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A group of students hold the laptops they won after a random drawing during a Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune July 26. The students are 16 of 1,909 who received scholarships from the MCSF this year.

Photo by Pfc. Joshua Grant

50 years and $70 million later the MCSF is still helping families

26 Jul 2012 | Pfc. Joshua W Grant

Since 1962 the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has awarded more than 30,000 recipients with over $70 million, and it has no plan on stopping.


The MCSF celebrates its 50th year of donations and is currently the United States’ largest and oldest foundation of need-based scholarships for military families.


With the increasingly steep cost of colleges, universities and technical schools, the MCSF is a much needed resource for families enrolling for the first time. Fifty-four percent of the recipients are the first generation in the family to go to college.


For the 2012-2013 fiscal year the MCSF is donating more than $6 million. Such an amount may seem like a lot to some but scholarships are being given to 1,909 recipients, all of whom are sons and daughters of parents killed or wounded in action, or families in financial need.



Margaret Davis, president and CEO of the MCSF said it takes hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donors to make everything possible, but it’s all worth it.


“Our students we invest in tell us it makes the difference between going to a college of their dreams and for some going to college at all,” said Davis. “This is a boost the students need for success in life. Without college or vocational technical training, career employment is most likely out of reach.”


Sydney Mayo, a recipient of the scholarship, graduated Jacksonville High School in 2011 and currently attends High Point University, majoring in exercise science for physical therapy.


Mayo said the Marine Corps has done so much for her by giving her the opportunity to go to school; she wants to give back through physical therapy.


“There would be no education if you didn’t have someone to fund it for you,” said Mayo. “I hope that students understand as much as their parents give, people are giving back to them.”


Catalina Cotis graduated Valedictorian from Lejeune High School’s class of 2012 and is headed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study exercise sports science.


Cotis said the foundation is very sociable and they are willing to help with more than just scholarships.


“I love that they go above and beyond,” said Cotis. “It’s more than just money. I didn’t realize how willing to embrace us they were and how much they’re willing to provide us with other resources.”


In another effort to help recipients, Hewlett Packard and MCSF gave away 16 brand new laptops to students at a ceremony aboard MCB Camp Lejeune July 26.