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Last updated: 4/12/19

City of Boston scholarship fund

Through the fund, we award new college-goers and continuing education students $2,500 per year to help pay for school.

The deadline has passed. We're no longer accepting applications. Our recommendation form is still available if you need to complete one for a student. You can learn more about our scholarships at the bottom of this page.

Still have questions?

If you have questions about the fund, or are interested in making a donation, please contact us at

Donate online

More higher education funding

Interested in exploring higher education? If so, there are many programs in the City of Boston to make that dream possible.

Current Scholarship Recipients

Are you a current scholarship recipient looking to renew your scholarship for the 2019-2020 school year? Please complete our scholarship renewal form.



To apply for the scholarship, you must be a Boston resident for at least two years as of January 1, 2019.


The scholarship is for new college students AND continuing education students who plan to attend a post-secondary school in Massachusetts. By August 1, 2019, you must have either:

  • graduated from high school, or
  • completed a GED program.

Please note: this is a need-based scholarship.


You need to plan to enroll as a full-time student in a two-year or four-year university or college in Massachusetts.

Do you plan to go to community college? Our Tuition-Free Community College program is likely the best fit for you.


You must plan to enroll in undergraduate classes at a two or four-year university, an accredited trade school, or a vocational school in Massachusetts.

You need to have a gap in education of two years or more as a non-student in your adult life. You also must be within two years of completing your educational goal.

How to apply


You must complete the application online. Your recommender must also fill out the recommendation form online.


Before applying, you should be prepared to give us:

  • a copy of your most recent transcript
  • answers to three short questions
  • one recommendation form from a teacher, guidance counselor, or community member (they will submit the form separately)
  • your Student Aid Report, and
  • your Student Award Letter from your college or university.

We created a simple, one-page recommendation letter that tests for college and career readiness. This can be submitted separately from the rest of the application.

We replaced the essay with three short questions you need to answer on these topics:

  1. A question on financial circumstances
  2. A reflective question
  3. A question looking toward the future

We added an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculator for students not eligible for FAFSA.

We defined what a continuing education student looks like. There’s now a separate section of the application for those students.

Learn more about the process


Last year, we received more than 400 applications for the City of Boston Scholarship. We usually award about 30 students each year.


New college students receive $10,000 over the course of four years ($2,500 for each year). Continuing education students receive $5,000 over the course of two years ($2,500 for each year).


You will remain eligible as long as you remain in good academic standing with your school and still demonstrate financial need.


After reviewing your application, we will invite a group of semi-finalists to an in-person interview in mid-May. This will take place at the Bolling Building, 2300 Washington Street, in Roxbury. We plan to notify selected applicants by the end of May.


The committee makes the final decision on who is awarded scholarships. Over the last 20 years, we’ve given more than 2,000 residents financial support to further their education.

Scholarship funding

The fund relies on generous donations from individuals, organizations, and corporations. Contact us at, or send a check for the "City of Boston Scholarship Fund" to the address below:

City of Boston Scholarship Fund
Attn: Cathy Downey
Boston City Hall
1 City Hall Square, Room 608
Boston MA 02201

We also accept online donations via credit card or e-check:


Meet our 2018-2019 scholars

  • Hodman Abshir, Northeastern University
  • Aleida Aldana, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Neissa Ambroise, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Elia Barros-Watler, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Natasha Barthe, Bunker Hill Community College
  • Yarinet Bly, Massachusetts College Of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • Diego Burbano, Boston College
  • Leonel Cabrera Herrera, Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Jakhi Dean, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Victor Delcarmen, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Araisy Guerrero, Boston College
  • Chitra Harris, MassBay Community College
  • Anh Hong, Massachusetts College Of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  • Norsha Hydol, University Of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Abdigani Ibrahim, Northeastern University
  • Sayvion Jones, Stonehill College
  • Xiu Wen Li, Simmons College
  • Wenle Liang, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Yhinny Matos, Cambridge College
  • Fernando Palacios, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Emetarom Peters, Bridgewater State University
  • Jean Saint-Felix, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Melissa Saunders, Harvard Extension School
  • Carolyn Searles, Gordon College
  • Jianwen Situ, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Janice Torres de Jesus, Lesley University
  • Juliana Vazquez, Salem State University
  • Chauncey Williams, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • Golden Wo, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Emily Zhu, Northeastern University
By the numbers
  • Forty-seven percent of our scholars were born outside of the United States.
  • Forty-one percent are the first in their family to attend college.
  • 89 percent of our students identified as people of color.
  • Eighty percent of our scholars also went to Boston Public Schools.

You can read the 2018 Scholarship Ceremony press release for more information.

Scholarship Stats 2018

About the program

Mayor Walsh’s Education Cabinet tackles some of the City’s biggest challenges. This includes closing opportunity gaps in early childhood, along with the college affordability gap.

Cost of education rising

Boston has been, since its early days, a city of higher education. However, the cost of college tuition has increased by 45% in the last decade. That price is rising faster than nearly any other good or service in America.

Finding solutions

Mayor Walsh is committed ensuring that all Boston students find an affordable way to reach — and complete — a postsecondary education. The Education Cabinet is committed to work on his behalf to identify ways to solve this problem.