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Through the Community Foundation of Gaston County several scholarships are made possible to graduating high school students who wish to pursue a higher education. The Community Foundation, a non-profit organization, is able to give aid to the residents of Gaston County as a result of generous gifts from many donors. To compete for these awards, students must fulfill specific criteria as determined by those who created each scholarship program.

David Belk Cannon Family Scholarship


This prestigious scholarship program is a major component of Gaston College’s financial support to deserving students and is funded by an endowment memorial to the young children of David Belk Cannon who died in a tragic fire in 1965. Each year, at least one applicant is awarded a full scholarship to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies at the estimated total of $1,350. Several other applicants are awarded $750 scholarships to cover tuition and fees. Recipients must participate in a weekly mentoring program. These scholars will have the opportunity to take part in monthly group meetings, workshops and special events. Cannon scholars who graduate from Gaston College are eligible to compete for a one-time $2000 scholarship for further study. Please contact Gaston College for an application or visit their website . Deadline for application is March


George and Patricia Barnard Scholarship

Dr. and Mrs. George Barnard and family have established a renewable “We Believe in You!” scholarship for four years in the amount of $4,000 per year to be awarded to a Gaston County high school senior.  The Barnard family seeks to assist one graduate in the pursuit of her or his dreams of a college education. Contact your high school guidance counselor for more information on this scholarship. The criteria for this award are as follows:

  • GPA of 3.0 or better
  • College Preparatory Course of Study
  • Evidence of participation in extracurricular activities
  • Evidence of leadership, motivation, and initiative
  • Evidence of financial need

The Sylvia L. Holmes Scholarship - Download Application
This program is designed to help young women achieve higher education at an accredited college or university. It was established to honor Sylvia L. Holmes and her many contributions and distinguished tenure as Executive Director of the Pioneer Council, Girl Scouts of the USA. Scholarship Criteria is based on the character, academic achievement and need of a female high school senior and resident of the Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Polk and Rutherford Counties of NC. The young woman does not have to be a Girl Scout, but scouting participation will be looked upon with favor as will attendance at a NC college or university. Deadline for application is February 1st.

Tom Browne Scholarship - Download Application
These scholarships are funded by gifts from Beam Construction Company of Cherryville to honor the late Mr. Browne. This program helps young people receive a college education and/or advanced vocational training for careers in the construction industry. Qualifications include character, academic achievement and need. The applicant must be a graduate of a Gaston County High School (or a Gaston County resident for at least two years with GED certification) who demonstrates a strong interest in the field of construction or related professions. Planned course of study may include either a four-year school in architecture and engineering or a community college, technical school in such areas as civil technology, HVAC and welding. Deadline for application is March 29th.

Clyde & Dezaree Brackett Family Scholarship - Download Application
This program is just one component of a significant bequest from Mr. Brackett designated to help deserving youth. These awards provide college, university or professional school scholarships for selected high school graduates. Awards are based on academics, character and financial need. Deadline for application is February 28th.

Jarman Family Scholarship - Download Application

This scholarship was established to help children of full-time religious ministers who are residents of North or South Carolina to achieve an undergraduate or graduate degree. One recipient is chosen per year based on character, academic achievement and need. The deadline for application is March 1st.


Mildred J. Sadler Scholarship - Download Application

Established with the Community Foundation to honor Mrs. Mildred Sadler.  This scholarship is designed to help African American Gaston County Students pursuing a college or trade degree.  Awards are based on academics, character and financial need.  Application deadline is March 29th. 

William P. and Odessa Swann Phillips Scholarship - Download Application

This program is designed to help a deserving African American Gaston County high school graduate obtain a college or advanced technical education.  Application deadline is March 29th.


Theodore Drury Stowe Science and Technology Scholarship Program

Applicant must be a student of South Point High School. Please contact the South Point High School guidance counselor for more information and this application.


The David Gaines Memorial Scholarship

Scholarship offered through the Gaston County Jaycees.

In order to be eligible for the David Gaines Memorial Scholarship, an applicant must:

1.     Be a high school senior.

2.     Live in Gaston County.

3.     Provide proof of need for financial assistance.

4.     Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher.

5.     Plan to attend any North Carolina college or university.

6.     Demonstrate involvement in community service and/or volunteer work.

7.     Report annually to the Gaston County Jaycees on achievements and goals.

Please contact your high school guidance counselor in late March for more information.



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Paul F. Fuller Scholarship
This scholarship was established in honor of Paul Fuller, an enthusiastic participant of the Chamber of Commerce’s and Gaston County Schools’ Student Mentoring program. The applicant must have been a part of the Mentoring Program and a graduating senior from a Gaston County School. Please contact the Foundation at 704-864-0927 for an application.

