Archive for the ‘Atkinson Scholarship’ Category

Congratulations 2017 Atkinson Scholars!

Friday, April 28th, 2017

We were delighted to host our newest Atkinson recipients, their families and invited guests at our annual recognition breakfast on Friday, April 28, 2017.

The reception, held in our Community Meeting Room at the Grange Hall, recognized the following Lincoln-Sudbury Regional school seniors:

Joe Gilberto, Olivia Silva, Emma Silva, Mahek Ramani, Sammi Chen, Melody Phu, Neandre Fernandes, Rebecca Cohen, Jack Parker, Deven Pathak, Meredith Ackley, Brenna Sherrer, Megan Chunias and Stephen Kurtz.

These students were selected because they embody the qualities valued by former Sudbury residents Herbert and Esther Atkinson, who established the Foundation in 1952 and for whom the scholarship is named.   

“The Atkinson were a modest couple who believed in private giving for the public good,” said Executive Director Marilyn Martino. “Their generosity has helped more than 300 students attend college since the program began in 1996. We are delighted to welcome the latest group of bright, talented students into the Atkinson program and are pleased to entrust them with the Atkinsons’ legacy.” 

In recognizing the students, Sudbury Foundation Trustees Jill Stansky, Dian Quinn, Steve Richmond and Susan Iuliano noted their many contributions, both in and out of school, including a host of community service and leadership activities and initiatives. 

“It goes without saying that the 15 recipients are all diligent students who value education and the opportunities they’ve been afforded in Sudbury,” Stansky said. “But beyond that, they are caring citizens who are poised to make a difference in the world.”

Atkinson Scholarship recipients receive $5,000 in scholarship assistance and an opportunity to reapply for aid each year of their undergraduate academic career.

Posted on April 28, 2017

Comparing Financial Aid Offers

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Financial aid offers are not all alike. Here’s some good advice from a college senior and intern at the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office on how to read and compare aid packages before you decide which school to attend. 

It’s worth a look: 4 Steps to Understanding and Comparing Financial Aid.

Posted on 3/6/17

Off to College: A Momentous Change for Mom & Dad

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

beckhamBeverly Beckham’s wonderful 2006 Boston Globe essay on sending a child off to college remains true and heartfelt today. The Globe reprints it around this time every year. If you’re a parent who has just dropped your Freshman off at school, pull out your hankie. It’s worth reading: http://bit.ly/2bsy8St

Posted on August 23, 2016

Generosity, Atkinson-style

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Herb AtkinsonEsther AtkinsonWe enjoyed reading a recent thread on the “I Grew Up in Sudbury” Facebook page acknowledging the generosity of Herbert & Esther Atkinson who started the Sudbury Foundation in 1952. Those posting commented on how that generosity shaped the lives of many, particularly through the college loan and Atkinson Scholarship Program. 

While we at the Foundation think often of the Atkinsons as we consider each funding decision, it occurs to us that we should keep reminding our community of the character of the couple who made it all possible. With that in mind, we’re re-posting the Atkinson’s simple but inspiring “story” here. It was written by long-time Trustee John Taft in 2002 as part of his charming history of the Foundation entitled “The Sudbury Foundation: Gift of Herbert and Esther Atkinson.” 

Herbert J. Atkinson and Esther M. Peterson were born and raised in Washington state: he in 1894 in Seattle, she in 1887 in Spokane.  They both learned early on to take care of themselves: his parents (Fred Atkinson and Lottie Fleming) were divorced in his youth, her parents died before she reached her majority, and she lived with a family named Collins in Seattle while attending school.  Herb studied for a career in insurance and marketing at the University of Washington.  At that time he met petite Esther and they were married.  Esther was his partner in his early adventures and plans and remained his partner in all his activities through fifty years of a happily married life.

At an early age, Herb became interested in boats and automobiles, avocations that continued throughout his life.  He had a boat while at the University, and his knowledge and interest in cars included dismantling and rebuilding and tinkering with motors and other parts.

