Colonel Sanders Spirit Lives On in Educational Gifts
As of December 2012-February 2013, the KFC Corporation’s college scholarship program, known as the KFC Colonel’s Scholars Scholarships, is in abeyance. KFC Colonel’s Scholars awards are usually handed out by the KFC Foundation, which is the company’s conduit for its philanthropic efforts, but the foundation is at this time reviewing the terms of the program.
Since the application period generally begins every year on December 1, the timing of the review means applications for the 2013 award year will not proceed on schedule. However, you can always check the program link above for its current status.
The KFC Colonel’s Scholars program did not come into being until 2006, one year prior to the global recession, meaning it depends on a less certain business climate than originally expected. Additionally, the overall success of KFC brand owner Yum in the Chinese market temporarily declined in December 2012 due to a problem with its chicken supply. Notwithstanding the financial obstacles, the KFC Colonel’s Scholars program has given away more than $10 million in scholarship aid during its lifetime, carrying on Harlan Sanders’ legacy of shrewd marketing.
History of Kentucky Fried Chicken
The official corporate history promulgated by the KFC Corporation treats the company’s product, fried chicken, as an incidental detail in the story of the company’s colorful founder, “Colonel” Harland Sanders. KFC is an acronym standing for Kentucky Fried Chicken, the food product developed in the 1930s by Sanders into a nationally known brand name and chain of fast food restaurants. More objective versions of the company’s history show the chicken’s particular qualities resulted from Sanders’ innovative way of preparing it, and that particular product was central to the corporation’s successful development.
The traditional means of cooking fried chicken in a Southern kitchen involves a heavy cast iron frying pan and a half-hour cooking time, which hampered food service in the commercial kitchen at Sanders’ Kentucky gas station. Sanders purchased one of America’s first pressure cookers and modified it to fry rather than boil chicken, thus not only speeding up food production but also improving the chicken’s texture.
Sanders, a canny businessman, recognized the possibilities offered by the proposed expansion of the country’s interstate highway system in the 1950s. He marketed his style of frying, which had come to include an “original recipe” containing a specially compounded seasoning, to operators of roadside restaurants elsewhere in the U. S., dressing in his distinctive Kentucky Colonel costume for that purpose. An early franchisee named Pete Harman created a model for new restaurants by setting a list of prepared meals served in disposable paper buckets, completing the franchise package, and Sanders sold the company in 1964.
Terms of the sale included Sanders’ retention as company spokesman, meaning his iconic image continued to represent the business.
KFC Colonel’s Scholars Scholarships
Although the KFC Colonel’s Scholars program is not currently active, the existing guidelines for its administration will give you an idea of what to expect from any future application. The scholarship committee looks for students who, like Harlan Sanders, show a strong determination to steer their own businesses. Every applicant must demonstrate financial need and plan to attend a accredited post-secondary school located in his or her state of residence.
Here are the program’s other eligibility criteria as of the 2012 application period:
- You must graduate from high school in the relevant academic year (for 2012, that meant between December 1, 2011, and August 31, 2012).
- You must begin your college enrollment no later than September 30 of the latter year.
- You must enroll at a public school in the same state in which you claim legal residence.
- You must enroll in a course of study leading to a bachelors degree. That does not mean you cannot begin your education at a two-year school, but your degree must require you to finish at a four-year school.
- Your overall GPA in high school must be at least 2.75.
- You must be a U. S. citizen or permanent resident.
The application process begins online when you create a user account, which lets you log in multiple times to finish your application. There is a screening section consisting of six questions to determine your eligibility, and a six-part application, in which you submit material on the following topics: your academic history and financial status, general information about you, evidence of your leadership qualities, your responsibilities and external activities, and personal recommendations.
Since your name and photograph will be used on the company’s website, you will need to sign a release for that purpose. The “Class of 2012″ page shows how the personal information of the previous group of 75 scholarship recipients was used, and it remains well within acceptable bounds.
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