Roothbert Fund Scholarships | The Application Process | Renewal of Grants
Fostering Fellowship
| Carl T. Solberg Award

The Roothbert Fund was created in 1958 by Albert and Toni Roothbert to help men and women in need of financial aid to further their education. The principal focus of The Fund is its Scholarships Program, through which it makes grants for undergraduate or graduate study at accredited colleges or universities. Scholarships may only be applied to study at an accredited institution based in the United States. The Fund seeks candidates who are "motivated by spiritual values," and works to foster fellowship among them.


The Fund is a small, nearly all-volunteer scholarship fund based in New York City, which awards yearly grants and works to foster fellowship among grant recipients. Once a year, the Fund accepts applications for grants, which include essays, transcripts and recommendations. From these written applications, the Fund identifies a group of finalists to be invited for a brief personal interview. On the basis of this interview, the Fund typically selects about 20 new scholarship recipients each year.

Eligibility: Roothbert Fund scholarships are open to all in the United States regardless of sex, age, color, nationality or religious background. While the Fund does not emphasize any particular form of religious practice or worship, it seeks to provide support to persons motivated by spiritual values. The Fund has awarded grants to persons entering a wide range of careers. However, preference will be given to those who can satisfy high scholastic requirements and are considering careers in education. For more information, applicants should read with care the Founders Prologue in the History and Mission of the Fund.

Size of grants: Grants are small (averaging $2,000-$3,000) and are meant to be supplementary. Aid is given for the ensuing school year.


VERY IMPORTANT--BEFORE YOU CONSIDER APPLYING: Please note that applicant interviews are scheduled on extremely short notice in March and are held in New York, New Haven, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. The Fund will not pay any transportation charges or other costs of applicants who are invited to be interviewed. Persons who live at a significant distance from these cities should reconsider submitting an application, if the expense and time required to travel to any of those cities would be unduly burdensome. No grant is awarded by the Fund without a personal interview. However, submitting an application does not guarantee being invited for an interview, and being invited for an interview does not guarantee a scholarship.

In making a decision to apply, applicants should also keep in mind that if they are awarded a grant, they will be obligated to attend at least one weekend fellowship conference sponsored by the Fund during the first year on grant.

Obtaining an application: Because of its staff limitations, the Fund designates a two-month period from December 1 to January 31 each year in which printed applications forms are made available. Because forms are revised each year, applicants are discouraged from copying forms that may be on file with financial aid offices, or have been saved from prior years.

Requests for application forms should be directed to the Fund after December 1 for the ensuing school year. The form includes requests for autobiographical essays, supporting transcripts and letters of recommendation. To obtain a copy of the current application form, submit a written request with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to The Roothbert Fund, Inc., 475 Riverside Drive, Room 252, New York, NY 10115, or you may download a current copy of the form here between December 1 and January 25. NOTE: The application form is four pages long. All four pages must be submitted with the application, or it will not be accepted for consideration by the Fund.

(Please note:This is a PDF (Portable Document Format) document; you'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or later to display and print out the application form.)

Application deadline February 1: Completed application forms, together with all transcripts and reference letters, must be delivered or sent to the Fund postmarked no later than February 1 to be considered for the following year. Applications for renewal grants have the same deadline. The Fund is not able to reply to late applications or requests.

Interviews: After the application forms are received, some candidates will be invited to an interview with the Scholarships Committee. The Fund does not make grants to applicants who are not invited to be interviewed. Interviews are held during March of each year at Fund headquarters in New York City and currently also in Washington, DC, New Haven, and Philadelphia. Before entering the competition, each applicant should consider carefully whether he or she can arrange to be present for such an interview and must affirm on the application form his or her intention to be present for an interview, if invited. The Fund does NOT reimburse applicants' travel or other expenses incurred in the interview process.

Announcement date: Awards are announced in late April. Grants are mailed to the grantees' institutions in August.

Terms of acceptance: Acceptance of an award obligates the recipient to:
maintain a high standard of work and conduct,
have transcripts sent to the Fund by his or her school after each semester,
attend at least one weekend fellowship meeting,
keep a close relationship with the Fund through correspondence and visits, and
advise the Fund promptly of any change in his or her academic or financial situation.

Every award is subject to revocation if, in the opinion of the Fund, the holder fails to live up to these requirements.


Renewals of grants are considered in the light of achievements during the previous year. Fellows seeking a renewal must complete and submit the Fund's renewal application by February 1, accompanied by transcripts for the current year. Renewal announcements are made in late April, at the same time as new awards are announced. Because funds are limited, the Roothbert Fund typically supports Fellows during the pursuit of one academic degree program only.

Roothbert Fellows can read more about the renewal process in the section For Roothbert Fellows. (Note: this section requires a password; see information.)


Men and women now or formerly on stipend are called Roothbert Fellows. In their first year on grant, new Fellows must attend a weekend meeting at Pendle Hill, a Quaker study center in a wooded setting outside of Philadelphia (dates in June and September to be announced each year). This event is an informal retreat, typically led by a former grant recipient, on a theme that permits Fellows to explore and discuss an important issue while getting to know one another better. Fellows are encouraged to attend Pendle Hill gatherings whenever possible, as well as informal get-togethers that are held occasionally in New York and other cities.

Fellows who have completed their studies are eligible to apply to the Roothbert Fund for seed funding for service projects. (See information on Fellows' Projects in About the Fund.)


In addition to its regular scholarships, the Fund has established the Carl T. Solberg Award. Candidates do not apply directly for this award. Rather the Fund may, when appropriate, identify an individual from among the yearıs pool of applicants who seems to exemplify the attributes associated with the award.

 
Carl T. Solberg

The Solberg Award was created by the Fund to honor Carl Solberg for his service, his guidance and his dedication. In 1996, Carl T. Solberg retired as President of the Fund. At the time, Carl had given nearly 40 years of service to the Fund beginning by consulting with the founders about its very inception. Since then he has provided not only continuity but also the enormous energy and tireless commitment that have enabled this remarkable enterprise to survive far beyond the mission originally envisioned by Albert and Toni Roothbert. Carl continues to contribute to the Fund as its Secretary and as "chief fanner of the flame" of fellowship among the nearly 1000 fellows who have benefited from the founders' generous vision.

By vocation, Carl was a journalist whose career at Time, Inc. included stints on the Latin America desk and the Middle East desk at Time magazine and at Time-Life Books. During the Time years he contributed cover stories on many political leaders including David Ben Gurion, Gamal Abdul Nasser, Harold MacMillan and Nikita Khrushchev. Later, as a freelancer, Carl wrote, among other things, books on the Cold War, the politics of oil, a history of American aviation, a biography of his fellow Minnesotan, Hubert H. Humphrey, and an account of his experiences during World War II with Admiral William Halsey in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the South Pacific.

The Carl Solberg Award is funded not by capital left by the founders, but by a special account established for that purpose with donations from over 100 Roothbert Fellows. The authorizing resolution provides that the Award will be given from time to time to students of history or journalism who demonstrate the diversity of interests and the breadth of mind that characterize Carl Solberg, or students who have rendered unusual service to the Fund, and who otherwise exhibit those characteristics that typify the Roothbert Fellow. The first Solberg Award was granted in 1998.

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