Frequently Asked Questions

Can international students apply?

International students living in the US who plan on continuing their education at a 4 year US institution are welcome to apply for the Renaissance Scholars program. International students are also welcome to apply for the GSE scholarships at PSU and Lewis & Clark.

I am not a current high school senior (gap year or nontraditional student). Can I apply?

Students who take time off between graduating high school and starting at 4 year institution may still apply for the Renaissance Scholars Program. As long as you meet the criteria for the application then you may apply.

I have DACA status. Can I apply?

Undocumented and DACA students are encouraged to apply for the Renaissance Scholars Program as long as they meet all the criteria for the application (ie, first generation student, financial need, etc.) DACA students typically cannot file the FAFSA so these applicants will need to provide some other documents for the financial document component of the application. Parental tax forms or a statement of financial need may work in place of a copy of the FAFSA or tax forms for undocumented and DACA applicants.

How do you define first generation?

We define first generation student as the first in your family to attend a four year institution. First generation students who meet this criteria typically have more obstacles in reaching higher education, as no one in their immediate family have gone through the process of applying, enrolling, and attending a 4 year university. Students who are thinking of applying and have a parent or sibling who attended a community college or attended a 4 year institution but did not receive a degree may still apply but depending on the circumstances of the applicant, may not be considered after further discussion of circumstances.
Students who have a parent or sibling who have obtained a bachelor’s degree do not qualify for the Renaissance Scholars Program. If there any specific circumstances where the applicant is unsure about whether their application will be considered or not, please email

How do you define finanical need?

We typically define financial need by looking at the applicants financial information as a whole but generally we first look at Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) which is pulled from the FAFSA Student Aid Report. Students with an EFC of $5000 or higher are typically not considered unless there are other circumstances to consider.

Can I print and mail the application? Or only online?

The preferred delivery method is electronic but mailed applications will be accepted as needed.
Students are encouraged to scan all application components into one pdf file and email the file to before the deadline they are applying for. We understand computer access, scanning access, and email access can be a challenge for students so we are able to make accommodations for applicants who are needing assistance.
A helpful app for scanning is called “Genuis Scan.” It allows you to take photos of documents and then automatically turns them into PDF form. Then you can email to yourself or others. Another option is to use a combining website to merge your documents into one. This website works pretty well but needs the documents in pdf or jpg format to combine.

Is this an income or minority based scholarship?

This scholarship is for first generation, financially needy, high achieving students. We look at students academic success and ability (students need a 3.0 GPA to apply), extra-curricular activities, personal challenges and obstacles, financial situation and need, and recommendation letters. We also interview candidates who make it past the first round to learn even more about the applicant.

How do I submit my trasncript to TRF for my application?

Transcripts do not need to be official and should hopefully not cost you money to acquire. High school transcripts and college transcript can be unofficial and submitted with your other application components. There is no need to send an official transcript separate from your application and is actually preferred that it is included with all other materials. Email all components in one PDF document to

What does TRF look for when selecting recipients?

The application review is commenced by our committee members and they look at all components of the application. We look for applicants with a history of academic success or progress, financial need, and passion.
Your transcripts tell us a bit about you but we find out more, with your help, from your essays and recommendation letters. It is important to pick essay topics that reflect who you are. We love when applicants are personable and honest. Only the committee members see the application materials so there is no need to worry that someone might judge you or share your information. Be honest and show who you really are.

How can the scholarship be used?

This scholarship is contingent on acceptance to a four-year university and will be disbursed directly to the school from The Renaissance Foundation. Funds will be divided equally over each term and will be disbursed at the beginning of each term. You must enroll for and complete a full load of classes each term, remain in academic good standing at the institution, and maintain a GPA of at least 3.0. The Renaissance Scholarship is renewable for up to three additional years (up to $4,000 per year, based on need that school year) with the same criteria. Awarded funds will not exceed $16,000.This scholarship is a responsive, need-based award. Should you go on to receive a full-ride
scholarship or have less than $4,000 per year of unmet need from your college or another
organization, your Renaissance award could be reduced or waived. Use of scholarship funds for
books and other non-tuition educational expenses will occur at the discretion of The Renaissance Foundation.

What scholarships are available to prospective students?

The Renaissance Scholars program is open to current high school seniors, high school graduates, and college freshmen/sophomores with 60 credits or fewer. Find all eligibility requirements here.

We also offer school-specific scholarships. Portland State University offers the Renaissance Scholars Program application through their online scholarship application website portal. Find more information here

Portland State University Graduate students interested in the Graduate School of Education may also apply for the PSU GSE scholarship. Find more information here

Lewis and Clark graduate students interested in the Graduate School of Education can apply for the L&C GSE scholarship. Find more information here

When does the application open? What are the deadlines?

The Renaissance Scholars program has rolling deadlines. The first deadline is Feb 1st, followed by May 1st and August 1st. Students are able to apply for any of the rounds before each deadline. This includes PSU Undergrads through the PSU website as well

PSU GSE has a firm deadline through their scholarship portal, which is 2/1.

Lewis & Clark GSE GSE has a firm deadline 2/15.

Where can I find the application(s)?

You can find the Renaissance Scholars Program application here.

Portland State (PSU) undergrads can apply for the Renaissance Scholars Program through their website. Look for “The Renaissance Scholars Program” on the list of applications.

PSU GSE application is also available on PSU’s scholarship portal

Lewis and Clark GSE is available on their website.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Contact us with your questions.