Early in their marriage, Herb and Esther moved to Denver, Colorado.  There was sailing and boating to be had on the lakes around Denver, and his collection of large cars at one time or another included Franklins, Pierce Arrows and Rolls Royces.  One of the latter he kept and eventually brought to Sudbury.

Herb developed an interest in the Sundstrand Adding Machine, became associated with this company, and was responsible for an improvement in this machine.  At about this time (the early twenties), business took Herb to Boston and he decided he liked the area, the people, and the boating opportunities.  At first the couple lived on the North Shore, but in 1928 they found and bought a 100-plus acre farm in Sudbury, the old Perry Homestead.  The house was a 19th century colonial with two separate buildings for keeping sheep, chickens and horses and other farm uses.  In the early 1920’s, this property had belonged to Babe Ruth and his wife, who added on the two large wings.

Around 1931, Herb was introduced to the concept of testing the soil to determine if the pH was within the proper range for crops to grow and whether there was adequate nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.  The chemical formulas for making the four test solutions had been developed by agronomists at the University of Massachusetts, which made it possible for individuals to prepare their own test kit at home.  Herb and Esther did just that, buying metal boxes, glass bottles, and chemicals, mixing the solutions and packaging them with instructions in their own kitchen.  He sold the first ones to greenhouse operators and farmers in the area.  Paul Rhodes of Sudbury, a horticulturist and landscape designer, assisted Herb in the early days.

Herb was always a student of marketing, and he worked tirelessly on the distribution end of their Sudbury Laboratory soil-test kit products.  The office was in the large east wing of their house, and Esther was the original office workforce.  Herb really made the soil-test kits go.  He remodeled the barn, moved his office and lab to this building and began to expand, later moving the manufacturing operation to the old chicken house.  Herb was a successful businessman.  Today we would call him an entrepreneur.

He frequently gave new promising products a try – unless they didn’t make money or until a big company decided to take over the niche.  The Sudbury Laboratory grew and prospered, adding Chaperone products for dog repellents, and Marine products for the growing recreational boating field.  Product distribution was expanded over essentially the whole United States and into Canada with Herb and Esther traveling extensively to visit customers.  After World War II, he expanded his sales abroad, first through the Sudbury Laboratory of India in Calcutta, and the Sudbury Laboratory of Europe and Africa, and then the Sudbury Laboratory International of Hamilton, Bermuda.

He and Esther were traveling literally around the world, and more than just once.  They took keen interest in the sights and the people of the countries they visited.

Herb and Esther had no children, but they had a genuine affection for the youth of Sudbury, especially those who were making the effort to complete their education but needed additional financial support.  As Harry Bayliss, their banker, put it: “Herb was a man who was always helping other people help themselves.  He took pride in the community he lived in.”  Herb and Esther had no close relatives and they were beginning to amass some wealth.  The stage was set for them in 1952 to found and fund The Sudbury Foundation.  They must have planned from that point on to will all their worldly wealth to the Foundation.

Herb died on October 4, 1966 at age 72. Esther died on September 4, 1973 in Sudbury at age 86. Herb and Esther are both buried in the Town cemetery in Sudbury by a simple but lovely native stone from the farm where they lived full lives together.

Note: Mr. Taft passed away in 2010. He is honored each year with a scholarship in his name through the Lincoln-Sudbury Scholarship Fund.

The Sudbury Historical Society also acknowledged the Atkinsons contributions in a recent newsletter article.

Posted on September 22, 2015.

The 2015 Atkinson Breakfast

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

ASP 2015 posterWe were delighted to host our newest Atkinson recipients, their families and invited guests at our annual recognition breakfast on Friday, May 1, 2015.

The reception, held in our Community Meeting Room at the Grange Hall, recognized the following students:

Willow Beccia, Matthew Bowler, Andrew Carlson, Haley Colpitts, Iyla Driggs, Carly Eiduson, Celia Feldberg, Rick Gangopadhyay, Vikram Gopal, Kevin Henderson, Scott Henderson, Sydney Miller, Nathan Pan-Doh, Eric Qin, Nicole Wilkinson, and Kimberly Yang.

