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Do you offer scholarships at your OLLI?

Posted on June 6th, 2013 by Anne Cardale, OLLI National Resource Center

Sylvia Paxton, Dartmouth, Asks OLLI:

1. Do you offer scholarships to your OLLI programs?
2. How do you determine a needs based system?
3. Have you publicized this?
4. Where and what did you say?

3 Responses to “Do you offer scholarships at your OLLI?”

  1. OLLI at Penn State offers scholarships. We began with a local grant and ask for donations to our scholarship fun. We keep our process simple - the person needs only to ask for the scholarship, explain the reason if they choose, and we provide up to 50% scholarships toward their membership dues and course fees. We do not provide scholarships for trips or special course fees (such as handouts, food, etc.). We do not require a formal application or proof of need. We publicize our scholarships in every catalog and on our website. In our catalog we publish the following near our fee listing, “Scholarships are available upon request by phoning the OLLI office at (814) 867-4278. As the Executive Director, I take the calls, determine the scholarship, apply it in our registration system and keep it confidential.
    Sarah Benton

  2. 1. Do you offer scholarships to your OLLI programs?
    2. How do you determine a needs based system?
    we ask those who request a scholarship to fill out a form that we designed stating briefly why they are requesting a scholarship - we don’t require any proof of financial need; if the applicant is someone who has never been part of the OLLI we limit the scholarship to one class, and for those who are already involved in the OLLI we allow more than one class - this is on a case by case basis. Scholarship is for class fee only, not for OLLI membership, although we are going to revisit this to consider scholarships for memberships.
    3. Have you publicized this? yes, in each of our semester schedules, so 3x each year, and on our web site
    4. Where and what did you say? info is online at and the same statement may be viewed in our print schedule which is online at

  3. At OLLI at UNC Asheville we offer scholarships for our College for Seniors program and our Leadership Asheville Seniors programs (not to workshops or life transitions workshops). The initial funding for the College for Seniors scholarships came from a bequest from a member whose mother loved our programs and wanted to make them available to anyone who wanted to participate. The bequest is now spent down, but the College for Seniors has budgeted to continue this funding. The funding for the leadership program is budgeted to come from our Annual Fund every year, and annual fund and endowment income will be the source of funding for all scholarships moving forward.

    Participants fill out a simple form (available here:

    We have a small committee that reviews all applications for both programs (which includes a mix of staff and volunteers).We have only about 10 applicants in each of our four terms. We are struggling with whether or not we want to cap or limit the number of terms in a row one can apply.

    We do not offer a full scholarship, and participants are required to purchase OLLI annual membership ($60 per year).

    We publicize the availability of scholarships in our catalog and in brochures for the program. We have fewer than 10 applications for scholarship per term. We say \”Scholarships are available to partially cover the expense of the term; the annual OLLI membership fee is the member\’s responsibility. Applications are available in [the office] and on OLLI\’s website. To ensure the best choice of courses, scholarship applications should be submitted along with the registration form as early in the registration period as possible.\”

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