Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Pulaski County (SPSF)
began in 1990, as an affiliate of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship
Fund. The state organization, based in northwest Arkansas, worked to recruit
volunteers from counties throughout Arkansas to establish independent Single
Parent Scholarship organizations in each county. Hillary Clinton served as
the state organization’s founding chairman and was helpful in enlisting
community leaders to initiate the Pulaski County program.
While the volunteer-led organization offered a limited number of scholarships
to Pulaski County students throughout the 1990’s, SPSF experienced a rebirth
in 1998. Since then, SPSF has achieved amazing milestones that include:
Increasing the annual number of scholarship from 62 in 2000 to 153 in 2010. During that period, the value of scholarship giving grew from $37,000 to about $125,000 annually;
Receiving designation by the
IRS as an independent 501(c) (3) organization in 2001;
Hiring two full-time staff members to increase services to scholarship recipients. (the organization operated entirely by volunteers
Enhancing services to recipients.
Recipients can currently benefit from mentoring, case management, connection
to a liaison on each campus, computer donation program, and other support services.
• Increasing the dollar amount of each scholarship to $900 per semester.
Clearly the organization is thriving and actively working to assist single
parents who seek financial self-sufficiency through higher education. The
Board of Directors
and partner agencies are pleased with the progress thus far, but Pulaski County
faces a difficult situation: Every semester, far more students apply for
the scholarship than can be accepted into the program. In spite of our growth
increased professionalism, the need in our county for scholarships for non-traditional
students is overwhelming.
Scholarship giving increased 25% between 2008 and 2010. Yet, the number of applicants has increased at an even faster rate.