Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship 2021

The scholarship application period for this program has closed, so you cannot apply at this time.
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 Awards Eligible to Scholars Enrolled in Public and Private Four-Year HBCUs

In 2018, to honor and commemorate the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Douglass, a scholarship program was established in support of students attending accredited historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) nationwide. The program, which recognizes and celebrates one of the most transformative figures in our nation’s history, will be administered and managed by UNCF for a period of 20 years, through 2039.

Program Design

The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program was established by Tony Signore, whose knowledge, respect and deep admiration for Douglass was instilled in him in 1982 by the Jesuits at Fordham University. To honor one of the most important African American figures in our country’s history, the Signore Family designed and funded the program to recognize this historic leader, providing scholarship support to outstanding young women and men attending HBCUs.

The program awards two (2) $10,000 scholarships each year to exceptional HBCU seniors (one female and one male) who have demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and unmet financial need.

Selection Criteria

The application is now open for the 2021-2022 academic year. Applicants for the program must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be enrolled full-time as a senior at any accredited public or private four-year historically black college or university (HBCU).
  2. Possess a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale as verified through submission of a current transcript.
  3. Demonstrate a commitment to community service.
  4. Have a demonstrated, unmet financial need as verified by their college or university.
  5. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”) form.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted online and include all of the following:

  1. Two (2) letters of recommendation from faculty members on how the applicant reflects the values espoused by Frederick Douglass.
  2. Responses to two (2) essay questions:
    • In 500 words, please discuss your primary interests, career aspirations, what motivates you and how you intend to impact society. Share significant leadership experiences, community involvement and achievements to date.
    • In 500-700 words, please discuss the impact Frederick Douglass had on society and how his legacy inspires you in today's world.

(The first essay requires the applicant to assess self-awareness, leadership and community involvement; the second essay requires the applicant to address the impact Frederick Douglass had on society in the 19th century, and its relevance today as our nation continues to fight for equality.)

      3. A current transcript.

If you have questions, please email William Dunham.




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