The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program (LECSP)

In 1998, a visionary scholarship program was introduced, aiming to redefine Indiana’s educational landscape – The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program (LECSP). Since its inception, the Lilly Endowment Inc. has unwaveringly championed the pivotal role of education in fostering personal growth, civic responsibility, and economic prosperity within Indiana. Their goal, through this program, has been twofold: to motivate Indiana’s brightest minds to pursue higher education within the state and, upon graduation, to contribute to Indiana’s workforce and community.

lilly endowment scholarship

Locally administered by Indiana’s community foundations and on a broader scale by Independent Colleges of Indiana, this scholarship program, funded by Lilly Endowment, serves distinct, yet interconnected purposes:

  1. Elevating the educational standards of Indiana, aiming for a more learned and enlightened populace.
  2. Spotlighting the transformative roles that Indiana community foundations play, acting as catalysts of change and development within their jurisdictions.
  3. Cultivating a network of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars. This network, enriched by diverse experiences and insights, is encouraged to collaborate with Indiana’s leaders spanning various sectors – be it business, government, education, nonprofits, or civic roles. The collective aim? Enhancing the quality of life in Indiana, both at a macro and micro-community level.

Scholarship Eligibility

The program welcomes applications from individuals who meet the following criteria:

  1. Hold a high school diploma from an Indiana high school, recognized either by the State Board of Education or by a national or regional accreditation agency accepted by the State Board of Education.
  2. Be a proud resident of Indiana.
  3. Adhere to the specific criteria and deadlines set by individual counties.
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Scholarship Requirements

To maintain the scholarship, recipients are expected to:

  1. Enroll in an undergraduate baccalaureate program.
  2. Commit to full-time studies.
  3. Opt for any public or private Indiana-based four-year college or university, provided it’s accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Scholarship Benefits

The scholarship, in its essence, provides full tuition, mandatory fees, and a special allocation for essential books, ensuring that scholars can focus on their academics without financial constraints. Scholars have the liberty to choose from a plethora of educational institutions within Indiana, and upon selection, they embark on a transformative academic journey. In recent times, the program has proudly awarded 147 scholarships annually, a testament to its vast reach and impact.

Scholarship Applications

For those inspired to be a part of this transformative journey, the first step is to reach out to the community foundation in their respective county. This local foundation will provide insights into the LECSP application process tailored for that area, ensuring that every aspiring scholar is well-guided and informed.

Closing Dates or Important Dates

Given the individualized nature of the application process as per counties, there isn’t a singular deadline. Prospective applicants should consult their local community foundation for pertinent dates.

Further Information

For a deeper understanding of the program’s vision and its nuances, Katie Goodrich at Independent Colleges of Indiana can be contacted at or via phone at 317-684-4297. Moreover, Ted Maple, the vice president for education at Lilly Endowment, offers a broader perspective and can be reached at 317-916-7345.

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The LECSP is not merely a scholarship; it’s a movement towards a brighter, more educated, and prosperous Indiana. It embodies a vision, a commitment, and an unwavering support system for its scholars.

More about Lilly Endowment

Lilly Endowment stands as a beacon of philanthropic vision and action, deeply rooted in the philosophy of being “conservatively progressive,” a guiding principle passed down by J.K. Lilly, Sr. to his sons. This principle is not just a statement but a dynamic approach that seeks a harmonious blend of honoring traditions while embracing the need for innovative thinking in rapidly changing contexts.

Central to the Endowment’s mission is the unwavering commitment to uplift individuals, fortify families, and invigorate communities. Through strategic grantmaking, they empower a diverse range of charitable organizations, from established entities like United Way agencies, community foundations, religious institutions, and educational bodies to emerging organizations that offer fresh perspectives and solutions.

Recognizing the profound impact that longstanding charitable organizations have had on society’s well-being, the Endowment also acknowledges the challenges these institutions face in today’s swiftly evolving landscape. External forces and trends can sometimes threaten their relevance, impact, or even their very existence. In these testing times, Lilly Endowment steps in, providing the necessary support to these organizations, guiding them in introspection to ascertain what core values to retain, where to innovate, and how to devise and deploy effective strategies that resonate with contemporary needs.

But the Endowment’s vision doesn’t stop at supporting existing institutions. In line with their “conservatively progressive” ethos, they are constantly on the lookout for emerging charitable organizations that offer novel solutions to pressing issues. Occasionally, when the situation demands, the Endowment even champions the inception and growth of new charitable entities, especially when such a step aligns perfectly with their overarching objectives.

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In essence, Lilly Endowment’s work is a masterful dance between tradition and innovation, always striving for the betterment of society, and always staying true to the philosophy of being conservatively progressive.

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