The Renaissance Scholars Program provides renewable scholarships for high achieving, first-generation college students with financial need. The scholarship contributes up to $4,000 a year towards tuition and fees, housing, books and supplies for students, depending on each students individual financial need. In addition to funds, scholars receive support from foundation staff in navigating the higher education system and persisting to graduation. Scholars are invited to foundation sponsored events throughout the year to encourage connections between our scholars and our staff.

Students may apply if they meet ALL the following requirements:
    1. Plan to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. 4-year college and have one of the following academic statuses:
      • High school senior graduating spring 2021
      • Current freshman or sophomore student at a 4-year college
      • Community college student planning to transfer to a 4-year college in the fall of 2021 (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 college)
    2. Be a first-generation college student who is either the very first child your family to attend a 4-year college or the second child. Third (or later) siblings are not eligible for this scholarship. (see FAQ for more info)
    3. Have significant demonstrated financial need, typically meaning an EFC of $6,000 or less (see FAQ section for more).
    4. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and have shown academic achievement.

In addition to meeting the requirements above, The Renaissance Scholars Program is looking for students who demonstrate: leadership potential, a concern for others, and a strong work ethic. These qualities can be demonstrated through participation in volunteering, membership in clubs/community organizations, paid/unpaid work, or family responsibilities. Successful candidates are able to clearly communicate their strengths and goals, both in their written application and in an interview setting.

February 1, 2021 Deadline

Feb. 1: Submission deadline

Feb. 2-29: Applications read and scored by volunteer committee

Early March: All applicants notified whether they will be moving on

March 1- April 14: Interviews held (decisions sent on a rolling basis)

April 19: All interviewees notified of award decision

May 1, 2021 Deadline

May 1: Submission deadline

May 2-31: Applications read and scored by volunteer committee

Early June: All applicants notified whether they will be moving on

June 1- June 30: Interviews held (decisions sent on a rolling basis)

June 30: All interviewees notified of award decision

Application Components:
    1. All required application boxes filled out and proofread
    2. Most recent unofficial high school transcripts, and college transcripts if applicable
    3. SAT/ACT scores (not required if student was not able to take the test due to COVID, see frequently asked questions section for more info)
    4. One of the following financial documents: 1. FAFSA Student Aid Report 2. Completed ORSAA/Alternative Application copy 3. Parent’s most recent tax paperwork (Form 1040 or similar) only if neither FAFSA/ORSAA apply
    5. Letter of Recommendation #1- from an educational source (teacher, professor, counselor, non-family member)
    6. Letter of Recommendation #2- from another source (coach, boss, mentor, non-family member)
    7. Essay #1 (1,000 words or less)
      • The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Describe a significant personal challenge or problem you’ve faced, how it affected you, how you overcame or tried to overcome the problem, and what you learned about yourself in the process.
    8. Essay #2 (pick one of the provided prompts, 500 words or less)
      • 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.
      • Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
      • Describe your life in 10 years. Tell us about your career, your accomplishments, hobbies, home, anything you see. How did college contribute?
      • Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you?
          • Optional Items:
                1. Activities summary or resume including jobs, extracurriculars, pre-college experiences, etc.
                2. Statement on financial situation to add context if necessary (ex: if your paperwork does not accurately reflect your current financial situation)

    Color Block Flyer

    Downloadable flyer to post on social media or school bulletin board.

    Informational Flyer

    Downloadable flyer to provide as a handout for students.

    Renaissance Social Media Post

    Downloadable social media post for partners to use on Facebook and Instagram.

    Reach Us

    The Renaissance Foundation

    P O Box 80516 Portland, OR 97280

    (+1) 503.726.5970

    Ask the Foundation a Question

    10 + 8 =