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 $120,000 to blind scholars across the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in recognition of their achievements and professional aspirations.
Ten years ago I unexpectedly lost my sight after graduating from college. My journey since then has included teaching myself how to read Braille, volunteering with seniors, providing health education to youth in a clinic, and most recently leading a team in a statewide program addressing the opioid epidemic. With a master's in public health from UC Berkeley, I plan to improve accessibility and promote equity within healthcare systems and in health policy. Thank you so much for this opportunity and investment in my future. — Sherry Pablo, 2020 Scholarship Finalist
Thanks to our generous partners, there are thirty merit-based scholarships currently available, ranging from $3,000 to $12,000. 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.
How to Apply
Apply online using our online application. The online application will close at midnight Eastern Time March 31, 2021.
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 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 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.
NFB/HumanWare STEM Internship Opportunity
HumanWare is a leading assistive technology company that designs and manufactures products to help blind people participate equally in society. Due to the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, this internship opportunity has changed. This year, HumanWare will offer each of two winning candidates one new Brailliant BI40 and $1,000 to be used toward tuition fees. If you are a technically minded student with aspirations of a career in product testing and/or marketing, we invite you to fill out an additional application for the HumanWare/NFB STEM award.
To apply, check the checkbox on the first page of the online application that says, “Yes, I would like to complete an additional application for the 2021 HumanWare internship.” Once you have checked this box, you will continue to complete the NFB scholarship application. However, before you submit the application, there will be an additional page where you will be given an opportunity to complete the HumanWare award application. For more information, please review our scholarship program FAQs.
- 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)
Past NFB Scholarship Winners
- 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.
For more information about the scholarship program, please contact our scholarship committee chairperson (email is preferred).
Cayte Mendez, Chairperson
NFB Scholarship Committee
Phone: 410-659-9314, extension 2415
NFB Scholarship Program
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230