NDACo College Scholarship Fund


The NDACo scholarship program was created in 1998 to assist county families afford college. Children and grandchildren of county officials and employees are eligible to apply. The scholarship fund is supported by corporate sponsors like Nationwide Retirement Solutions and county donors from across the state. Thanks to their generosity, the scholarships have grown from two $500 awards to six $2,000 awards! Thank you to all who contribute!

In 2010, the Amy Svihovec Memorial Scholarship was created in memory of Amy Svihovec, daughter of Linda Svihovec, former Auditor and Treasurer of McKenzie County. Amy's scholarship has been supported by additional memorial funds of friends and family members, along with a long-term commitment from the Svihovec family.

Deadline has passed for the 2019-2020 school year. 

A selection committee reviews all applications carefully, judging them on community service, personal/professional accomplishments and academics with the emphasis on leadership potential.

If you have any questions about the NDACo Scholarship program, please contact Jeff Eslinger at 800-932-8730 or

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How do you define "county employee or official"
A: Any elected commissioner and all other elected or appointed officials and all employees who are currently on the payroll of a county; in other words, if the county writes their paycheck.

Q: Does this include part-time employees?
A: Yes, if they are "permanent part-time." This does not include seasonal employees.

Q: Does this include past employees?
A: No, however if the parent/grandparent is employed at the time the scholarship application is submitted and their employment ends AFTER the application, the application will still be valid. 

Q: Can graduate students apply?
A: No, the scholarship is for undergraduates only.

Q: Which institutions are eligible?

A: Any accredited institution of higher learning in North Dakota. This includes private colleges, technical training centers and all schools in the NDUS System. To look up any institution's accreditation status, please visit



2018 Scholarship Recipients:

Bottineau County

Justin Cote-Kanning, Son of Barb Cote, Bottineau County Deputy Auditor
Attending University of Mary

Burleigh County

Courtney Leben, Daughter of Kelly Leben, Burleigh County Chief Deputy Sheriff
Attending University of North Dakota

Cass County

Beth Podoll, Daughter of Frank Podoll, Cass County Design and Construction Engineer
Attending North Dakota State University

Foster County

Madison Solwey, Daughter of Lisa Hilbert, Foster County Public Health Nurse
Attending University of Jamestown

Grant County

Hannah Diehl, Daughter of Patrick Diehl, Grant County Emergency Manager/9-1-1 Coordinator
Attending University of Mary
 - Hanna was awarded the Amy Svihovec Memorial Scholarship, named for the daughter of former McKenzie County Auditor/Treasurer Linda Svihovec. Amy, a University of Mary graduate, died in a vehicle accident in 2010.

Richland County

Riley Breuer, Son of Jill Breuer, Richland County 9-1-1 Communications Manager
Attending North Dakota State University

To read their essays on county government careers, click the link here or in the left column.


Four High School Seniors will Win $2,500 NACo/Nationwide Scholarships

The National Association of Counties has partnered with Nationwide Retirement Solutions to offer four $2,500 scholarships for high school seniors. Winning applicants will have written a short essay describing why it’s important for a public sector employee to start saving early for retirement.

The Nationwide/NACo scholarship program is intended to encourage high-school seniors to think about retirement.

Why spur high school students, many of whom haven’t even started full-time work, to think about retirement? Three reasons – by applying for the scholarship the students:

  1. May consider the financial impact of their decisions about college and their career and realize it is never too soon to start thinking about saving for retirement.
  2. Begin to recognize the advantage of having a plan and implementing it sooner rather than later.
  3. Identify specific actions that help prepare for a financially successful future.

To be eligible, applicants must be graduating high school seniors who are legal U.S. residents and their parent or grandparent must be enrolled in and contributing to a NACo 457 Deferred Compensation Program plan. In addition, the student must enroll in a full-time undergraduate course of study no later than the fall term at an accredited two- or four-year college.

Application period is between April 1 and May 31.

For more information about the scholarship

All of the information about eligibility, judging criteria and notification process are on the NACo and Nationwide Web sites. For more information, go to