Children and legal dependents of non-management associates at The Home Depot can apply for college scholarships through the home improvement retailer’s Orange Scholars Scholarship program. Home Depot calls its hourly workers associates. Since the program was established in 2006 through the company's nonprofit Homer Fund, Home Depot reports that more than 7,500 students have received scholarships totaling more than $17.5 million.
Student Eligibility Rules
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be high school seniors and full-time college freshmen, sophomores and juniors who are the children or legal dependents of hourly part-time or full-time associates at the company's U.S., Canadian or Mexican stores. They must be dependents of associates who have been employed at least one year at Home Depot at the time of the application. The student’s parent or legal guardian must be employed at Home Depot at the time the scholarship is awarded. Students who already have been awarded an Orange Scholars scholarship and still meet the eligibility requirements can apply for another scholarship for the next school year.
College Attendance Requirements
Students must plan to enroll or already be enrolled at accredited nonprofit two-year or four-year higher education institutions in the year for which the scholarships are awarded. For example, if a student applied for a 2015-2016 scholarship during the application period scheduled Nov. 1, 2014, until Jan. 1, 2015, the student must have planned to enroll as a full-time undergraduate in fall 2015.
Scholarship Award Determination
The Homer Fund reports that scholarships are determined based on an eligible student’s financial need, academic performance, community involvement and leadership. An independent committee chooses award recipients. In choosing semifinalists, the committee considers academic achievement and records (50 percent) and extracurricular activities (50 percent). Extracurricular activities can include work experience, community involvement and honors. In choosing scholarship winners from semifinalists, the committee considers financial need (50 percent), community involvement (25 percent) and academic achievements and records (25 percent).
Amount of Award
Each year, up to 1,000 scholarships are awarded. Scholarships awarded in the U.S. and Canada total $2,500 each. Scholarships awarded in Mexico total $1,000 each. Winners are notified approximately two months after the application deadline. Before the start of the next fall term, the amount awarded is sent by check to the higher education institution at which the winning student is or will be enrolled. Students who are awarded a scholarship can transfer to another nonprofit, accredited higher education institution during the school year and retain the award.
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