The Ron Brown Scholar Fund provides students awards of $40,000 over a period of four years ($10,000 year). Scholarship recipients are permitted to use their Ron Brown scholarship at any college or university within the United States. In addition to financial support, the Ron Brown scholarship also provides students with another form of support in order to help strengthen their development as a student. This extra support comes in the form of mentorship. Alumni of the Ron Brown scholarship program have been largely successful, often pursuing higher education or achieving success in some of the most competitive fields. This award was created as a way to honor former Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown, whose life was tragically cut short by a plane crash.
In order to be eligible to apply for the scholarship, students must meet various criteria which are outlined on the website. These criteria include: racially identifying as black or African American, exceptional academic marks, superior leadership abilities and potential, a history of community service involvement or giving back to one’s community, documented financial need, either a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident of the U.S., and a current high school senior who has not started college.
This scholarship is intended to help advance the educational goals of African American students who demonstrate intellectual acumen as well as a strong sense of community involvement. High school seniors who meet these selection criteria and who demonstrate financial need have the best chance of receiving the award. In addition, students should have overlapping interests in one of these four areas: community service, public service, being a citizen of the world, or business innovation. However, there are no restrictions on the type of degree that the funding will support. More information regarding the Ron Brown Scholarships can be found at their website: https://www.ronbrown.org/.
This scholarship can be used in conjunction with other financial benefits awarded to the student by their college or university (or from other funding agencies). The Ron Brown Scholarship award may be used for tuition as well as other educational expenses. In fact, the website indicates that there is much flexibility in how the award is used and that students can apply these funds to student fees, textbooks, housing and meal plans, health insurance, technological devices such as laptops, and other expenses related to attending school.
The deadline to apply for the Ron Brown scholarship is November 1st. Application packets must include all transcripts, a copy of standardized test scores (ACT or SAT), and letters of recommendation. The committee will notify semi-finalists in March of their status and then will notify recipients by April 1st. An application with more details about the scholarship, a list of frequently asked questions, and scholarship requirements can be located here: https://www.ronbrown.org/Media/Default/MediaGalleries/ApplicationPDFs/2015_Ron_Brown_Scholarship_Application.pdf. Eligible students should strongly consider applying for this unique scholarship given the flexibility in how the funds can be used and the additional advantage of having mentorship throughout your college career.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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