Scholarship and Leadership Training Program Nomination and Selection Process

Nomination Requirements

  • Scholarships are currently offered in the following city school districts in Tennessee: Bristol, Elizabethton, Greeneville, Johnson City, and Kingsport; and the following county school systems: Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington.
  • Applicants to the Niswonger Scholarship must be nominated by their school, church, scout troop or other community organization.
  • Individuals may not apply directly for this scholarship.
  • Nominees are in their senior year of high school.
  • Please Note: Niswonger Scholars are required to sign a contract stating that for each year of financial support, the Scholars will return to Northeast Tennessee for at least one year of service in their chosen career. While this is the minimum requirement for Niswonger Scholars, the intent of the program is to identify students with a true desire to live, work and serve in Northeast Tennessee.

Scholar Contract


Nomination Deadline

The nomination deadline is September 25 of the year prior to the planned year of study. Nominations should be mailed or delivered to the following:

Niswonger Foundation
16 Gilland Street
P.O. Box 5112
Greeneville, TN 37745


The Nomination Packet Must Include the Following:

  • A letter of nomination of not more than two pages explaining why the nominee should be considered.
  • An official copy of the nominee’s most recent academic transcript, including ACT and/or SAT scores.
  • A completed Scholarship and Leadership Training Program Nomination Form (download form);
  • A resume listing the nominee’s extracurricular accomplishments and community involvements;
  • A writing sample explaining what he or she envisions for his or her future; and
  • A copy of the parents’ last income tax return (1040 form).

Selection Criteria

  • Leadership ability - including character, drive, energy, initiative and work ethic. We are looking for students who are going to make a positive contribution to their communities.
  • Academic ability - can be demonstrated through grades, coursework (e.g. honors, AP, etc.) and standardized test scores. (Although, all nominees will be considered, stronger ACT/SAT scores greatly support the nominees application.)
  • Financial need - may be represented through evidence of a low family income. Many middle-class families are unable to afford the tuition at elite colleges and universities, particularly if more than one child is attending college.
  • Return to Northeast Tennessee - a signed contract to return to the 1st Congressional District for work and service in their chosen professions.
  • Character - evidence of the highest personal integrity and care and concern for others. This may be exhibited through community service, church related activities, honors and awards for service, etc.

Selection Process

  • The initial nominee screening process will begin upon receipt of the completed nomination packet.
  • The nominee may be invited for a personal interview by a member of the Niswonger Staff upon receipt of the completed nomination packet.
  • The nominee may be selected for an interview with the Niswonger Selection Committee in November.

Final Selection

  • Nominees will be notified, in writing, of the final decision by early December.

For Further Assistance

Barbara Bates
423.798.7837
barbara.bates@niswongerfoundation.org

Dr. Nancy Dishner
423.384.9000
dishnern@yahoo.com

Submitting a Proposal for a School Partnership

Proposals for the School Partnership Program are accepted from superintendents or senior site administrators. All proposals must identify a specific area of need based on student academic performance data and reflect the School Improvement Plan. Measurable goals and objectives, relevant financial statements, and a letter of support from the director or board chairperson, must be included. Proposals are accepted year round.

Other Projects

Proposals for support of other projects may also be submitted. Please include a letter of not more than two pages describing how the project will create opportunities for individual and community growth through education or other sustainable project, a budget and a copy of your letter from the IRS stating that your organization is exempt from federal income tax (or otherwise explaining the legal status of your organization). Proposals are accepted year-round.

For Further Assistance

Dr. Nancy Dishner
423.798.7837
nancy.dishner@niswongerfoundation.org