COLUMBIA — As students return to school this fall, $558,445.50 has been awarded to 214 outstanding students by Central Carolina Community Foundation and signifies the largest award amount for scholarships in the organization’s history. The recipients spread from South Carolina to the rest of the country.

Since 1998, the foundation has awarded more than $5.13 million in scholarships to help deserving students obtain a higher education. The foundation manages 46 scholarship funds with awards ranging from $500 to the full cost of tuition, room and board and fees.

Seventy-one percent of students who received scholarships are attending schools within the state. The median of scholarships awarded this year was $2,000 and more than 50% of the recipients were minority students.

“We congratulate each of our scholarship recipients and wish them well as they begin or return to college this fall,” said Erin Johnson, vice president, community investment of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “These scholarships are made possible by our generous fundholders, allowing students to pursue their educational dreams without added financial burden.”

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Each scholarship fund has its own specific purpose and eligibility criteria based on the donor’s recommendations. Many of the funds have been established to honor the legacy of a loved one or as testaments to the donor’s passion for education.

For example, the Sonoco scholarship is designed to specifically aid dependents of Sonoco employees. The Sonoco scholarship has awarded more than $514,000 through 265 scholarships since 2016.

“As a first-generation college student looking to pursue my dream of being a teacher and helping others, this scholarship is incredibly beneficial to me and my family,” said Katherine McDonald, Sonoco Scholarship recipient.

Central Carolina Community Foundation will begin accepting online applications for the 2023-2024 school year in January 2023. For more information about applying for scholarships or establishing a scholarship fund at the foundation, visit or call 803.254.5601.

Central Carolina Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization serving 11 counties in the Midlands of SC by distributing grants and scholarships and linking the resources of donors, nonprofits and area leaders to communities in need. Major initiatives include the online giving challenge Midlands Gives, Connected Communities grants, the One SC Fund and annual scholarships. For more information about the foundation, visit or call 803.254.5601.

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