Fifteen of the recipients will graduate from Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in June. Ms. Beccia will graduate from Hudson High School.

These students were selected because they embody the qualities valued by former Sudbury ASP 2015 tableresidents Herbert and Esther Atkinson, who established the Foundation in 1952 and for whom the scholarship is named.

“The Atkinson were a modest couple who believed in private giving for the public good,” said Executive Director Marilyn Martino. “Their generosity has helped more than 300 students attend college since the program began in 1996. We are delighted to welcome the latest group of bright, talented students into the Atkinson program and are pleased to entrust them with the Atkinsons’ legacy.”

In recognizingASP 2015 Jill Presenting the students, Sudbury Foundation Trustees Sharon Driscoll, Jill Stansky and Susan Iuliano, and staff member Tricia Brunner noted their many contributions, both in and out of school, including a host of community service and leadership activities and initiatives. “These are truly remarkable citizens and we have great expectations for what they will accomplish in the future,” Driscoll said.

Atkinson Scholarship recipients receive $5,000 in scholarship assistance and an opportunity to reapply for aid each year of their undergraduate academic career.

Posted on May 3, 2015

ATKINSON DEADLINE EXTENDED

Monday, January 5th, 2015

ASP App

DUE TO MONDAY’S STORM, THE ATKINSON SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3. APPLICATIONS MUST EITHER BE POSTMARKED FEBRUARY 3 OR BE HAND DELIVERED TO OUR OFFICE BY 5:00PM ON FEBRUARY 3.

IF YOU’RE HAVING TROUBLE GETTING ALL THE APPLICATION COMPONENTS TO US BY THE DEADLINE, PLEASE GIVE US A CALL AT 978.443.0849 or email us at contact@sudburyfoundation.org.

(Download here: ASP 2015 Application.)

Should you apply? Read on…

1.) How are Atkinson Scholarship recipients selected? We assess applications in three areas: 1.  Academics 2.  “Merit” which includes extracurricular activities, leadership, work experience, student essays (writing quality and content) and recommendations 3.  Financial Need For Academics, we look primarily at grade point average. Course difficulty, test scores and teacher recommendations are also considered. Recipients generally have a GPA of at least 3.0: most are higher. Academics is weighted slightly higher than the other two categories. For Merit, we review two essays submitted by the applicant, two appraisals and a list or resume of extracurricular activities. This subjective piece of the application is reviewed and rated by a committee comprised of Foundation board members and staff.  Ratings are then averaged into a single score. For Financial Need, we calculate Expected Family Contribution (EFC) using a formula developed by the IRS. Foundation staff set an EFC “ceiling” each year after receiving applications and comparing the applicant pool. In 1996, the first year of the program, our EFC threshold was $15K. In the last few years, the ceiling has fluctuated around $50-60K. Students with EFCs above the ceiling are taken out of consideration. (See more under #5. Will I meet the Financial Eligibility requirements?) We then interview the top candidates and select 15 recipients.

2.) Who is the ideal Atkinson Scholar? There’s no single “ideal.” The Atkinson Scholarship is truly a “combination” award which is why you’ll see an eclectic group of teens among our 15 recipients: Students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, students with tremendous financial need and top-tier students with lesser need are all excellent candidates. We also look for that ubiquitous quality that we call “promise.” Some of our most satisfying awards have gone to students who might have started high school slowly but orchestrated a turnaround, particularly in academics or leadership. We’re talking about young people, after all. Many don’t come into their own until their late teens (or later). What all Atkinson Scholars have in common is a clear focus on education and a desire to contribute to the world in a positive way. While students generally need to score high in all three categories to be invited for an interview, outstanding scores in two categories can sometimes earn an applicant an interview spot. Each year at the Foundation we pause and revisit the question: Are we selecting an appropriate mix of recipients who represent the values of the Foundation and the community we live in?

3.) Is my application information confidential? Yes, Foundation staff are the only ones who see detailed financial information. Materials are later shredded.

