WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Horace Smith Fund, a local nonprofit in Westfield, has announced Thursday that they are accepting applications for scholarships and fellowship money.

Applicants must be graduates of Hampden County public or private high schools and must maintain at least a B average in college. Scholarships awarded will be worth $12,000, distributed as $3,000 annually and renewable each year until graduation. Fellowship funds of $15,000 that are awarded to students will be distributed as $5,000 annually and are renewable for two additional years.

Recipients are chosen based on several criteria, including financial need, college entrance exam scores, class rank, extra-curricular activities and recommendations.

Last year, the Horace Smith Fund awarded $249,000 to 20 people; 14 graduating seniors from eight Hampden County schools, three scholarships to college students working on their undergraduate degrees, and three fellowships awarded to college graduates pursuing graduate degrees.

Those interested should apply online or send their application to The Horace Fund at 16 Union Avenue, Suite 2K in Westfield by March 15. Applications may be available at local high school guidance offices.

The Horace Smith Fund was created in 1899 by Horace Smith, co-founder of Smith & Wesson in Springfield. The scholarships and fellowships are named after Walter S. Barr, a West Springfield businessman whose widow left the bulk of the family estate to the nonprofit in 1950.