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 30 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 5,000 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 2022-23 school year process)

  • July 1 – Applications available at on the Scholarship page
  • August 17 (noon) – Deadline to submit applications (includes 2 letters of rec.)
  • September 8-9 – Finalists are notified; essays and interviews are scheduled
  • September 15 or 17  – Essays completed at the Community Foundation office
  • October 2 – Interviews completed at the Community Foundation office
  • December – 2023 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].

Lina Leatherman - 2022 Jefferson County Lilly Endowment Community Scholar

Lina Leatherman is the daughter of Gabriele Leatherman of Madison and Robert Leatherman of Seaside, Oregon. She attends Shawe Memorial High School, and is planning to attend DePauw University to pursue a degree in biology.

Lina is a three-sport varsity athlete and ranked #2 in her class, and serves as Student Council vice-president. She also participates in National Honor Society, Hispanic Cultural Society, Academic Bowl, and Model UN. 

Upon learning of the award Leatherman commented, “I am very grateful for receiving the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship because it provides me the opportunity to attend a great college where I can focus on my studies to become a physician assistant. I am thankful for everyone who has helped and supported me through my journey.”

Including Leatherman, six finalists were chosen. Those finalists (and their schools) were: Brooklyn Cornelius (Madison Consolidated), Elizabeth Gray (Southwestern), Hailey Jenkins (Madison Consolidated), Taylor Lynch (Madison Consolidated), and Nolan Tandy (Shawe Memorial). Cornelius, Gray, Jenkins, Lynch and Tandy will each receive a $1,000 Community Foundation Scholar Award for being named a finalist and to recognize their efforts and achievements.

Past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars

YearLilly Endowment Community Scholar
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

Apply Now

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Application is now CLOSED.

Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Application Due In: