The Foundation Mrs. Newcombe created continues and extends her interest in scholarships but does not make grants directly to individual students. Colleges and universities receive grants from the Foundation for scholarship aid to women over the age of twenty-five who have earned at least sixty credits towards a bachelor's degree. (The Foundation now permits but does not require recipient institutions to extend Newcombe Scholarships to mature men students who meet the eligibility standards outlined in the Foundationís policy guiding selection of Newcombe Scholars.)
Each funded institution is responsible for selection of recipients and scholarship administration according to the Foundation's guidelines. Campus committees of counselors, faculty members and financial aid officers review applications, award scholarships and report to the Foundation.
Today, adult students comprise a large portion of the enrollment at most colleges and universities, with a majority of these non-traditional students being mature women. In 1981, the Newcombe Foundation created scholarship programs for returning or second-career women who were seldom able to qualify for financial aid. While aid formulas have changed so that independent and part-time students have increased access to federal, state and institutional aid, available funds have not kept pace with educational costs. The major portion of financial aid now comes in the form of student loans, an especially discouraging factor to mature women students, whose lives are often complicated by family and work responsibilities. Newcombe Scholarships enable recipients to avoid excessive reliance on loans as they manage the costs of tuition, housing, and caring for family members.
The Foundation values the partnerships established with Newcombe-funded institutions and encourages programs and initiatives that effectively serve mature women students through regular conferences with program coordinators, campus visits, and the CWNF website.
During 2015-16, 665 students received Newcombe Scholarships averaging $2,858. Through the Foundationís partnership with funded institutions, student scholarship money comes from current year grants from the Foundation, matching funds provided by institutions, and income from Newcombe-endowed funds.
The Foundation's latest grants in support of this program total $658,000 for scholarships to be awarded in the 2016-17 academic year at twenty-nine institutions, with an additional $366,334 offered as matching challenges to build Newcombe-endowed scholarship funds at twenty-five institutions.
Grants for 2016-17:
From its inception, the Foundation has provided a total of $22.5 million in grants for Newcombe Scholarships for Mature Women Students at sixty-one colleges and universities. This is the largest of the Newcombe Scholarship programs in terms of money, lives affected and number of funded institutions.
The Newcombe-endowed scholarship funds that benefit mature women (and men) students at thirty-seven institutions reported a combined market value of $9.7 million as of May 2016. Cumulatively, these funds have produced over $2.6 million in income for Newcombe Scholarships.