PEF Scholarships

Our 2019 Scholarship application will open sometime the week of January 21.

A finalized SAR (Student Aid Report) is required from all applicants. Students need to apply thru FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) NOW to ensure their SAR is returned by the time our application opens. Visit to complete the FAFSA application. It can take several weeks for the application to be processed and a SAR sent to the student.  Students should also be completing service hours and submitting them to their school in time for hours to be entered in the student records system BEFORE starting PEF’s scholarship application.  Information like service hours, GPA, test scores etc. are all pulled from the school district’s student records system at the time the student applies.  That information is used to screen against the criteria of each scholarship to determine what applicants will see to apply for.  It is therefore crucial the information in the system is up to date and correct.

You can click here to review last year’s list of awards and their criteria. Occasionally scholarships are started outside our online process and posted in the hard copy section below. Please continue to check this page for updates until application time. High School Guidance Counselors can assist you with PEF scholarships and additionally those not administered by the PEF.


Hard Copy Scholarship Applications

  • Hard Copy Scholarship Applications are used for awards outside the online process. Please see below for opportunities available at this time.

Ridge Career Center Application

  • Joanne Hudson Cook Scholarship is for a student who is a single parent and graduates from the Ridge Teen Parent program or Haines City High School and plans on attending Ridge Career Center. Download 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.