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How are students notified about the scholarship?

Students are notified through a network of outreach activities such as RWS Scholarship Fund's participation in high school and college fairs, outreach to high school counselors, educators, ministers and community leaders. Additionally we post the information on our website.

Who is eligible to apply for the scholarship?

  • Applicants must be graduating high school seniors with a B average or above.

  • Applicants must plan to attend an accredited college/university.

  • Applicants must demonstrate community service, leadership and academic commitment.

  • Applicants must be a resident of Pennsylvania residing in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery or Philadelphia counties.


How do I apply?

Interested applicants may apply online, download application, or request a paper application by contacting RW Sorrell Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 26701, Elkins Park, PA 19027 or by phone at 215-517-5746 or by email at


When is the deadline for submission of application and materials?

All materials requested must be submitted to RW Sorrell Scholarship Fund with a postmark no later than the due date posted on the website.  All materials should be mailed in ONE envelope.*  If you applied online and received a confirmation of submission, you may send the additional materials required, i.e., references, transcripts and etc. to the P.O. Box listed.

*Aside from your official transcript (with seal) which must be mailed, all other items can be mailed, or digitally submitted, together.


What constitutes a complete application?

  • Application form with all questions answered

  • An Official Transcript (with seal) containing grades, cumulative GPA and attendance record

  • Two (2) written references (with contact information included) on official business/company/school stationery

  • A 500-600 word essay summarizing volunteer and community service activities – past, present and future.  Include why you believe you should be selected for a scholarship, along with college and career plans


What is the value of the scholarship award?

The value of the scholarship is $3,000 renewable annually over a four-year period.  Renewal is based upon the recipient maintaining satisfactory progress towards a degree.  A GPA falling below the established requirement (B Average) at the end of any semester may result in a review by the Board of Directors, and in some instances, the loss of the scholarship.  Also, recipients awarded one of our scholarships are given an opportunity to participate in a paid summer internship with Independence Blue Cross.  This opportunity provides an additional source of income to help defray college expenses, as well as introduces the recipient to the corporate world of work.


What kind of expenses does the scholarship award cover?

The RW Sorrell Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to minority students for the sole purpose of pursuing a college degree in a 4 year accredited institution.  If a student wishes to study abroad or  take a gap semester to do an internship in a special program, he/she must receive written approval from the scholarship fund to remain eligible for future awards.  The scholarship award may be applied to tuition, books required for classes, transportation to and from school, supplies and/or other educational fees to help the student pay for and remain in school.


How will the recipient(s) receive the scholarship award? 

The scholarship award will be issued in the form of a check and awarded at the Annual RW Sorrell Scholarship Fund's Awards Reception where recipients and donors are acknowledged and celebrated.

What happens if a scholarship award recipient fails to enroll in or return to college for the Fall semester?

In the event that a 1st time recipient of the scholarship award fails to enroll or attend college (and has received a check from us for stated purpose) during the fall semester of the year selected, or in the case of recipients who receive a renewable scholarship annually, the Board of Directors reserve the right to review and determine what course of action to pursue.


What if I am unable to attend college consecutive semesters? 

Extenuating circumstances requiring a student to sit out a semester must be explained in writing to the Scholarship Fund Board. The Board will respond via certified mail to the request.


How many scholarships are awarded annually?

The Board of Directors determines the number  of scholarships to be awarded annually.  The Board has the option of awarding several scholarships or none at all on an annual basis.

Are applicants eligible to apply for the scholarship if they are related to someone on the Board of Directors?

Yes, applicants are eligible to apply.  Being related to a Board Member will not automatically disqualify an applicant.  All applicants are selected on a competitive basis using eligibility criteria established.  However if an applicant applies who is related to a Board member, he/she must disclose the relationship on their application.  Any member of the Board of Directors who has or may have a relative applying for the scholarship may not use his/her influence in any way to affect the decision-making process.

How are recipients selected?

The Scholarship Committee composed of members of the Board of Directors, (or at the Board's discretion, a non-Board member could serve on the committee) has the task of screening, selecting and notifying the recipient(s). The Committee selects recipients through a competitive process based on eligibility criteria listed in brochures and posted on website, response to interview questions and the applicants ability to follow directions.


How will I be notified if I am chosen as a recipient?

All recipients will be notified by mail of the decision of the Nomination Committee.

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