PEF Scholarships

Our 2020 online scholarship application will open mid-January of 2020.  Seniors at Polk County public and charter high schools should check with their school counselors for PEF scholarship information.  A completed SAR (Student Aide Report) is required as part of the PEF’s application.  The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) opened in October and once completed and approved, that provides students with a SAR.  The FAFSA is done online and can take several weeks to be processed, so we encourage all students to have that done before Christmas break to ensure they will have their SAR back in time to use as part of their PEF application.

Service hours are also a requirement of many of the scholarships we administer.  If hours are being worked on now, they should be submitted to the applicant’s high school and the school contact then should have the service hours entered into the district’s student record system in time for the PEF application to open.  Students should not start a PEF application until their service hour records have been updated by their school, so it is imperative students do not wait until the last minute to submit them. 

You can click here to see the scholarships offered in 2019.  Many will stay the same in 2020 but please note each scholarship has its own criteria.

Hard Copy Scholarship Applications

Hard Copy Scholarship Applications are used for awards being made outside of our online application process, such as for Polk County private school students and out of county / state qualifying applicants, etc.  They may be for a specific school or demographic only, so please read the list carefully.

There may also be scholarships noted at the very bottom that was started after the online application opened, please continue to check that section periodically for updates. HIT “VIEW” and “REFRESH” each time you visit this page to make sure you can see all the updates.

Please read through the criteria for each scholarship and if eligible, download and complete the application and return it to the Polk Education Foundation by the deadline noted on the application.

Take Stock in Children Scholarships

click here for that program page with scholarship information 


Previous Recipients of PEF Scholarships

For previous scholarship recipients who need to request funds, please complete the form below and return it to the Polk Education Foundation using the address provided on the form. A copy of the thank you note written to your donor must also be on file with this form to have funds disbursed.

Scholarship College Information Sheet

Recipients receive a copy of the Scholarship Policy with their award letter. A policy copy is also sent to each college or university with scholarship checks.

Click here to view the most recent PEF Scholarship Policy

Fund a Scholarship

You can sponsor a scholarship for Polk County High School graduating seniors in your club or business name, or, in memory of a loved one. After the application period ends, all scholarship applications are collected, screened and recipients selected through a competitive application process using the criteria each donor has set. We strive to make sure each application is given focus and attention to allow for the best candidates to be awarded scholarships. Donors can choose to participate in the selection process or allow a PEF committee to make those selections. Donors determine the criteria and the amount for the award. Scholarships can be designated for certain schools or groups of recipients. PEF staff would be happy to speak to you about the process, call 863-534-0434 to discuss.

Scholarships are promoted online every January through the Polk County School District and Polk Education Foundation. The last list of scholarships offered can be found at a link at the top of this page. Scholarship funds are awarded in the spring of each year; funds are not distributed directly to the student. A check is mailed payable to the college of the student’s choice during the first part of July. Thank you notes are required to be sent to each donor of a scholarship by its recipient prior to funds being disbursed.

By creating an endowed scholarship, you will have a perpetual scholarship awarded each year with no other investment needed. Endowed funds must however be invested for one year before they pay for an award. PEF’s endowment funds are professionally managed by at least 2 management firms per PEF policy. Currently a $10,000.00 donation equals a perpetual $500 scholarship. Endowed amounts and corresponding awards increase incrementally by each $10,000 donated. For more information, please contact Susan Copeland phone: (863) 534-0434.

Florida Prepaid’s Open Enrollment!

Education is the greatest gift anyone can receive and Florida Prepaid College Plans allow you to give that gift! Because of this, from now through the end of open enrollment on April 30th, we are encouraging families to enroll in a college savings plan using promo code POLK1819 to save $30 on the application fee.

Click here for information and FAQ’s or visit

Florida Prepaid Open Enrollment banner

Thank you GiveWell Community Foundation!


This logo was made possible by a capacity building grant sponsored by the GiveWell Community Foundation.