American Foreign Service Association National Essay Contest - $2,500

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The AFSA Scholarship Program offers college aid to children of AFSA members whose parents are/were Foreign Service employees. We provide financial aid scholarships to undergraduates and academic merit awards, art merit awards, and a community service award to graduating high school seniors. 

What Do I Need to Know?

The AFSA scholarship program is open to the children of Foreign Service employees whose parents must also be members of the American Foreign Service Association. The employee may be active-duty, retired, separated or deceased. Click here for additional eligibility criteria. AFSA offers aid to high school seniors who can compete for academic and art merit awards as well as a community service award; we also offer financial aid scholarships to tax-dependent undergraduates. For children of parents who are not in the Foreign Service, AFSA offers a high school essay contest - click here for further information on that program.

To be eligible for the AFSA Scholarship Fund Program:

Only the children of Foreign Service employees, whose parent(s) is a member of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), are eligible to apply for an AFSA award/scholarship. A student must be claimed as a dependent on the most recent IRS tax form by his/her parent(s) or guardian(s). An AFSA member is or has been an employee (active duty, retired, deceased, and/or separated) with a foreign affairs agency as defined by the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (Department of State, USAID, USIA, BBG, FCS, FAS or APHIS). Children of AFSA Scholarship Committee members are ineligible for AFSA awards or scholarships. For those high school students whose parents are not in the U.S. Government Foreign Service, please view information on AFSA’s High School Essay Contest.

Financial Aid Scholarships

To be eligible to apply for an AFSA undergraduate Financial Aid Scholarship, a student must:

  • Be a current high school senior or college freshman, sophomore or junior.

  • Be a dependent child of a Foreign Service employee who is an American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) member. The AFSA member must be or have been an employee (active duty, retired, deceased, and/or separated) with a foreign affairs agency as defined by the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (Department of State, USAID, USIA, BBG, FCS, FAS or APHIS).

  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.75.

  • Demonstrate financial need.

To apply, you will need to visit the International Scholarship & Tuition Services account login page by clicking here. If you do not already have an account with ISTS, you can create one there.

Please visit AFSA's Financial Aid Scholarships FAQ page for the answers to frequently asked questions about financial aid scholarships.

Merit-Based Scholarships

To be eligible to apply for a competitive AFSA Merit Award (Academic and/or Art or Community Service Award), a student must:

  • Be a current high school senior.

  • Maintain a satisfactory academic record (a minimum cumulative 3.25 GPA out of a 4.0 scale is needed to apply for Academic Merit Award and a cumulative 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale is needed to apply for the Art Merit Award). Not all that apply will win an award.

To apply, you will need to visit the Community Force account login page by clicking here. If you do not already have an account with Community Force, you can create one there.

General Information

Applicants are required to apply each year for AFSA Financial Aid Scholarships while AFSA Art and Academic Merit Awards are one-time only prizes. AFSA Financial Aid Scholarships are intended to supplement college aid and cannot reduce university scholarships or university grants. Students may apply for all AFSA programs, if eligibility requirements are met. No piece-meal application pieces can be sent, emailed or faxed except where noted. AFSA cannot process any application that is incomplete, and it is the applicant's responsibility to see that all scholarship materials arrive on time. Applicants are also responsible for updating AFSA on any address/email changes throughout the year.

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