Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. (ICI) administers the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program statewide. ICI is a nonprofit corporation that represents 29 regionally accredited degree granting, nonprofit, private colleges and universities in the state. The scholarships are the result of a statewide Lilly Endowment Inc. initiative to:

  1. help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 
  2. increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities;
  3. encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state. 

Nearly 5,150 full-tuition scholarships have been awarded, and over $424 million in scholarship tuition has been provided since the program’s inception in 1998.

The Community Foundation of Madison & Jefferson County is tasked to select one student from Jefferson County. Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. then awards the scholarship each year on behalf of the Lilly Endowment. 

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship provides a 4-year, full-tuition scholarship to one selected graduating senior in Jefferson County, Indiana. The scholarship must be used to pursue a baccalaureate degree at any accredited public or private Indiana college or university. Recipients are also granted a $900 yearly stipend for books and required equipment.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship is awarded based on a blind competitive process that is overseen by the Community Foundation of Madison & Jefferson County. 

To be eligible for the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship in Jefferson County, applicants MUST:

  • Reside in Jefferson County, Indiana
  • Attend an accredited high school located within Jefferson County, Indiana (accredited by the State Board of Education or a national or regional accreditation agency recognized by the State Board of Education)
  • Be in the top 10% of their graduating class (min. 3 per school)
  • Be graduating from an accredited Indiana high school by June 30 of their graduating year
  • Intend to pursue a full-time baccalaureate degree at an accredited Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university
  • Have two letters of recommendation – one from a teacher; one from a source outside of the applicant’s school system such as an employer, volunteer coordinator, church leader, 4-H leader, etc.

(This timeline is for the 2023-24 school year process)

  • Sat. July 1 – Applications available at on the Scholarship page
  • Wed. August 16 (noon) – Deadline to submit applications (includes 2 letters of rec.)
  • Fri. September 15 – Finalists are notified; essays and interviews are scheduled
  • Sat. September 23  – Essays completed at the Community Foundation office
  • Sun. October 1 – Interviews completed at the Community Foundation office
  • December – 2024 winner announced

All finalists must agree to appear at the Community Foundation office to complete a timed essay and for an interview with the selection committee. Dates and times are provided to finalists at the time of their notification of continuing in the process. 

These scores are highly encouraged. The committee often relies on these standardized scores to make decisions about academic credentials, so you could be at a disadvantage without them. You may also submit your PSAT score if you have not completed the preferred tests.

All successful applicants must adhere to the announced timeline. Late applicants, or those unable to participate in the essay or interview will not be considered for the award.

Contact Julie Wells at the Community Foundation – (812) 265-3327 or [email protected].

Brooke Hay - 2024 Jefferson County Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

Brooke Hay is the daughter of Michelle Patton of Madison and Eric Hay of Madison. She attends Madison Consolidated High School, and is planning to pursue a degree in Psychology. She is currently undecided on her institution of study.

Among her many accomplishments, Brooke is ranked in the top of her class. She is involved in the MCHS Bee Corps., the MCHS Theatre Arts Program through the Fine Arts Academy, is a member of the National Honor Society, attended Hoosier Girls’ State, and volunteers with River Valley Community Church. 

Upon learning of the award, Brooke commented, “I am beyond grateful and honored to be given this incredible opportunity! Thank you to the Community Foundation, Lilly Endowment, and to my amazing group of friends and family who have always been my biggest supporters.” 

Six Jefferson County students ranked in the top ten percent of their classes were selected as finalists for the 2024 scholarship. In addition to Hay, the remaining finalists were Nicholas Biallas (Madison Consolidated), Zachary Gish (Shawe Memorial), Jack Heckler (Madison Consolidated), Elijah Kummer (Christian Academy of Madison), and Jamison Lewis (Southwestern). These five finalists will each receive a $1,500 Community Foundation Scholar Award from the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County for their efforts and achievements.

Past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars

YearLilly Endowment Community Scholar
2024Brooke Hay
2023John Mitchell Adams
2022Lina Leatherman
2021Abigail Fulton
2020Luka Chabukashvili
2019Grace Brautigam
2018Benjamin Hardin
2017Catherine Fisher
2016Seth Brawner
2015Abigale Wynn
2014Katie Browning
2013Brittany Dicus
2012Erin Saige Sentell
2011Chelsea Stephan
2010Candi Cain & Maggie Thomas
2009 Hilary Deuser & Jordan Fry
2008Levi Hamner & Haley Owens
2007Brittany Drossert & Shawna Finney
2006Van Green & Kara Ricketts
2005Kevin Brittain & Jordan Wilkerson
2004Christopher Deaton, Brandon Kocher, & Ashly Trantham
2003Ashley Bruther, Brian Consley, & Tiffani Kring 
2002J. Chase Crafton, Angela Hamilton, & Brianna Howard 
2001Jaman Ferguson, Lance Gassert, & Brooke Johnson
2000Douglas Carpenter & Maureen Davis
1999Sarah Brandenburg & Laura Edwards
1998Gabriel Freeman

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Application OPENS July 1, 2023. Online applications were DUE Wednesday, August 16, 2023 at Noon. Applications are now closed.

Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Application Due In: