A scholarship to cover any unmet financial needs.

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus is offering a unique opportunity to future teachers and school administrators from Manatee County: A scholarship to cover any unmet financial needs.

The McCracken Educators Scholarship is available for undergraduate and graduate students who reside in Manatee and have been admitted to a degree program in USF Sarasota-Manatee’s School of Education. The scholarship may be used for tuition or any other unmet educational expenses.

“This scholarship is ideal for future teachers and educational administrators who are Manatee County residents. In collaboration with the School District of Manatee County, our hope is to provide a pathway for students to begin their careers in the district or to further their careers there with a graduate degree,” Marie Byrd, EdD, director of the School of Education, said.

Marie Byrd, EdD, director of the School of Education

The scholarship’s aim is to encourage undergraduate and graduate students from Manatee to pursue degrees and careers in education. It’s designed to assist students already enrolled in degree programs in the School of Education as well as those planning to seek admittance in the future, including Manatee County high school students entering the pre-education program and State College of Florida students transferring to the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus.

“Just like we worked together to provide a strong dual enrollment program for our students, the McCracken Educators Scholarship is another wonderful example of a mutually beneficial partnership between our district and USF Sarasota-Manatee,” Manatee District Superintendent Cynthia Saunders said. “This partnership will help provide Manatee County schools with home-grown teachers and administrators who are personally invested in our schools and community.”

As part of the eligibility requirements, undergraduate and transfer applicants must possess at least a 2.5 Grade Point Average and graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students must apply for the scholarship between November and May 22.

To apply, visit, click “Apply Now” and follow the instructions to submit an application for the McCracken Scholarship, or apply for other available scholarships.

The scholarship awards have been expanded to encourage more applications to further honor the spirit of the endowment’s founders, Francis and Gaile McCracken.

Longtime educators, the McCrackens were world travelers in retirement and remained devoted to educational causes throughout their lifetimes, including locally. The endowment named on their behalf received a generous $1.3 million bequest in 2012 after Francis McCracken died.

“The McCrackens were dedicated educators who believed in the importance of having a steady pipeline of qualified, capable teachers and educational administrators,” Byrd said. “They also recognized that quality education comes at a price, and they acted on that need by offering their generous support.”

“Their legacy ensures that future generations of educators in Manatee County will realize their dreams and continue to fulfill the needs of our educational system,” she said.

To learn more about the scholarship, contact the campus’ Office of Financial Aid, or (941) 359-4622.

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