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What is the $250,000 Earnest Scholarship Fund? | General Questions

The Earnest scholarship is our way of helping individuals achieve their goals through the pursuit of higher education. In 2020, we will be awarding $250,000 in scholarships to 50 students who best articulate how their education will help them achieve their dreams. The scholarship is open to the general public, and applicants do not need to be a current Earnest client to be considered.  

Who is eligible to receive the scholarship?

The scholarships will be awarded to individuals who are currently enrolled, or will soon be enrolled, as full-time students at a Title IV accredited, not for profit U.S. college or university for the Fall 2020 semester. To review if your school is Title IV accredited, you can check this list here. If your school does not appear on this list or you are unsure whether your school fits these criteria, you'll want to reach out to your school directly for confirmation. 

Students applying should be U.S. citizens or permanent residents (including DACA students). There are no academic or residency requirements, and student’s GPA will not be considered in the review of their application. For additional information regarding eligibility, please visit our scholarship terms and conditions page.

How do I apply?

Applications can be submitted through our scholarship page found here. You will not be asked to provide any sensitive information, and there is no fee to apply or to claim the award. The application does require an email address (so we can communicate with you), and a written essay detailing how education has influenced your life. Applicants are welcome to be as creative as they would like, but will want to ensure their essay answers one of the following questions: 

  • How will your college education help you achieve your goals?
  • How has your education contributed to who you are today?

The essay should be around 800–1,000 words and formatted as a PDF, DOCX, or DOC. The submitted essays must be original work of the applicant, and there may be only one submission entered per student. Any duplicate entries will be disqualified.

When will I know if I was selected?

All scholarships will be awarded and funded before the start of the Fall 2020 semester. Earnest will send the funds via check directly to your college or university if your application is selected. Here are some important dates to keep in mind:

  • February 24, 2020 - The scholarship application will be available.
  • June 30, 2020 - The final submission deadline. Please note, applications submitted after this date will not be considered.
  • End of July 2020 - All applicants will be notified of their application status via email, including those who were not selected.
  • End of August 2020 - The schools receive the $5,000 scholarship award.

The scholarship is available every year and is non-renewable. If your application is not selected this year, we encourage you to apply again for the 2021-2022 school year. 

How can I confirm if my application was received?

Once your application has been submitted, you will be taken to a confirmation screen verifying that your application was received. If you were not taken to this screen and are unsure if your submission was received, feel free to reach out to our team directly by emailing This email can also be used if you have any additional questions about the program or if you need to make any updates to your submission.

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