Charles D. Whitmer Fund Scholarship

Minimum GPA: 2.0
Amount: $1,000
Field of Study: Evidence of Entrepreneurial Intent
Location or HS: Northeast Ohio
Deadline: March 15, 2021
App Type: General App

Charles D. Whitmer, a business owner in Greater Cleveland, learned at an early age the value of working, saving and investing his earnings. His father encouraged him, as early as the age of 10, to save a portion of his paper route earnings. Today, his endeavors have paid off the way he had hoped. The hard work of rising at 4 a.m., loading a wagon with papers and dragging the heavy bundles through mounds of snow gave him an early business education. Saving a portion of his earnings for college and a portion to invest allows him now to give back to the community. He wants to help those who possess the drive to do as he did: work, save, invest and hopefully help others.

The Cleveland Foundation is privileged to assist him in his goal of supporting the aspirations of others who value higher education and the work-save-invest ethic. Mr. Whitmer proved that a small savings – in his case $1,000 – can grow into a catalyst for big dreams, as he has watched that initial amount grow to more than $84,000, the corpus of this scholarship program. We encourage those with an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to complete a dream to apply.

Purpose: To help persons with an entrepreneurial spirit, at any age, attend – on a full-time basis – a college or university that is authorized to provide full credit toward a bachelor’s or higher degree.

To be eligible, you must meet these requirements:

  • Reside in Cuyahoga, Lorain, Lake or Geauga county
  • Be enrolled or plan to enroll full-time in an accredited, four-year college or university 

Application method: Submit a General Application and Basic Requirements through our Scholarship Gateway

Specific selection criteria: Applications should demonstrate:

  • a willingness to work, save and pay for a portion of your educational expenses;
  • self-motivation, self-help, initiative, good work ethic and generally embody the entrepreneurial spirit
  • helping others

Personal statements should address your educational plans, career goals and how this scholarship could help you meet your goals. Preference will be given to ROTC program cadets whose service leads to a commission in the United States armed forces (as tie-breaker only).

Selection Process:
An independent selection committee appointed by the Cleveland Foundation will make recommendations on scholarship recipients. Foundation staff administers the fund and facilitates the selection process. The selection committee bases its scholarship decisions on the completed application and an evaluation of the degree to which persons meet the eligibility criteria. Consideration will also be given to compatibility of career or life goals and objectives to the educational path being pursued.

Award process: The Whitmer Fund will sponsor scholarships for up to three eligible applicants. Awards are contingent upon submission of a letter of acceptance from the educational institution to be attended. Formal notification of award will be made by the Cleveland Foundation to the selected recipient(s). Awards will be paid to the school for the benefit of the student and must be applied to tuition, fees, books, supplies, and/or equipment required for coursework.

Recipient requirements:

  1. Maintain full-time enrollment status
  2. Email a grade report to the Scholarship team for each term (min 2.0 GPA required)
  3. A thank you note to the donors and selection committee members for this fund is not required but always appreciated and may be sent via email.

Renewal: The General Application must be submitted each year for consideration of this award. Student can be awarded each year for up to a maximum of 4 total years of support.