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William R. Rooney Award For Students In H.S. With Special Needs

This award is named for William R. Rooney, a long time educator and former Executive Secretary of The Horace Smith Fund, who advocated for financial assistance to students with special needs. One award per academic year is offered to a graduating high school senior who is currently on and has been on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Accommodation Plan for a minimum of two years. To qualify for this award, the student must be a resident of Hampden County, Massachusetts, enrolled in an eligible high school, and anticipate on attending either a two or four-year accredited college. The applicant should demonstrate financial need, academic success, and community service. Students who wish to apply for this award should complete the William R. Rooney Award application and submit a copy of their full IEP or 504 Plan, in addition to the other required documents. The annual award is $3,000 for a maximum of four years.
 The deadline for filing applications is March 15th.

Instructions For William R. Rooney Award Applicants About To Enter College And Their Parents

  1. Complete and submit the Rooney Award application online or by mail.
  2. Three persons, not relatives, should complete reference forms for you.   At least two references should be a high school guidance counselor or the teacher in charge of the student’s IEP or 504 Accommodation Plan, who is familiar with your ability and potential. Completed reference forms should be mailed to The Horace Smith Fund at the address above.
  3. As of 2018, we will no longer accept FAFSA applications as proof of financial need. All applicants must complete the CSS Profile report found at https://cssprofile.org. When applying, please indicate you would like your information made available to our organization code of 0017.
  4. Completed applications, letters of reference and parents financial statement must be received in The Horace Smith Fund office no later than March 15th.  A copy of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Accommodation Plan must be included as part of the application.
  5. The applicant is responsible for having a high school transcript mailed to
    The Horace Smith Fund
    Bismarck Place
    16 Union Avenue, Ste. 2K
    Westfield, MA 01085
  6. Applicants are encouraged to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) of the College Entrance Examination Board if they have not already done so.
    1. When registering for the examination or when completing a College Board transcript request form, please ask the College Board to send the scores to us. This is done by indicating 0017 as the code number and “The Horace Smith Fund, Bismarck Place, 16 Union Avenue, Ste. 2K, Westfield, MA 01085” as one of the institutions to which a score request should be sent.
    2. SAT scores should be noted on the high school transcript.
    3. To enhance your application, you may also send us a copy of your ACT assessment student report.
  7. Awards will be made on the basis of all available information, including school records, recommendations and examination scores.  Consideration will be given to both the merit and financial need of the applicant.
  8. The “Personal Statement/Essay,” which is part of your application, is important. The essay will help distinguish you from other outstanding applicants. Your essay should present who you are and who you hope to become as you pursue your education and career goals.

Online Checklist

» Part 1:  Application « NOTE YOUR APPLICATION IS NOT COMPLETE UNTIL YOU GET AN EMAILED CONFIRMATION #
» Part 2: Reference Form To Send To 3 References – See Instructions Above «
» Part 3:  As of 2018, we will no longer accept FAFSA applications as proof of financial need. All applicants must complete the CSS Profile report found at https://cssprofile.org. When applying, please indicate you would like your information made available to our organization code of 0017.
» Part 4:  Have Your High School Send Your Official Transcript, With SAT Score Noted On It, To The Above Address. Also Send A Copy Of Your Latest MCAS And ACT Scores As Applicable. We Must Receive It No Later Than March 15th.

Printable Checklist

NOTE: To view and print the downloaded application form, you will need a PDF viewer if you don’t already have one. Click the icon below to download the free Adobe® Reader®

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» Part 1:  Printable Application «
» Part 2:  Printable Reference Form «
» Part 3:  As of 2018, we will no longer accept FAFSA applications as proof of financial need. All applicants must complete the CSS Profile report found at https://cssprofile.org. When applying, please indicate you would like your information made available to our organization code of 0017.
» Part 4:  Have Your High School Send Your Official Transcript, With SAT Score Noted On It, To The Above Address. Also Send A Copy Of Your Latest MCAS And ACT Scores As Applicable. We Must Receive It No Later Than March 15th.
Printable Instructions Sheet

Hard copy applications are available at the Horace Smith Fund office and at the financial aid offices of several local colleges after March 15th.