Fresh Start Scholarship

The Fresh Start Scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance to Saint Louis City and County applicants who take a nontraditional route to post-secondary education by receiving their high school equivalency credential (Hi-SET), general education development certificate (GED), or graduate from the Excel Center High School. Scholarships will be awarded to applicants who demonstrate unmet financial need as undergraduate, part-time or full-time students at an accredited two or four-year nonprofit or technical college in St. Louis, Missouri. Recipients who continue to meet eligibility requirements and demonstrate unmet financial need may submit a renewal application for a second year of funding. This application is for Spring 2023 semester funding.

To be eligible, the applicants must:

  • Successfully pass the Hi-SET (with a minimum score of 65 out of 100), successfully pass the GED exam (with a minimum score of 165 out of 200) , or graduate from the Excel Center High School;
  • plan to enroll at a nonprofit, accredited post-secondary program leading to a bachelor’s or associate degree, technical degree, or certificate;
  • be pursuing first degree or certificate;
  • demonstrate unmet financial need; and
  • be a Saint Louis city or county resident.

Selection will be based on meeting all eligibility requirements, the strength of essays, recommendation, and assessed unmet financial need. Preference will be given to students pursuing an associate degree, technical degree or certificate.
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please answer all questions that apply to you, even if they are not marked “required.”

Applicants can view their status by logging in to their Scholarship Central account.

Scholarship recipients who continue to meet eligibility requirements, are making satisfactory progress toward degree or certificate program completion, and demonstrate financial need may apply for renewal by submitting a renewal application by the June 15th deadline next year..

Contact Ellen Vietor, Scholarship Manager at the St. Louis Community Foundation at or 314-880-4960.

Eligibility, financial need, and award amount for this scholarship program will be determined by the St. Louis Community Foundation . This scholarship program, as component fund of the St. Louis Community Foundation, does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, national origin, gender, age, color, sexual orientation, veteran status, physical or mental disability.

Susan Primm Thel
up to $6,000, renewable
Supplemental Questions
  1. This scholarship is designed to provide support to students who have passed the Hi-SET, received their GED or graduated from the Excel Center High School. Does this describe you?
  2. UPLOAD: If you passed the Hi-SET or have your GED, please upload a copy of your Hi-SET or GED scores. If you graduated from the Excel Center, please upload your transcript or diploma.
  3. Upload your current FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR).
  4. Enter your EFC that is on your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR).
  5. UPLOAD: Please upload THIS year's Financial Aid Award Letter from the college you will attend. This document will be required before an award can be determined and should include: college name, applicant name, loans, grants and scholarships offered.
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