First Citizens Bank Merit Scholarship


Through the generosity of the Robert P. Holding Foundation, an endowment fund was established in 1986 to provide scholarships for girls with strong academic records, personal character, and a desire to learn. The Holding family has renamed the fund to honor First Citizens Bank, the institution that members of their family have led since 1935. The First Citizens Bank Merit Scholarship is awarded on an annual basis to an incoming new student in grades 9, 10 or 11.

To be eligible for the First Citizens Bank Merit Scholarship, a student must be an applicant for admission to St. Catherine’s School as a new student in grades 9-11.  Students who apply for the scholarship must successfully complete the St. Catherine’s admissions process in addition to completing the scholarship application and character reference forms. Failure to complete all admissions and scholarship application documents by the deadline will disqualify the student from the scholarship selection process.

Candidates for the First Citizens Bank Merit Scholarship Award must be students with exceptional records of academic achievement and potential as demonstrated through performance in the classroom, on standardized tests and in extracurricular activities. A successful candidate should demonstrate leadership skills and exemplary personal qualities consistent with the Mission of St. Catherine’s School. Character, intellect and integrity are among the defining qualities of a First Citizens Bank Merit Scholarship recipient.

St. Catherine’s awards one merit-based scholarship (up to $15,000 annually) to the recipient during her school years at St. Catherine’s, provided that she remains in good standing. At the conclusion of each school year, the scholarship recipient’s academic performance and school conduct will be reviewed to ensure that she continues to meet the standards established by the scholarship. The scholarship recipient will be notified with her admissions decision and will be named a First Citizens Bank Scholar during her time at St. Catherine’s.

All scholarship applications will be reviewed by St. Catherine’s Upper School Admissions Committee.
The application process for First Citizens Bank Merit Scholarship will open for the 2024-2025 school year in November 2023.

  • November 1, 2023 - Merit Scholarship Applications open
  • February 1, 2024 - Merit Scholarship Applicant Questionnaire and Character Reference Form due
  • February 2024 - Merit Scholarship Applications under review
  • March 2024 - Notification of Admission Decision to include Merit Scholarship Award Recipient Notification
  • March 2024 - Enrollment Contract, Signed Scholarship Acceptance Letter and $1,000 deposit are due
 Note: Failure to submit all required documentation by the deadline will result in disqualification. 

How to Apply to the Merit Scholarship

Applicant Instructions

1. Submit an online admissions application for St. Catherine’s School. This is a prerequisite for all candidates who wish to apply for the First Citizens Bank Merit Scholarship Award.
2. Download and complete the Applicant Questionnaire. Responses to the questions may be handwritten or typed as long as each response includes the question number associated with it. It is recommended that your responses be saved and submitted as a PDF file format. Filename should include your first and last name and questionnaire. Example: JaneSmith_questionnaire.pdfPrepare
3. As instructed within the Applicant Questionnaire, complete a one-page student resume. Resume format and content are completely up to the applicant, but the document must be saved as a PDF file format. Filename should include your first and last name and resume.
Example: JaneSmith_resume.pdf
4. Submit Applicant Questionnaire and student resume by email to by midnight, February 1, 2024.
5. Applicant should download and provide the Character Reference Form to an adult who is not a relative. This may be someone who is teaching you in a subject other than English or math, or someone who knows you in a setting other than the classroom, such as a clergy member, club advisor, music instructor or coach.
Reference Writer Instructions
1. Complete the Character Reference Form. Responses may be handwritten or typed. It is recommended that your responses be saved and submitted as a PDF file format. Filename should include the applicant’s first and last name and reference. Example: JaneSmith_reference.pdf
2. Submit your reference by email to by midnight, February 1, 2024. If electronic submission is not possible, you may send the completed document to St. Catherine’s Admissions Office, Attn: FCB, 6001 Grove Avenue, Richmond, Va 23226. Mail must be postmarked no later than February 1, 2024.

For questions about the First Citizens Bank Merit Scholarship, please contact
Jennifer Cullinan, Director of Admissions, Enrollment and Auxiliary Programs, with any specific questions.  
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