VF Alumni Association Freedom and Liberty Scholarships

Annually, the VF Alumni Association awards a $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior. The amount varies each year depending on fundraising efforts and donations received. The winner is chosen through the Parma Council of PTAs Scholarship Program and Selection Process.

Parma Council of PTAs Scholarship Program and Selection Process
The Parma Council of PTAs scholarship program is the largest in the state of Ohio. Scholarships are awarded by the Ohio PTA, the Parma Council itself, the Parma City School District, the Parma Education Association, and the PTAs and school-affiliated organizations of each senior high school, middle school, and elementary school in the district. There are also many scholarships and grants awarded by numerous community organizations.

Accordingly, the scholarship selection process is quite complex. Every applicant for each organization's scholarship(s) must be evaluated objectively by each organization according to several merits using a rating system established by the Council, including class rank and GPA, employment history, in-school and out-of-school activities, school service, non-school service, awards. Each applicant is also evaluated more subjectively on the basis of a writing sample. Each organization may also have additional requirements that must be met and which are explained as a part of the application process.

When all applicants have been evaluated for all scholarships which an organization may offer, the rankings are provided to the Council selection process. The Council’s process evaluates all the many candidates for all the various scholarships according to an overall rating and selection system, and works to ensure an appropriate distribution of scholarships.

When that process is complete, each organization is informed of who the recipients are for each of their scholarships. Recipients are then notified during Winner’s Circle, an annual event held at each high school on a single day in late April. The scholarships are then presented to the recipients at the annual scholarship dinner in mid-May.

VF Alumni Association Freedom Scholarship
In the case of the Valley Forge Alumni Association Freedom scholarship, we also require each applicant to submit an essay describing why they are proud to be a Valley Forge graduate. That component must be submitted to qualify, and receives a heavy weighting score as part of the overall evaluation process.

The objective score for each qualifying applicant is tabulated by the chair of the scholarship program. The writing sample is also scored using a simple three-point system according to whether the sample is complete and included (one point), well-written (additional point), and whether it answers the assigned objective (third point).

The rating of the essays is an open evaluation process in which all alumni may participate. Essays are posted electronically via the association website and a simple rank-voting process is used to allow all members a chance to assign prioritized votes to the essays they rate most highly. This process allows members to assign a votes to multiple essays, rather than having to choose a single “best” essay. All submitted votes are tabulated by the chair and added to the overall evaluation of each applicant.

The Parma Council of PTAs Annual Scholarship Dinner
The annual dinner is held each year on the third Wednesday of May.

Alan Rudolph