The Pierre and Tana Matisse Scholarship 2020

The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation is committed to supporting people from communities who directly experience the consequences of injustice and discrimination every day of their lives. In partnership with UNCF, the Foundation has developed The Pierre and Tana Matisse Scholarship program to provide need-based scholarships to Black, Latinx, and Indigenous undergraduate students from the five boroughs of New York City attending any accredited four-year institution or two-year community college in the United States.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Be Black, Latinx, or Indigenous*.
  2. Be a U.S. citizen.
  3. Reside in, or be a permanent resident of, one of the five boroughs of New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island).
  4. Be currently classified as a college undergraduate (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior). 
  5. Be currently enrolled full-time at any accredited U.S. 4-year institution or 2-year community college.
  6. Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  7. Have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have a demonstrated unmet financial need.

Applicants who do not meet all Eligibility Requirements will not be considered for this scholarship award. 

Application Process

Applications must be submitted online by the closing date, and must include:

  1. A current academic transcript (official or unofficial).
  2. A 1-page essay (see Essay Guidance below for details).
  3. One letter of recommendation (see Letter of Recommendation Guidance below for details).
  4. *Indigenous applicants must upload verification of tribal affiliation to their application.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applicants who have submitted complete applications will be notified of scholarship decisions by April 30, 2021.

Essay Guidance

The applicant must submit a thoughtful 1-page (350-500 word) essay that describes their career goals, and addresses how their academic, extracurricular, and volunteer activities have and will prepare them to achieve their goals. 

Letter of Recommendation Guidance (Updated for Clarification)

One letter of recommendation (LOR) is required to complete this application. The recommender must not be a friend or relative of the applicant. The LOR must be made through the online Applicant System, and must be received by the application closing date. Emailed LORs will not be accepted, from either the applicant or the recommender, at any time.

Instructions: When logging in to the Applicant System, the applicant will see a popup box instructing them to "Invite Reference". The applicant must enter the name and email address of their recommender into the "Invite Reference" popup box. This will send an automated email to the recommender with instructions for submitting their LOR through the Applicant System. 

Note: If a recommender does not receive the automated instructions via email, applicants should download the How to Write a Reference Without an Invitation Code document, found on the right side of this page, and email it to their recommender. 

Applicants who upload letters of recommendation to their own application, or email letters or recommendation to UNCF, will not be considered for this scholarship award. 


Please contact Brandi Williams with questions about this scholarship that have not been answered above.

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