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.
First established by Charles Owen in loving memory of his blind wife, this award is now endowed by his last will and testament to honor the memory of both. In founding the scholarship, Charles Owen wrote: “There shall be no limitation as to field of study, except that it shall be directed toward attaining financial independence.”
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).
Winner assisted to attend NFB annual convention to receive this award. Membership not required. USA Citizenship is not a requirement, but if the student’s home is not in the US/PR, then the student is not eligible.
- Type of institution award is open to: two-year college
- Type of institution award is open to: four-year college
- Learning Disabled
- Award is available to U.S. citizens
- Award is available to citizens of countries other than the U.S. and Canada.
- Application form required
- Transcript required
- Interview required
- Essay required
- Recommendations or references required
- Special requirements exist (These are specified in text.)
- Proof of legal blindness
How To ApplyOnline
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Donor: National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
Established 1940, having 700-some chapters nationwide and over 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind of the United States improves blind peoples’ lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs to encourage independence.Website