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Raleigh banker Victor E. Bell, Jr. was appointed by Governor Terry Sanford to serve as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for College Foundation, Inc. (the “Foundation”) in 1962. Serving in this capacity for thirty years until his retirement in1992, Vic Bell was committed to the Foundation and its mission to assist North Carolinians in paying for higher education.A life-long resident of Raleigh, NC, Vic Bell was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked with First Citizens Bank for 23 years, becoming senior vice president. He founded Bell’s Carpets, Bell’s Linen Closet, and Marjan Ltd.
In addition to his community service to the Foundation, he served as Chairman of the YMCA of the Triangle Area, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the College and the Raleigh Little Theatre. He also took leadership roles with Ravenscroft School, White Memorial Presbyterian Church and Meredith College.
In 1962, when the Trustees determined that the primary goal of the Foundation would be the operation of a student loan program, funded by banks and administered by the Foundation, Mr. Bell personally visited banks across the state to recruit funding support.
At the 1988 groundbreaking of the Foundation’s office building on Yonkers Road named in his honor, Mr. Bell said “Our business is investing in the future—in young people, in students. We wish to make opportunities for them and for the state.”
On March 27, 1985, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees established the Special Scholarship Fund in honor of his many years of service to the Foundation as Chairman of the Board. Since inception, additional contributions have been made to the Special Scholarship Fund, particularly to honor his memory after his death in 2005 and from rental income designated from the Foundation’s building named for him.
Through awards from the Special Scholarship Fund, the Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship Program will honor Mr. Bell’s vision and selfless service and benefit new generations of students by enabling them to enhance their potential and future contribution to North Carolina.
The Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship Program has been established by the Foundation to encourage and assist high potential North Carolina students with limited financial resources to pursue higher education.
Awarded to seventh grade students and renewable through four years of college as long as annual eligibility requirements are met, the Scholarship Program encourages students with academic ability and promise to maintain their scholastic standing and achieve a college degree.
Each individual scholarship award shall be $2,000 per recipient per year up to a maximum total contribution of $20,000, unless a change in the availability of Scholarship Program funds or college costs requires an adjustment in the amount of future awards.
The award for each recipient will be contributed annually to an account in North Carolina’s National College Savings Program (“NCSP”) with the Foundation as account owner and the individual recipient as the beneficiary (“NCSP 529 Account”). New recipients will be selected each year.
Funds from the NCSP 529 Account established for a recipient may be used only for the purpose of education in a baccalaureate or an associate degree program at an Eligible Institution of higher education in North Carolina.
A nomination from a middle school or a college readiness/access group must be certified and signed by the school guidance counselor and principal of the school attended by the nominee (“Nomination Form”). Each Nomination Form must also be accompanied by the Parent or Guardian Consent Form and submitted directly to the Foundation.
Decisions on inclusion in the nomination process will be at the sole discretion of the Foundation.
Each middle school and each approved college readiness/access group may submit one nomination each which certifies the nominee eligibility and includes the Parent or Guardian Consent Form.
Nomination Forms and the corresponding Parent or Guardian Consent Forms must be returned to the Foundation at the address specified on the Nomination Form: Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship Program, College Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 40856, Raleigh, NC 27629-0856. The regional CFNC representative for the North Carolina telephone area code from which the nominations are submitted will be a local contact for the Scholarship Program; the telephone area code will be used to separate nominations by region. The current list of CFNC representatives is posted under “School Counselor” at CFNC.org.
After the initial selection, a recipient will be considered for up to nine renewal awards. The Foundation will send each scholarship recipient’s parent or guardian a saving account statement and an annual renewal notice in mid-August. Upon receipt, the student and parent or guardian will be responsible for requesting that the guidance counselor return a Renewal Certification Form or college transcript to the Foundation to determine continued eligibility.
The Foundation may change the renewal criteria at any time in its sole discretion and will notify the student, parent or guardian and school of such change. Any such changes will not apply retroactively.
CFI will consider information provided by the school official or the student on a case by case basis to determine whether renewal is in order. Final decision to renew will be at the discretion of Foundation management.
When the inability to meet renewal standards is based on verified exceptional circumstances, the student will be eligible to continue in the scholarship program. Renewals based on exceptional circumstances are not limited to a maximum number or by frequency of occurrence. When no exceptional circumstances exist, the Foundation may grant probationary renewal based on an appeal from the student. No more than two probationary renewals are allowed per individual and they cannot be granted in sequential years.
In any instance that the scholarship is renewed for a student who has not met eligibility standards, the Foundation will track the renewal type and date for use as needed to determine future eligibility.
A recipient must reside and attend school in North Carolina for the full academic year for which renewal is being considered. For the student who does not meet this particular eligibility requirement, the NCSP 529 Account opened on his or her behalf will remain open at the level previously funded prior to moving or attending school out of state; however, no additional contributions will be made nor will funds be awarded unless the student returns to North Carolina to continue middle or high school on a full-time basis or later enrolls in an Eligible Institution in North Carolina at least half-time in an associate or baccalaureate degree program. Funds in the NCSP 529 Account not disbursed within the expected five years of high school graduation date will be forfeited.
Renewal decisions will be made by Foundation Management in its sole discretion.
Press releases announcing all nominees from a region will be sent out annually to the areas within the region. Each nominee will receive a certificate of achievement.
Annual selection of new Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship recipients will be announced in a separate press release to be sent out statewide. Each recipient will be presented an additional certificate with the scholarship award indicated.
A database of all nominees will be created in order to issue annual personal invitations to college access activities. These activities will be developed in conjunction with CFNC partners and may include GEAR UP summer workshops, financial literacy programs, college application days, financial aid workshops, college visits and FAFSA Day.