Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund

The Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund (SCSF) was founded on the belief that any motivated individual in need should have the opportunity to further his or her education. By removing some of the financial burdens associated with going to, surviving in, and graduating from college, the SCSF plays a vital role in increasing college access and success for many motivated yet underserved youth and young adults. The SCSF provides individual grants, paid directly to the educational institution, to every student who qualifies and reapplies yearly, from admission to graduation. The grant can be used to cover tuition expenses and related supplemental educational expenses such as books, lab fees, travel and select costs of living. All Shawn Carter Scholars are required to “give back” by conducting community service and by serving as mentors to younger, aspiring Shawn Carter Scholars.

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SCSF attracts candidates from all backgrounds, nation-wide. They all have a compelling desire to pursue higher education, in spite of many personal, socio-economic setbacks, including teen pregnancy, former incarceration, interrupted schooling, poverty, and homelessness. They are hardworking, resilient and determined individuals who want to make positive contributions to their local and global communities, and they turn to the SCSF to make their ambitions and dreams possible.

A recent snapshot of our 2014-15 Shawn Carter Scholars and 2014 applicants seeking support from SCSF reveals the following:

Shawn Carter Scholarship Recipients

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  • When can I begin the scholarship application?

    You can begin your application on April 1st.

  • When is the deadline for the scholarship application?

    The deadline for the application is April 30th (11:59 PM EST). Please note that incomplete and late applications are not eligible.

  • Who is eligible to apply for the Shawn Carter scholarship?

    All high school seniors, students with GED diplomas, undergraduate (2yr or 4yr) college students, and students at vocational or trade schools who meet the requirements below are eligible.

    US citizen or Permanent Resident
    25 years old or younger
    Minimum 2.0 GPA

  • Do I have to attend a vocational school to be eligible for this scholarship?

    NO, see eligibility requirements above.

  • Do I have to be currently enrolled in school to apply for this scholarship?

    You do not have to be currently enrolled in school to apply, but you must show evidence from an accredited institution that you will be enrolling, and that the scholarship support you seek will be applied there.

  • My school does not use a 4.0 grade scale, how can I convert my grades to this scale?

    If your school uses number grades, use the GPA conversion table HERE.

  • I don’t have a very high GPA, do I have any chance of receiving this scholarship?

    Yes, we take many factors into consideration when determining your candidacy for the scholarship. Leadership, community service, socio-economic factors, the quality of your essay and other strengths are all taken into account in the decision making process.

    Our typical scholarship recipients demonstrate resiliency in the face of hardship, give back to their communities, and have GPAs between 2.0 and 3.0. Students with GPAs above this range are still encouraged to apply.

  • How can I maximize my chances of receiving this scholarship?

    Here are some steps you can take:

    1-Start your application early and complete it on time. The earlier you start the application, the better chance you have to submit the application before the deadline. You also have more time to ask us questions in case any part of the process needs clarification.

    2-Tell us about yourself and use specific details when sharing your extracurricular activities. We do not know anything about you until you share it with us. Specific details can help us understand how great you are. The same can be said about your essay. We don’t expect the essay to run too long but make sure your essay helps us learn more about you and your perspectives.

    3-Review your application for grammar and spelling errors.

    4-The photo is optional. If you decide to provide a photo, please send us a head shot from the shoulders up similar to an ID card.

    If your question has not been answered above, please direct your inquiry to: