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Robert H. Short Scholarships - Timeline and Information

Robert H. Short Scholars Program

The Robert H. Short Scholarship will provide renewable awards of up to $7,500/year for up to four years at a public university or private nonprofit university. 

Timeline for Robert H. Short Scholars Program - Class of 2024 – FAFSA required:

December 31, 2023:  FAFSA application available 

January 2, 2024:  Online application opens (Click on How to Apply in the menu for instructions and a link to the online application) 

February 12, 2024:  Application deadline at 11:59 PM (extended from February 5th) 

February 13 - March 18, 2024:  Application processing and evaluation

April 24, 2024: Deadline to submit FAFSA scores (extended due to FAFSA system delays) 

May 10, 2024:  Notify applicants via online system (extended due to FAFSA system delays) 

May 23, 2024:  Scholarship Awards Presentation (4pm to 5pm Cape Fear Botanical Garden) 


Eligibility information for the Robert H. Short Scholars Program

High school seniors who meet all of these requirements may apply:

  • Proven residency in Cumberland County, NC
  • Graduating from a high school in Cumberland County, NC the spring after the application deadline (includes all high schools, early colleges, and home schools)
  • Entering a nonprofit college or university within six months of high school graduation
  • Entering as a full-time, matriculating student (For-profit colleges/universities not eligible)
  • Unweighted GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Weighted GPA of 4.0 or higher, if the high school weights
  • Proof of PELL Grant eligibility by uploading the Student Aid Report received after completion of the FAFSA.   
  • Submitting a complete online application with all supporting information which includes the Student Aid Report generated from the FAFSA, all recommendation letters required and high school transcript

Priorities used in scoring the application:

  • Financial Need
  • Academic achievement
  • Community service and/or work history

This scholarship is renewable for up to three years subject to certain conditions:

  • Maintain full time enrollment in good standing
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Renewal request is submitted on or before the deadline



The Legacy of Robert H. Short 

In 2011, Cumberland Community Foundation received a generous gift from the estate of Robert H. Short. The charitable purpose of the gift was to help local students obtain a college degree.

Robert H. Short was born in Greensboro, NC and was one of six children. His father died when Short was only 15 years old which forced him to drop out of school at sixteen and go to work. Short served in combat during World War II and returned home in 1949 to work in the management program of Burlington Industries. He later relocated to Fayetteville and began working at Major Appliance Company which he later bought. During this time, Short completed home-study and night courses to achieve his High School equivalency degree. Short described himself as “a poor child” from modest means.

Though a successful businessman and a brilliant investor, Short always regretted that he had not attended college. He acquired his wealth through hard work, conservative living, and a successful self-designed investment strategy. During his life, he was a quiet and generous philanthropist, donating over $7 million to education and youth programs.

Robert H. Short wanted to help students have opportunities that he did not have. Upon his death in 2011, the Cumberland Community Foundation received a $10 million gift from his estate to continue his support for students forever. From 2011 - 2018, the foundation awarded $2,377,000 in scholarships from Mr. Short’s scholarship endowment gift to students attending three local colleges – Methodist University, Fayetteville State University, and Fayetteville Technical Community College.  

The Robert H. Short Scholars Program now provides last-dollar-in scholarships up to $7,500/year (up to $30,000 total for up to four years) to students from Cumberland County, NC who will attend any four-year nonprofit college or university. Scoring will give equal weight to 1) academic achievement, 2) community service (or work history), and 3) demonstrated financial need.