Awards Eligible to Scholars Enrolled in Public and Private Four-Year HBCUs
To honor and commemorate the 2018 bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Douglass, a scholarship program has been 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.
The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program was established by Tony Signore, whose knowledge, respect and deep admiration for Douglass was instilled in him more than 35 years ago 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 will award one (1) $10,000 scholarship to an exceptional HBCU senior each year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and unmet financial need.
The inaugural application will open during the 2018-2019 academic year, with annual applications thereafter through the 2038-2039 academic year. Applicants for the program must meet the following criteria:
- Be enrolled full-time as a rising senior at any accredited public or private four-year historically black college or university (HBCU).
- Possess a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale as verified through submission of a current transcript.
- Demonstrate a commitment to community service.
- Have a demonstrated, unmet financial need as verified by their college or university.
- Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”) form.
Applications are to be submitted online and include:
- Two (2) letters of recommendation from faculty members on how the applicant reflects the values espoused by Frederick Douglass.
- 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 requires the applicant to assess self-awareness, leadership and community involvement; the second 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.
A distinguished committee selected by Tony Signore, which includes direct descendants of Frederick Douglass, senior academic leaders and scholars, and members of the national media, will participate in reviewing the top ten (10) finalist applications and submit their selection of the top three (3) finalists. UNCF will then select one (1) award winner.
If you have questions, please email William Dunham.