The Pokagon Fund offers college scholarships to graduating seniors from River Valley and New Buffalo Area High Schools who are residents of New Buffalo, Chikaming, or Three Oaks townships, and the cities and villages within those townships. These scholarships are awarded annually and are renewable if the student maintains a 3.0 grade point average.
In addition to the scholarships awarded by The Pokagon Fund, the Bison-Pokagon Scholarship trust fund has had a profound impact on the college aspirations of New Buffalo High School students. Through 2015, the scholarship program received distributions from the Local Revenue Sharing Board of over $6 million from the revenues provided to the New Buffalo School District as a result of the Four Winds Casino compact between the State of Michigan and the Pokagon Band.
Utilizing those funds, the New Buffalo School District has already paid out over $2.6 million in scholarships to each resident New Buffalo graduate attending any post-secondary degree or certification program. $3.4 million remains available for future use. Significantly, by 2015, 81.4 percent of eligible New Buffalo High School graduates had used their scholarship grants. A total of 33 degrees have thus far been earned with this scholarship money. As seen by the following chart, the availability of these scholarships funds has sharply increased the number of New Buffalo High School graduates attending college, rising from 31.6% in 2007-2008 to 90.2% in 2015.
New Buffalo High School Graduates Enrolled in College
Although less dramatic (likely because of fewer available scholarship funds), River Valley High School graduate enrollment in college has also leaped, moving from 42.1% in 2007-2008 to 78.4% in 2014.
River Valley High School Graduates Enrolled in College
In 2017, The Pokagon Fund will partner with the Michigan Gateway Community Foundation (MGCF) to administer our new online applications for high school and adult scholarships. You will note that MGCF uses AwardsSpring as their scholarship management platform. To apply for a scholarship, you will need to start the process by creating an account with AwardSpring at the following link: mgcf.awardspring.com.
Please be sure to review the document “Navigating AwardSpring: A Guide for Applicants” before establishing your account.
A MGCF online scholarship administrator will provide further direction if needed at (269) 695-3521 for assistance, or email email@example.com.
Over $250,000 has been awarded to 32 high school seniors from the New Buffalo and River Valley High Schools. These scholarship recipients have attended 19 different colleges and universities. They are:
Courtney Kliss, Southwestern Michigan College
Rebecca Wise, Spring Arbor University
Amanda Clark, Central Michigan University
Morgan Boughman, Western Michigan University
Trevor Gray, Ferris State University
Rachael Conley, Northern Michigan University
Marina DeMorrow, Ball State University
Alivia Michelle Scurek, Lake Michigan College
Hannah Vavra, Grand Valley State University
Christen Yuan, Michigan State University
Elisabeth Brennen, University of Michigan
Deseree Maxine Eudave, Grand Valley State University
Paige Janowski, Michigan State University
Leah Susanne Strain, Michigan State University
Kasan Yuan, Southwestern Michigan University
Hanna Ann Forester, Andrews University
Kelsey Koeller, Western Michigan University
Rachel Palen, Michigan Technological University
Natalie Ritter, University of Michigan
Kristen Dohner, Southwestern Michigan University
Sara Gropp, Southwestern Michigan University
Caleb Brown, University of Michigan
Bailey Harrington, Ferris State University
Evan Rieth, Albion College
Amelia Schroeder, Hope College
Viktorija Ukelis, Grand Valley State University
Greg Palen, Grand Valley State University
Hannah Henrichsen, Grand Valley State University
Jarek Hotwagner, Concordia University
Mariah Artz, Michigan State University
Rebekah Folino, Southwestern Michigan University
Destiny Mitchell, Ferris State University