The Public Education Foundation is launching the 24th year of its scholarship program and is urging high school seniors to start the application process now. Last year the Foundation awarded $1.3 million in scholarships to students pursuing a post-secondary education.

The scholarship application deadline is January 31, 2018. Students can visit The Public Education Foundation’s website – thepef.org – for more information about how to apply and which scholarships are available. Over the next few months, as more scholarships are added, students should check the Foundation’s website periodically for new offerings.

The scholarships can make college accessible for students who might not otherwise dream of a college education. “We are thankful for the continuing generosity of our donors who are instrumental in helping students further their education,” said Judi Steele, President & CEO of The Public Education Foundation.

The scholarships are funded by community leaders, businesses, organizations, individuals and families. Most of the awards range from $500 to $5,000 annually and some are renewable. The scholarships are based on a variety of criteria such as academic achievement, motivation, planned area of study and/or financial need.

Last year, The Public Education Foundation awarded college scholarships to 450 students. Altogether, 660 scholarships were awarded, as some students received multiple scholarships.

In just over two decades, the Foundation has awarded more than 6,100 scholarships totaling more than $11.8 million. The Foundation’s scholarship program has witnessed remarkable growth since its first year, when 19 students received scholarships totaling $16,000.