The Renaissance Scholars Program provides renewable scholarships for high-achieving, first-in-family college students. 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. Be a student in Oregon or Illinois OR be planning to attend a 4-year college in Oregon or Illinois. 

2. 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 2022
  • 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 2022 (NOTE: Scholarships may not be applied at community college. If students decide to enroll or continue at community college, they will need to reapply when they are ready to transfer.)

3. Be the very first person in your family to attend a 4-year college. Students who have a parent with a bachelor’s degree, or a sibling graduated from, or currently enrolled in, a 4-year college are not eligible.  (see FAQ section for more info)

4. Have significant demonstrated financial need. Renaissance defines this as an EFC of $6,500 or less, or equivalent for those who do not file the FAFSA. If Renaissance scholarship winners go on to win a “full ride” scholarship through their college or an organization, the Renaissance award will be rescinded.(see FAQ section for more info).

5. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and have shown academic achievement.

In addition to meeting the requirements above, The Renaissance Foundation 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.

U.S. citizenship is not a requirement to be eligible for this scholarship. (see FAQ section for more)

February 1, 2022 Deadline

February 1  Application due

February  Committee review

Late February  Finalists notified

March  Interviews

All applicants notified of final decision by April 1.

May 1, 2022 Deadline

Application Processing Dates TBA

Application Components:
      1. All required application boxes filled out and proofread
      2. Most recent unofficial high school transcripts, and college transcripts if applicable
      3. One of the following financial documents:
        • FAFSA Student Aid Report
        • Completed ORSAA/Alternative Application copy
        • Parent’s most recent tax paperwork (Form 1040 or similar) only if neither FAFSA/ORSAA apply
      4. Letter of Recommendation #1- from an educational source (teacher, professor, counselor, non-family member)
      5. Letter of Recommendation #2- from another source (coach, boss, mentor, non-family member)
      6. 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.
      7. 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. SAT/ACT scores
      2. Activities summary or resume including jobs, extracurriculars, volunteer experiences, etc.
      3. 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

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