4.) Why doesn’t the Sudbury Foundation offer “Merit Only” scholarships? The Foundation is governed by IRS regulations that stipulate that financial need be a component of the scholarship review and decision process. We’re sympathetic to the families who have lived modestly and saved for college. They can’t afford skyrocketing colleges costs but aren’t eligible for financial aid based on current formulas. Their hard-working students deserve some recognition and assistance. We’ve adjusted our process, mainly by raising the EFC ceiling, so that most years a few students from what we consider “moderate” income families are accepted into our program.

5.) Will I meet the Financial Eligibility requirements? Families often ask whether they’ll meet our financial need requirements. We’d like to be able to say a quick “yes” or “no” but, unfortunately, it’s not that simple. We use the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation (Institutional Methodology) to assess need. The EFC formula combines a variety of relevant factors (such as adjusted gross income, assets, family size, etc.) into a single number which we use to compare family circumstances. Does that number represent what a family can realistically afford to pay for college in any given year? No. But it does tell us that the family with an EFC of $20K probably has greater need than the one with an EFC of $30K. A reasonable predictor of our EFC calculation is available on the FinAid.org website. It may be worth the time it takes to complete. To estimate your EFC go to: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.phtml and complete the form. Be sure to indicate:

  • Show: Detailed Output
  • Methodology: Institutional
  • Use Tables for Award Year: Whatever the most recent year available (right now it’s 2008-09)

Input your financial information based on your most recent 1040 form(s) for parents and student. There’s no need to answer the questions about “Scholarships and Other Resources” or complete the section on “Estimated School Costs.” Click: Calculate Scroll down to: Total Estimated Family Contribution: $xx,xxx  (This is your EFC.)

6.) Some Atkinson recipients I know do not appear to have financial need. As with anything, appearances can be deceiving. Just because a family lives in a large house in town or drives a nice car doesn’t necessarily mean they are financially secure. Our assessment is based on the financial data we receive. We confirm its accuracy by requiring submission of both 1040 and W-2 forms. We review the data carefully and if there is any uncertainty we request additional information. No system is perfect but we continually review our process to insure it’s as thorough and fair as possible, given the many factors involved.

7.) Is the Atkinson Scholarship related to the L-S Scholarship Fund Dollars for Scholars (LSSF)? No. Both offer wonderful scholarship opportunities for local high school seniors but are completely separate, with different application guidelines, processes and time frames.

The Sudbury Foundation, a private charitable foundation based in Sudbury, runs the Atkinson Scholarship Program, providing 15 outstanding, local high school seniors with $5,000 in financial assistance and the opportunity to reapply for aid during their undergraduate career for a total of $20,000 in assistance. Eligible candidates include L-S students, Sudbury residents attending other high schools or the dependents of Town of Sudbury or LSRHS full-time employees. Award decisions are made by the Sudbury Foundation Board of Trustees.

The L-S Scholarship Fund (LSSF) is a nonprofit organization which offers LSRHS students a variety of scholarship possibilities. More than 87 awards were made in 2014.

Atkinson Scholarship decisions are usually announced before LSSF decisions. Students who receive an Atkinson Scholarship are eligible for a few selected LSSF awards, which are posted on the LSSF website.

We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions.

Updated January 31, 2015

Tenney Earns Fulbright

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Tenney

Quite proud of Atkinson Scholarship recipient and recent Wheaton College graduate Savannah Tenney who recently received the prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship!

She will use the award to travel to the Taiwanese archipelago of Kinmen, located just off the coast of mainland China, for an 11-month teaching post starting in August.

While at Wheaton, Tenney double majored in anthropology and English and spent time in Scotland and Tanzania. For this next adventure, she wanted to experience Asia.

“I have never really studied Asia in school, and I felt I had a whole lot to learn from traveling somewhere completely different,” she said. “I chose Taiwan specifically because they have a fascinating and complicated cultural and historical identity. I also felt that their relationship to the English language as one of three main languages would make for an interesting teaching experience.”