Alaina N. Abernathy Scholarship
This $500 grant awarded each year to a graduate of Cherryville High School in memory of Alaina N. Abernathy who died in an accident at the age of 15. Eligibility for the scholarship includes criteria, which Alaina’s parents believe, reflects her personality and interests as outlined in application information. Please contact Cherryville High School for an application.

John E. Willoughby Scholarship - Download Application
The purpose of this scholarship is to aid a Gaston County High School graduate who is seriously sight/hearing impaired or a child of a person who is sight/hearing impaired. Applicants must have been a resident of Gaston County for at least one year at the time of the deadline date, March 31st, to be eligible. To qualify, the graduate must attend an accredited NC college or university. Please contact the Community Foundation for an application. Deadline for application is March 29th.

Dr. Grover W. White Scholarship Program - Download Application
This scholarship program is funded by an endowment and serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. White, a respected Urologist in Gastonia for 33 years. The applicant must be a resident of Gaston, Cleveland or Lincoln County in North Carolina or York County, South Carolina and who will attend an educational institution in North or South Carolina. The applicant must be seeking an advanced degree in a medically related field: i.e., MSN, NP, MD, DDS, PA, PT; must already hold a bachelors degree or higher with a 3.50 GPA and must be attending or have been accepted at an appropriate school for the chosen field at the time of application. Deadline for application is March 1st.

Max J. Fowler Scholarship - Download Application
This scholarship is designed to help people of all ages to complete a four year degree who are accepted and enrolled at NC State University in the College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences or Engineering. The applicant must be a resident of Gaston or Cleveland counties. Criteria for selection includes: community service, school performance, class ranking, interest in the arts and financial need. Deadline for application is March 29th.

Helen Rhyne Marvin Scholarship
This scholarship has been created by friends of Helen Rhyne Marvin, a former history teacher at Ashley High School and Gaston College and an eight-term senator. It will be awarded to a senior at Ashbrook High School planning to major in history or political science and attend either Gaston College or one of the 16 universities of the UNC system. This award is based on academics, character, and service.  The deadline is May 15th. For more information please contact Ashbrook High School.

Lonnie & Rachel Waggoner Nursing Education Endowment Fund            A permanent endowment to honor the professional and community service contributions of Dr. Lonnie Waggoner. Annual scholarship grants to students seeking an accredited degree in the field of nursing. The award can go to graduating high school seniors or to those wishing to upgrade their skills. Awards shall be for one year only. Applicants for the scholarship must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an accredited nursing program offering degrees in one or more of the following: LPN, RN, or BSN. Selection criteria include financial need, character academic record. Please contact Debbie Windley, CaroMont Health, 704-834-4042 Applications are only accepted February through April.

William & Hazel Hardin Education Scholarship - Download Application
For rising college Junior and Senior students pursuing a degree in preschool, elementary or secondary education. For residents of Gaston, Randolph or Richmond counties. Based on character, academic achievement, financial need and desire to work with children. Applications due to the Foundation by March 1st.

Alfred W. Bohanan Scholarship - Download Application

This program is designed to help Gaston County students pursuing careers with Trade Degrees (i.e. machining, air conditioning, auto mechanic, construction, electrical, plumbing, etc.) that plan to attend Gaston College, Cleveland Community College, York Technical College, or Central Piedmont Community College. Selection criteria shall be based on character, work ethic, and need.  Application due to the Foundation by Feb. 28th

Bradley Alton Baxter Memorial Scholarship

  • Candidates must have attended West Lincoln High School for at least 2 years and meet all graduation requirements.
  • Candidates must not have any discipline referrals.
  • Candidates must have an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Candidates must be involved in school/community activities.
  • Candidate recommendations (6) will be made by West Lincoln High School.Scholarship Committee. Final decision will be made by Brad Baxter Scholarship Committee.(Travis Farmer, Steven Baxter, Terry Rheinhardt, Laura Baxter Munday and Gerald Baxter, Jr.)
  • Two $500.00 scholarships will be awarded each year.

Please contact the West Lincoln High School guidance counselor for more information and this application.

Perry Fewell Honorary Leadership Endowed Scholarship Fund

Candidate must be a South Point High School senior in good academic standing (B Average) planning to attend a college, university or vocational school. Please contact the South Point High School guidance counselor for more information.  Selection criteria: demonstrated leadership in a minimum of three of the following categories- academics, student government, school clubs, school sports, community service; demonstrated exceptional character on and off campus; exhibits and infectious positive attitude and spirit of cooperation.

For questions about our scholarships please contact Elizabeth Biggerstaff at the Community Foundation.

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Copyright © 2006 The Community Foundation of Gaston County, NC.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 123 Gastonia, NC 28053
Street Address: 1201 E. Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054

Phone: 704-864-0927 Fax: 704.869.0222

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