Scholarship Program

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

Members of the 2020 scholarship class in a collage of photos taken during their virtual interviews via Zoom.Thanks to our generous partners, there are more than twenty 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

The application period for the 2020 program opened November 1, 2019 and closed March 31, 2020. 

Eligibility

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

    HumanWare is a leading assistive technology company that designs and manufactures products to help blind people participate equally in society. The NFB and HumanWare have collaborated to offer two STEM development internship opportunities. If you are a technically-minded student with aspirations of a career in product testing and/or marketing, we invite you to apply. The internships will take place from approximately June 15 to August 14, 2020. The two winning interns will be required to travel for a few days during the last week of the internship to the HumanWare headquarters in Montreal, Canada.

    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 2020 HumanWare internship." For more information, please review our scholarship program FAQs

    Helpful Resources

    Past NFB Scholarship Winners

    Read about more winners in past issues the Braille Monitor. Scholarship classes are typically highlighted in the August-September issue every year.

    More Information

    For more information about the scholarship program, please contact our scholarship committee chairperson (email is preferred).

    Cayte Mendez, Chairperson
    NFB Scholarship Committee
    Email: scholarships@nfb.org
    Phone: 410-659-9314, extension 2415

    NFB Scholarship Program
    National Federation of the Blind
    200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
    Baltimore, MD 21230