The Ayers Foundation Scholars Program began in 1999 with the vision of making higher education more accessible to young people in West Tennessee’s Decatur and Henderson counties.  Established at both Riverside High School and Scotts Hill High School, the Scholars Program was created to financially assist small-community students continue their education, through its own scholarships and with support in obtaining other sources of scholarship monies.  The Ayers Foundation’s goal was to see at least 75% of the high school graduates continue their education post high school.  This goal has been exceeded each year of the program’s existence. To see current program statistics, click here

Eligibility and Guidelines
The Ayers Foundation Scholars Program is available to all students who attend and graduate from Riverside High School or Scotts Hill High School.  This program neither lends nor grants money to other individuals. Students will be required to meet the following requirements:

  • Students must NOT have a criminal record involving substance abuse and must stay drug-free while in the program.
  • Students will be required to complete The Ayers Foundation Scholars Program application and 20 hours of Community Service (5 hours per year).
  • Students and their parents will be required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) each year the student is in school. Timely submission of the FASFA is mandatory for participation in The Ayers Foundation Scholars Program.
  • Students must attend a postsecondary school by the fall semester following graduation.  Students may choose to use their scholarships at a U.S. university, community college, or state-run vocational/technical institution.

Responsibilities of Recipients
Students that participate in The Ayers Foundation Scholars Program will be responsible for the following:

  • Must stay drug-free and maintain good moral character
  • Must be a full time student, in good standing with their postsecondary institution
  • Must pass 24 semester hours each year
  • Must apply each year for a renewal award.

Every graduating high school student at Riverside High School or Scotts Hill High School can receive up to $4000 annually for up to four years.  The amount of money awarded is need-based and is determined after all other sources of scholarships and financial aid have been awarded.  Students will be required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( ) each year the student is in school.  All applications for financial assistance are reviewed on an annual basis.

The Ayers Foundation Scholars Program is a partnership between the program, the student and their family.   The Ayers Foundation Scholars Program Counselors and Financial Aid Directors provide professional expertise and resources to assist students with seeking out all financial resources available either due to academic ability or financial need.  The student and their family must apply for all sources of financial aid and meet all required deadlines.  The Ayers Foundation Scholars Program offers and conducts financial aid workshops and encourages all students and their parents to attend. 

Once all financial aid is received, The Ayers Foundation scholarship removes the cost of higher education as a barrier to post-secondary education.  In turn, all that is asked of the student is that they succeed in college and life.  It is Mr. Ayers's hope that the young people who benefit from his philanthropy will, as adults, remember his commitment to them and pay it forward to future generations.

School Contacts
For information at Riverside High School, call (731) 852-2378
For information at Scotts Hill High School, call (731) 549-2373

Program Administration
To assure and maintain a high level of professionalism, the program is administered by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, an organization that serves as a leader, catalyst and resource by providing philanthropic services that enhance the Middle Tennessee area.

Payment of Funds
Checks will be mailed directly to the institutions. Checks will be issued in August for the fall semester and December for the spring semester.