The General Motors Foundation was developed in 1976 as a non-profit channel for the American car manufacturer to invest energy and funds into developing stronger communities across the country. They achieve this mission through a variety of ways, including volunteerism and grant funding. Since 2006, the Foundation has awarded over $261 million of grant money to a number of charitable organizations as well as global disaster relief. The foundation places particular emphasis on volunteering, boasting a total of 53,000 volunteer hours in 2015 completed by 6,280 teamGM Cares employee volunteers. The foundation distributes grant funding to many important organizations and efforts working towards safety and sustainability as well as education.
The General Motors Foundation also places a particular importance of increasing access to education, as exhibited through the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program which they fund each year. The scholarship program is designed to educate and empower future generations of automotive industry workers who excel and are looking to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. The scholarship also targets low-income students who may not normally have the funds to attend college.
50 incoming freshmen or current college students receive the GM Foundation funded scholarship for up to $25,000 per year for up to four years. Students who receive the scholarship and will be completing a five-year engineering program at a university will earn the renewed scholarship for all five years of their program of study.
The scholarship competition is open to high school seniors as well as current college students who plan to enroll or are enrolled in a full-time four-year undergraduate program. Applicants must be enrolled in an eligible STEM major. Ideally, applicants will plan to work in the automotive industry after obtaining their college degree.
Scholarships are awarded to intelligent, well-rounded students who can demonstrate high academic achievement as well as a need for financial assistance throughout their collegiate journey. Awardees will also exhibit a dedication to impacting their communities through public service and civic leadership.
Eligible students can apply for the Buick Achievers Scholarship online. The application opens at the beginning of January and closes at the end of February of each year. Scholarship winners are selected by Scholarship Management Services. Please note that particular emphasis will be placed on applicants who meet the following criteria: females, minorities, military veterans, first-generation college students, and dependents of military personnel.
All scholarship applicants will be notified as to whether or not they received the scholarship by the end of April. Scholarships are given in two disbursements, one in August and one in December. Winners will receive their checks at their homes, but they will be made payable to the university in which they are enrolled. Scholarship funds may be used for all related educational fees, including the following: tuition, fees, books, room and board, etc. In order for the scholarship to be renewed each year, recipients must remain full-time students, maintain a 3.0 grade point average, and continue to pursue one of the Buick Achiever Scholarship eligible majors.