Tenney, who’s Atkinson Scholarship application essay focused on her work with the nonprofit Facing Cancer Together, a Newton-based cancer support center, has sustained the Atkinson spirit of giving back to the community. She has continued her involvement with FCT and based her senior thesis on the “illness narratives” of women with ovarian cancer she met while volunteering.

After completing her year in Taiwan, Tenney envisions participating in Teach for America or Americorps and studying applied anthropology or public health in graduate school.

About the Fulbright, she told us: “I do not believe I would have received this incredible opportunity without attending Wheaton and without the generosity of the Sudbury Foundation which allowed me to attend Wheaton.”

We wish her all the best!

Posted June 17, 2014

Where You Go to College

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

It’s college season and the acceptances and rejections are in (including our own Atkinson Scholarship program decisions). We all get so caught up in it, it’s easy to lose perspective.

Aja Frost, a freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, wrote a great post for The Prospect, a college admissions and high school/college lifestyles website, directed to high school seniors about the 5 things that are more important than where you go to college.

Yes, she notes, “college is a REALLY. BIG. DEAL. But guess what? There are way, way, way bigger things in life than college, and sometimes it takes a little reflection to realize it.”

Here’s our abbreviated version of her wise thoughts:

1. Your Kindness

Personality is so much more telling about how well you’ll do in life.

 2. Your Work Ethic

There isn’t a single college in the world that will keep you at your job if you don’t perform. Once you’re employed, it all comes down to how you do once you’re there

3. Your Family

They’re the one constant in your life. You can go to them for support, wisdom (sometimes…) and, obviously, love.

4. Your Reactions to Setbacks

If you can keep going even when the universe throws a big pile of yuck at you and then says, “What now, chump?”, then you get all the awards.

5. Your Ability to Create Opportunities

One of the reasons society emphasizes where you go so much is because everyone assumes that going to a prestigious college gives you prestigious connections, prestigious opportunities and a prestigious resume. That’s not an unfair assumption; however, another equally, if not more successful way of getting those things is to be a baller and generate ’em yourself.

Posted on April 15, 2014

Scholarship FAQs

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

FAQ

1.) How are Atkinson Scholarship recipients selected?

We assess applications in three areas:

1.  Academics
2.  “Merit” which includes extracurricular activities, leadership, work experience, student essays (writing quality and content) and recommendations
3.  Financial Need

For Academics, we look primarily at grade point average. Course difficulty, test scores and teacher recommendations are also considered. Recipients generally have a GPA of at least 3.0: most are higher. Academics is weighted slightly higher than the other two categories.

For Merit, we review two essays submitted by the applicant, two appraisals and a list or resume of extracurricular activities. This subjective piece of the application is reviewed and rated by a committee comprised of Foundation board members and staff.  Ratings are then averaged into a single score.

For Financial Need, we calculate Expected Family Contribution (EFC) using a formula developed by the IRS. Foundation staff set an EFC “ceiling” each year after receiving applications and comparing the applicant pool. In 1996, the first year of the program, our EFC threshold was $15K. In the last few years, the ceiling has fluctuated around $50-60K. Students with EFCs above the ceiling are taken out of consideration. (See more under #5. Will I meet the Financial Eligibility requirements?)

We then interview the top candidates and select 15 recipients.

2.) Who is the ideal Atkinson Scholar?

There’s no single “ideal.” The Atkinson Scholarship is truly a “combination” award which is why you’ll see an eclectic group of teens among our 15 recipients: Students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, students with tremendous financial need and top-tier students with lesser need are all excellent candidates.

We also look for that ubiquitous quality that we call “promise.” Some of our most satisfying awards have gone to students who might have started high school slowly but orchestrated a turnaround, particularly in academics or leadership. We’re talking about young people, after all. Many don’t come into their own until their late teens (or later).

What all Atkinson Scholars have in common is a clear focus on education and a desire to contribute to the world in a positive way.

While students generally need to score high in all three categories to be invited for an interview, outstanding scores in two categories can sometimes earn an applicant an interview spot.

Each year at the Foundation we pause and revisit the question: Are we selecting an appropriate mix of recipients who represent the values of the Foundation and the community we live in?

3.) Is my application information confidential?

