Southern Scholarship Foundation (SSF) provides rent-free, cooperative living housing for students who lack financial resources, demonstrate excellent academic merit, and exemplify good character. SSF was founded in 1955 by Dr. Mode Stone, the Dean of Education at FSU, and the Foundation has now served close to 10,000 students over its 67-year history.
Our goal for FSU's Great Give is to secure 50 donors to provide two students who have experienced housing or food insecurity a rent-free home for one year and support them in their journey to graduate from college. Many SSF residents have struggled with shelter, and some have experienced housing instability throughout their life, moving from apartment to apartment, sleeping in vehicles, or traversing friends’ couches. SSF has been collecting data and 25% of our residents faced housing insecurities prior to joining the program. Additionally, 34% of SSF applicants reported that they have experienced food insecurity, described as not having enough food or money to buy food.
SSF is so much more than financial savings. Residents live in a cooperative living environment that teaches valuable life skills and offers a support system. SSF residents pay for their food and utilities only, while also being accountable to manage the household budget, cook and clean with each other, and take on leadership positions. They cook and eat dinner together four nights a week and there is always a full pantry of food. Lifelong friendships are formed within the walls of SSF scholarship houses. SSF operates 16 houses in Tallahassee, and 9 additional houses throughout Florida. Compared to other housing options, like dorms, SSF saves each resident approximately $13,000 annually, making a college education affordable and attainable. We are so proud that 78% of SSF residents from Spring 2022 graduated with $0 in student debt!
In SSF homes, the cooperative living and leadership experiences stretch into lifelong impacts. As one recent SSF alum wrote, “I learned so much about relationship building with people from different backgrounds and learning how to interact and socialize with people from different places in the world!”
Help us continue to support our extraordinary SSF residents.