The Greater Worcester Community Foundation makes higher education possible for many students in our region. The Foundation manages one of the largest community-based scholarship programs in our area. With over 140 scholarships, providing awards to over 400 students each year. Scholarships may be names to honor or memorialize a loved one or colleague.

To learn more about what a scholarship fund is, read this flyer [PDF].

The Foundation's Donor Services team works with donors and/or their financial advisors to establish the fund. Once the details have been discussed, a fund agreement letter is drafted and signed, and then assets may be transferred to establish the fund.

Separately named scholarship funds can be established with gifts of $30,000 or more, allowing a minimum annual scholarship award of $1,000 or more. That balance may be reached over several years with a fundraising/donation plan approved by the Foundation. Endowed scholarships will be awarded in the first available scholarship cycle that occurs after a period of twelve months from the date the fund minimum is reached, unless otherwise approved.

Donations of any size are welcome to the Foundation's General Scholarship Fund, an endowed fund.

Greater Worcester Community Foundation offers several types of philanthropic funds to help donors achieve a wide range of charitable goals. Administrative fees are charged by the Foundation to help cover the cost of operations. Fees for a scholarship fund is set at 1.95%, and amounts above $5,000,000 are assessed at 1.00% annually. Administrative fees are charged monthly and withdrawn from the fund’s assets.

A single application enables students to access the more than 140 scholarship funds managed by the Foundation. Scholarships are primarily awarded to residents of Worcester County for full-time and part-time undergraduate study at accredited institutions of higher education who fulfill all application requirements. Scholarship awards are paid to the college or university after enrollment has been verified.

All scholarship funds must adhere to these criteria:

  • Eligible Students: Graduating high school seniors attending college in the upcoming fall. Residence Home address within Worcester County.

Donor's Choice Criteria may include:

  • College Major: Intended Field of Study
  • High School: Specific high school attended
  • City or Town: Specific place of residence within Worcester County
  • Academic Achievement: ranking, standardized test scores, etc.
  • Involvement: Sports, employment, school activities, community service, etc.
  • Affiliation: Connection to a specific club or organization, church, etc.
  • Personal Background: May include national heritage, ethnicity, survivor of illness, etc.
  • Financial Need: Family's ability to pay for college
  • College Limitation: College choice cannot be a selection criterion. When students apply in March, most do not yet know where they will enroll. We confirm each student's final college choice before we mail scholarship checks in July.

Harold R. Jensen Memorial Scholarship Fund

Born and raised in Worcester, Harold R. Jensen (1896 – 1980), retired from his accounting career in 1962 and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. Harold’s foresight and financial acumen, and his desire to help children in the city that had been his home, led him to craft a trust that would provide scholarships to Worcester students once his named heirs passed away.

After Harold’s beneficiaries and their heirs died, to fulfill his stated wishes, the bank holding his trust successfully petitioned the court to allow transfer of its balance to the Foundation, which runs the largest scholarship program in Worcester County.

Jensen Awardee
Jusef Spahiu - 2022 Harold R. Jensen Memorial Scholarship Awardee

With Harold’s gift of $1.95 million, the Foundation established the Harold R. Jensen Memorial Scholarship Fund. Each year, Harold’s fund will provide more than $75,000 for renewable and nonrenewable awards to college-bound graduates of Worcester public and parochial schools.

Through his fund, Harold will help Worcester students for generations to come.