Yes, Foundation staff are the only ones who see detailed financial information. Materials are later shredded.

4.) Why doesn’t the Sudbury Foundation offer “Merit Only” scholarships?

The Foundation is governed by IRS regulations that stipulate that financial need be a component of the scholarship review and decision process.

We’re sympathetic to the families who have lived modestly and saved for college. They can’t afford skyrocketing colleges costs but aren’t eligible for financial aid based on current formulas. Their hard-working students deserve some recognition and assistance. We’ve adjusted our process, mainly by raising the EFC ceiling, so that most years a few students from what we consider “moderate” income families are accepted into our program.

5.) Will I meet the Financial Eligibility requirements?

Families often ask whether they’ll meet our financial need requirements. We’d like to be able to say a quick “yes” or “no” but, unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

We use the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation (Institutional Methodology) to assess need. The EFC formula combines a variety of relevant factors (such as adjusted gross income, assets, family size, etc.) into a single number which we use to compare family circumstances.

Does that number represent what a family can realistically afford to pay for college in any given year? No. But it does tell us that the family with an EFC of $20K probably has greater need than the one with an EFC of $30K.

A reasonable predictor of our EFC calculation is available on the FinAid.org website. It may be worth the time it takes to complete.

To estimate your EFC go to: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.phtml and complete the form.

Be sure to indicate:

  • Show: Detailed Output
  • Methodology: Institutional
  • Use Tables for Award Year: Whatever the most recent year available (right now it’s 2008-09)

Input your financial information based on your most recent 1040 form(s) for parents and student.

There’s no need to answer the questions about “Scholarships and Other Resources” or complete the section on “Estimated School Costs.”

Click: Calculate

Scroll down to: Total Estimated Family Contribution: $xx,xxx  (This is your EFC.)

6.) Some Atkinson recipients I know do not appear to have financial need.

As with anything, appearances can be deceiving. Just because a family lives in a large house in town or drives a nice car doesn’t necessarily mean they are financially secure. Our assessment is based on the financial data we receive. We confirm its accuracy by requiring submission of both 1040 and W-2 forms. We review the data carefully and if there is any uncertainty we request additional information.

No system is perfect but we continually review our process to insure it’s as thorough and fair as possible, given the many factors involved.

7.) Is the Atkinson Scholarship related to the L-S Scholarship Fund?

No. Both offer wonderful scholarship opportunities for local high school seniors but are completely separate, with different application guidelines, processes and time frames.

The Sudbury Foundation, a private charitable foundation based in Sudbury, runs the Atkinson Scholarship Program, providing 15 outstanding, local high school seniors with $5,000 in financial assistance and the opportunity to reapply for aid during their undergraduate career for a total of $20,000 in assistance.

Eligible candidates include L-S students, Sudbury residents attending other high schools or the dependents of Town of Sudbury or LSRHS full-time employees. Award decisions are made by the Sudbury Foundation Board of Trustees.

The L-S Scholarship Fund (LSSF) is a nonprofit organization based at L-S which offers L-S students a variety of scholarship possibilities. More than 70 awards were made in 2013. Scholarships are funded either by the LSSF endowment or by families and outside organizations who have LSSF administer them. Award amounts generally range from $500-$10,000: More than half the scholarships are funded over four years.

Atkinson Scholarship decisions are usually announced before LSSF decisions. Students who receive an Atkinson Scholarship are not eligible for some LSSF awards.

We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions.

Posted October 10, 2013

Financial Aid Catch 22

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Private scholarship providers (like the Sudbury Foundation) are often frustrated by the practice of  “displacement” or “substitution” by college financial aid offices who withdraw their need-based aid when students receive outside scholarships, like the Atkinson Scholarship. The truth is federal and state rules require colleges to do this.

Financial aid expert Mark Kantowitz explains it well and presents some worthwhile approaches to getting the most from an outside scholarship in this New York Times Q&A. His advice: Ask the university to increase the cost of attendance which in turn increases the calculated financial need which may enable the student to keep more aid.

Posted April 12, 2013