Truman Heartland Community Foundation (THCF) provides educational scholarships to a diverse group of students based on the specific criteria set in partnership with donors. Over the years, more than 184 generous donors have established scholarship funds at the foundation to help students pursue their educational goals.

Since its inception in 1982, the foundation has awarded scholarships totaling more than $6.7 million. This year, the foundation is proud to make approximately $800K in scholarship funds available to students throughout the area. However, recent changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are causing problems and delays for students.

If you plan to pursue higher education in the Fall, it is important to know about recent changes to the FAFSA, the US Department of Education’s form that gathers information about students’ financial situation to help determine their eligibility for federal financial aid. Many organizations and institutions, including THCF, use data from the FAFSA Submission Summary to evaluate the financial need of scholarship applicants.

Changes to the FAFSA form for the 2024-2025 school year became available on December 31, 2023. Typically, the FAFSA is available in October each year, but due to the form change, the FAFSA was delayed. Additionally, there appears to be continuing issues with the online form, as students find the form is sometimes offline and unavailable. Because of this delay, THCF application timelines have been adjusted as well. The THCF General Application was available starting December 15, 2023 and will remain open until April 1, 2024. All essays, letters of recommendation, and other documents that may be required must be submitted by the deadline without exception. If you want to learn more about the FAFSA changes, visit

Establishing a scholarship fund at Truman Heartland is a great way to leave a lasting legacy. Donors can create a scholarship fund to honor the memory of a loved one or support a cause they are passionate about. We work with our fundholders to create specific criteria for their scholarship based on things that are important to them, such as academic achievement, financial need, or community service and involvement. By establishing a scholarship fund at your community foundation, you can make a significant impact on the lives of countless students and support the community for generations to come. It is a meaningful way to give back and create a legacy.

THCF is committed to helping donors achieve their philanthropic goals and students achieve their academic goals. If you have questions about the FAFSA, need to know how to go about setting up a scholarship fund, or have problems during the application process, please visit the Truman Heartland Community Foundation website at or contact Rachael Watkins, Director of Scholarships at Truman Heartland Community Foundation, We are honored to help our fundholders create opportunities for students to pursue their dreams and to support them on their educational journeys.