The Renaissance Scholars Program

The Renaissance Scholars Program is a renewable award for high achieving, financially needy, first generation college students. The Renaissance Scholars program offers a renewable college scholarship of up to $4,000 awarded annually (with a maximum cumulative award of up to $16,000). Students who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. As a Renaissance Scholar, students will receive financial assistance to aid in their higher education pursuit. In addition to funds, scholars receive support from foundation staff in navigating the higher education system. Scholars are invited to foundation sponsored events throughout the year to encourage open communication and support for success.

Students may apply if they meet ALL the following requirements:

  • Have one of the following academic statuses:
    • A high school senior graduating Spring 2020 in Oregon, Chicago or Baltimore and planning to attend a fully accredited 4-year U.S. college or university in the fall 2020
    • A college freshman or incoming sophomore in Oregon, Chicago or Baltimore attending a fully accredited 4-year U.S. college or university in the fall 2020
    • An Oregon based community college student who has completed at least one year and is planning to transfer as a sophomore or junior to a 4-year U.S. college or university seeking a bachelor’s degree. (Note: Financial awards will not be given while in community college but will begin with the first term of enrollment at the student’s transfer 4-year institution.)
  • Must be the first member of their immediate family to attend an accredited U.S. 4-year college or university (meaning neither parent and/or siblings obtained a bachelor’s degree, see more info in our FAQ section)
  • Must have demonstrated financial need
  • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and have shown academic achievement
  • Must be seeking a bachelor’s degree and plan to attend an accredited U.S. 4 year college or university on a full-time basis time. Recipient may attend a community college, but only with the intention of transferring and obtaining a bachelor’s degree (NOTE: TRF will not award funds while attending community college, only after transferring to a four year institution)
  • Have demonstrated good character either through leadership potential (school, home and/or community activities); a concern for others (through contributions to volunteer projects and/or family needs); and/or work ethic (responsibility, initiative and skill-building through paid or unpaid work experiences)

If the student meets all the above requirements, then they may submit an online application. Students must upload and submit all parts of the application online by the submission deadlineIncomplete applications will not be reviewedTo view and submit your application, please follow this link. Application components consist of:

  • All required questions on the online application including contact info, school information, and familial information.
  • Two written essays, Write two essays, each 500 words or less:

    First essay, answer the following topic:

    • Describe a significant personal challenge or problem, how it affected you, how you overcame or tried to overcome the problem, and what you learned about yourself in the process.

    Second essay, answer one of the following topics (your choice):

    • How would your best friend describe your character?  How would your worst enemy describe your character?
    • Who is your primary role model (cannot be a family member)? Why? What have you learned from this person that has shaped your character and goals?
    • Describe your career as you imagine it 10 years from now,
    • Introduce yourself to us so that we may get to know you better—your personality, best and worst traits, future goals and passion around your field of study.
  • An online letter of recommendation from an educational source (teacher, professor, counselor)
  • An online letter of recommendation from another source (someone who knows the applicant well in an educational setting, civic capacity, or personal, ex: coach, boss, mentor, non-family member)

Paper copies of these items should be scanned and then uploaded to your online application or electronic copies of these items should be uploaded to the application.

  • A copy of your high school transcript
  • A copy of all your college transcripts
  • A copy of your SAT/ACT scores (if you did not take these tests, attach a statement stating so)
  • A copy of your financial information: (at least one of the following should be attached)
    • A copy of your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) or ORSAA copy (for Oregon students)
    • A copy of your parents most recent tax paperwork (paperwork like Tax Form 1040 or similar paperwork)
    • Statement on financial situation (if parent does not file taxes, did not file FAFSA/ORSAA, or something in your paperwork does not accurately reflect your current financial situation)
  • Optional item: Resume or a list of your activities including part/full-time jobs, extracurriculars, pre-college programs, summer college experience, and/or internships (include employer/organization, position, dates involved, and hours per week)


To review the application and submit online, please follow this link. Find more helpful information on our FAQ page.

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions section for more information about our scholarship programs.