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Dr. Aurora DeCastro Scholarship

A four-year scholarship in honor of Dr. Aurora DeCastro

Dr. Aurora DeCastro Scholarship

In honor of Dr. Aurora DeCastro, the Sturgis Area Community Foundation is offering an opportunity for one student in St. Joseph County to receive a four-year scholarship totaling $40,000 

Applicants must be nominated by their school & invited to apply.

Scholarship Portal

Dr. Aurora DeCastro Scholarship Guideline


  • A resident of St. Joseph County

  • Neither parent/guardian with whom the student resides has completed a 4-year baccalaureate degree

  • Accredited St. Joseph County high school graduate planning to enroll in an accredited college in the fall of 2024

  • Must enroll in a four-year college degree program

About Dr. Aurora DeCastro

Dr. Aurora DeCastro was born on September 27, 1933, and came to the United States from Cuba as a young girl. She received her undergraduate degree from LSU in Baton Rouge and a doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After a long and successful career, De. Decastro retired from Miles Laboratories in Elkhart, Indiana. She went on to establish several new businesses and holds several patents on inventions of her making. Dr. DeCastro passed away on February 27, 2023. Before her passing, Dr. DeCastro sought to help others further their education through the establishment of her educational foundation fund.

About the Scholarship

Through the Sturgis Area Community Foundation, the Dr. Aurora DeCastro Scholarship fund will award a four-year scholarship totaling $40,000 ($10,000/year) to one high school senior. These students who will begin classes in the fall of 2024 may attend any accredited college within the United States of America.

Each eligible high school in the county may nominate one student. From this group, the Community Foundation's Scholarship Committee will nominate the DeCastro Fund's Scholarship finalists.

Application Process

1. Nomination

2. Application

3. Interview

4. Award

How it works:

  • Area high schools nominate applicants.

    • SACF will contact school administrators and guidance offices to share this opportunity.​

  • Nominated applicants submit applications online (December 1 - March 1.)

  • DeCastro scholarship committee reviews applications and selects finalists (Month of March)

  • Finalists interview with the DeCastro scholarship committee in April.

  • In May, a recipient will be selected and announced.


Contact us at (269) 659-8508 or email

DeCastro Scholarship FAQs

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  • For the Foundation's purposes, this is defined as a person who is among the first generation in their family who expects to graduate from a 2-year or 4-year college with the intent of obtaining a degree. A sibling may have a degree or be currently enrolled in college.

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Applicant Resources

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to be considered for federal, state and college grants, loans, and work-study.

See all of the student aid programs offered by the state of Michigan.

Informative website to help you make your college dreams a reality.

Streamlines the process of gaining financial aid for college with a comprehensive scholarship database, and a step-by-step guide to FAFSA.


Our FAFSA Requirements have changed.

To accommodate FAFSA processing delays, the Foundation will accept alternate forms of SAI until students receive their official Student Aid Report (SAR). If you completed the 2024-25 FAFSA and have not received your Student Aid Report, please see the options below to submit your application by the March 1st deadline.

There are 3 ways to satisfy your FAFSA information in the application:

  • Students may complete the Federal Student Aid Estimator and submit that number in the application when asked for their SAI. For a step-by-step on how to complete the estimator, click HERE.

  • Students may submit the estimate they receive via email once they have submitted the FAFSA form. 

  • Students may submit their official Student Aid Index (SAI) from their Student Aid Report (SAR) if they receive it before the March 1 deadline. 


Please Note: The student will still need to verify their official FAFSA information after submitting their scholarship application. After March 1st, all students who checked "yes" to completing the FAFSA will receive a FAFSA Verification Form via email. Please see the FAFSA Verification button below to access the form. This form should be completed as soon as you receive your official FAFSA information.

If you have questions about the FAFSA, please contact our office at (269) 659-8508 or email

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