 word limit and subject). Choose one of the essay topics listed on the online application. If attaching your essay to the online application, please include your full name at the top of the document.
2) Financial Need Statement: We know that the cost of college is a financial burden to most families. Although we ask for specific income information on the application, we would like to know of any family circumstance that may affect your family’s ability to pay for college. Losses of job, death of parent, medical expenses, or having other siblings in college are all examples. This information is important during the application evaluation process. Please be as specific as possible.
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Where do Watson-Brown Scholars attend college?
Scholarship recipients may attend any 4-year non-profit accredited institution in the United States. The only 2-year college exception is Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. Please keep in mind that the Foundation only recognizes the main regional accrediting agencies as viable (example: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). Currently, Watson-Brown Scholars attend over 130 institutions across the country!
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What are the scholarship renewal guidelines?
The Watson-Brown Foundation Scholarship is renewable up to your first four years (eight semesters) of undergraduate studies. The Foundation does not fund additional semesters or fifth year seniors. If you were attending college when the scholarship was awarded, you may not be eligible for the full eight semesters of scholarship funding. For example, a college sophomore who has attended college for two years will only be eligible for two years of funding. Please contact the Foundation if you have questions about your eligibility.
To maintain the Watson-Brown Foundation Scholarship, you agree to:
Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA (3.5 for the $5000 level scholarship). If a 3.0 is not met, please continue to send the Foundation your grades at the end of each semester. Your scholarship may be reinstated if your grades improve.
Take a full course load (12 credit hours). The Watson-Brown Foundation will only award funding if you maintain at least 12 credit hours. Notify the Foundation immediately if you plan to drop below 12 credit hours.
Complete the Watson-Brown Foundation Scholarship Renewal Form at the end of the Spring semester. Mail, email or fax a transcript or a grade report to the Watson-Brown Foundation that includes both semester and cumulative GPAs. The deadline for the Fall grade report is January 1 while the Spring deadline is June 1. You may also attach your grade report to the online renewal form. Notify the Foundation office of a change of address and email address (email is our main form of communication).
Please notify the Foundation office if you transfer colleges or plan to study abroad. The Watson-Brown scholarship may help fund study abroad and/or other special educational programs (depending on your college’s policy). However, the scholarship amount will not increase for these purposes.