The National Federation of the Blind's annual scholarship program is the largest of its kind in the nation. Every year, we award more than $250,000 in cash and prizes to blind scholars across the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in recognition of their achievements and professional aspirations.
My parents gave us every resource we needed to be successful. But then their youngest daughter went blind in middle school, and suddenly they were navigating a world that they did not understand. So, I needed another family and in 2018, I found that family. I was selected as an NFB national scholarship finalist, and at the time, I had no idea what was in store for me. I got on a plane to Orlando, Florida, and I was overwhelmed by not only the resources, mentorship, and national community of students, but the love that filled every corner of the organization. —Trisha Kulkarni, 2018 and 2023 Scholarship Winner
Thanks to our generous partners, there are thirty $8,000 merit-based scholarships currently available. All scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, community service, and leadership. The finalists are announced every spring. They then attend our national convention in July when the winners of each individual scholarship are selected. Scholarship winners have gone on to succeed in careers ranging from computer science and engineering to civil rights law and international diplomacy.
Congratulations to the 2023 Finalists
We are proud to announce the 2023 scholarship finalists. Read the recent press release, Celebrate Outstanding Students.
Thank You to our Supporters
How to Apply
Online applications are now closed. Applications will open for the 2024 scholarship program in December 2023.
The following requirements apply to all applicants:
- Must be legally blind (PDF) in both eyes.
- Must be residing in the United States, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico.
- Must be 18 years of age by July 1, 2023.
- Must be pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time, post-secondary course of study in a degree program at a U.S. institution in the fall of the year of application (one scholarship may be given to a person employed full-time while attending school part-time).
- Must participate in person in the entire NFB National Convention and in all of its scheduled scholarship program activities (finalists will receive assistance to attend the national convention).
For more information regarding eligibility, we strongly encourage you to review our scholarship program FAQs.
4 Jim Halladay HumanWare/NFB Scholarship Opportunities
The National Federation of the Blind and HumanWare have proudly collaborated over the years to offer HumanWare/NFB STEM development opportunities to students. For 2023, the newly renamed Jim Halladay HumanWare/NFB scholarship has doubled the opportunities offered and will award 4 scholarships instead of 2! This year, HumanWare is offering to each of the four winning candidates one Brailliant BI40 braille display and $1000 to be used towards tuition fees to help winning students complete their studies and be ready to take on the world! To apply for these awards, NFB scholarship applicants will have an opportunity to select a checkbox which will give them access to the Humanware scholarship application questions as well. Please note: The selection process for these Humanware scholarships is entirely separate from the selection process for the 30 NFB scholarships. Those selected as Humanware/NFB scholarship winners will be notified separately by Humanware of their winner status. If NFB scholarship applicants do not wish to fill out the application questions for the Humanware/NFB scholarships, simply do not check the box within the NFB scholarship application and bypass the associated questions.
- Scholarship Program FAQs
- Scholarship Program Application Checklist
- "Self-Advocacy in Higher Education" (Word) by NFB President Mark A. Riccobono
- College Scholarships and Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities (via Affordable Colleges Online)
- National Federation of the Blind Enhances Largest Scholarship Program for Blind Scholars.
Past NFB Scholarship Winners
The 2023 Scholarship Winners
- 2022 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2021 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2020 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2019 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2018 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2017 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2016 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2015 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2014 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2013 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2012 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2011 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
Read about more winners in past issues the Braille Monitor. Scholarship classes are typically highlighted in the August-September issue every year.
Thank you to our generous contributors who make our scholarship program possible.
For more information about the scholarship program, please contact our scholarship committee chairperson (email is preferred).
Cayte Mendez, Chairperson
NFB Scholarship Committee
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 410-659-9314, extension 2415
NFB Scholarship Program
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230