BACF Scholarship Program

Bay Area Community Foundation Scholarship Program

Education is a priority for a prospering community. Thanks to our generous donors, Bay Area Community Foundation awards hundreds of scholarships each year to college-bound students and individuals pursuing skilled trades or other certificates.

The Foundation’s first endowed scholarship fund started in 1984 and was awarded for the first time in 1985 — $300 to a Pinconning High School senior. Since then, BACF has awarded over $3 million to more than 4,000 students throughout Bay and Arenac counties.

Who is Eligible?

Students who are eligible live in Bay or Arenac County and fall into one of the categories below:

  • High school graduates
  • Adult or returning students
  • Current college students
  • Students pursuing skilled trades or certificates
  • First-generation college students

When Can You Apply?

Applications for our BACF scholarships are available each year on November 1, 2023, and are due on February 12, 2024.

What You Need to Apply

By filling out one online application, you can apply for numerous scholarships at one time. To help prepare for the scholarship application, you can begin to gather the following items:

  • A copy of your transcript
  • Completed FAFSA and Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number: In order to be considered for financial need scholarships, we will need a form of confirmation of completion. Please ensure your name is on it. 
  • An essay between 2,500-3,000 characters (spaces count): What is your most meaningful achievement? How does it relate to your future goals? Why are you deserving of a scholarship?
  • A “portrait” photo: This will be used for a scholarship booklet and presentation announcing the awards. It will not be used in the process to determine awards. If you do not supply a quality photo, you may not appear in the booklet. Photos must show your face clearly. Many students use their senior photos. However, please note that we cannot legally print any photos that still contain a watermark or logo of the photographer. If your senior photos are not ready at the time of application, please attach another acceptable photo and send in the new photo when it is ready.

Click the Scholarship Portal Login to apply. Create an account and the system will direct you through the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on question to see the answer

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year. Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.

BACF has one common application for scholarships that will automatically match you to opportunities you are eligible for. Once you submit an application through our Scholarship Portal, opportunities you are eligible for will appear on your student dashboard. You are welcome to view all of our available scholarship opportunities and their criteria by clicking here.

We have scholarships that are available for high school seniors, current college students, and adults who are attending college later in life that reside in Bay and Arenac counties.

The Bay Area Community Foundation defines financial need as someone who has an EFC greater than 5,000 (not eligible for Pell Grant Funds) but lower than 25,000.

You should call the BACF offices to inquire as to why that particular scholarship is not showing up for you. DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR SCHOLARSHIP. You are only able to submit your application one time. If you submit before selected all possible scholarship you will not be able to add any additional scholarships.

Call the Bay Area Community Foundation at 989-893-4438.

Need assistance? We’re here to answer your scholarship and application questions.

Aaron Faist - Program Officer

I am the program officer that oversees the Youth Advisory Committee, Men’s Philanthropy Group, and our scholarship program.