Ford Scholars Program

A legacy from Kenneth W. Ford

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The Ford Scholars Program was created by Kenneth W. Ford (1908-1997), a founder of The Ford Family Foundation, to assist students who otherwise would find it impossible, or at least very difficult, to obtain a college degree without financial assistance. Mr. Ford established the Foundation to help a number of worthy causes, but the Ford Scholars Program was always one of his favorite projects.  

Program and Scholarship Details

The Ford Scholars Program is need-based. Applicants must be residents of Oregon or Siskiyou County, Calif., who are 1) graduating high school senior or high school graduate (or the equivalent) and have never enrolled full time in a 2- or 4-year college; or 2) a community college student ready to transfer as a junior to a 4-year college in the fall. Students are not eligible if they have already started full time at a 4-year college. 

Each year, up to 120 students from Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif., are selected. The scholarship award is not a set amount, but is calculated to cover 90% ($1,000 minimum/$25,000 maximum per academic year) of each student’s college costs that are not covered by other resources (such as grants and scholarships), and his or her Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The scholarship can be renewed annually for up to four years of undergraduate study. 

Applicants must plan to earn a bachelor’s degree and to enroll full time in the fall of the application year at a public or private, accredited, Title IV eligible, non-profit college in their home state of Oregon or California. Students taking online coursework exclusively and students with existing bachelor’s degrees are not eligible. 

All Ford Family Scholarship recipients are subject to a criminal background check. Awards can only be granted to recipients with a felony conviction if he or she has completed parole, probation, or any type of post‑prison supervision, and has paid any required restitution and/or court fees by August 1 of the application year. 

Graduate school funding may be an option for Ford Scholars who were awarded the scholarship as an undergraduate and who successfully completed their bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.6 cumulative grade point average (GPA) from their degree-granting institution. For further eligibility requirements, contact the Foundation Scholarship Office.

Selection Criteria

The applicant must demonstrate:

  • Financial need. Each applicant must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), or alternate application for undocumented applicants, and not exceed the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) limit, as established by the Foundation ($6,000). Scholarship offers may be rescinded if an applicant's EFC changes prior to fall term of the application year and he or she no longer meets the financial need criteria. The FAFSA should be filed as soon as possible after October 1 and must not have a rejected status at the time of the scholarship application review (mid-March).
  • Leadership potential through school, home and/or community activities.
  • Good character
  • A concern for others through contributions to volunteer projects and/or family needs.
  • Work ethic. Responsibility, initiative and skill-building through paid or unpaid work experiences.
  • An ability to clearly communicate personal strengths and goals both in writing and verbally
  • An ability to succeed academically in college as demonstrated by a high school or college GPA, coursework and standardized test scores. Applicants with less than a 3.00 cumulative GPA or 700 (2650 for 2002 - 2013) GED score must have a school counselor, advisor or teacher submit a Special Recommendation as part of the online application.  

Tips for Completing a Ford Family Scholarship Application

  • The application is available online. 
  • Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1 and before March 1 to be certain it is available for review.
  • Treat it like a job resume – it has a similar purpose! Selection committees want to see what you’ve done and how you’ve already begun to make your mark in the world.
  • Be sure to complete all parts of the application. Review your completed application before submitting, including checking for typos in your Activities Chart and Personal Statements.
  • Submit the correct transcript(s). Failure to provide the correct transcript(s) invalidates your application – no exceptions. 
  • Log on to your OSAC Student Portal to regularly check your application status.


The Ford Family Foundation partners with Oregon's Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) to administer the scholarship application. Apply for a Ford Family Scholarship at The online application is available beginning in the fall of each year.

DEADLINE MARCH 1: Your online application and related materials must be submitted by March 1*. All eligible applications are reviewed and the most qualified applicants are invited to individual interviews in mid-May. Applicant interviews are conducted in Ashland, Portland, La Grande, and Eugene, Oregon.

* If the OSAC Scholarship Application deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be automatically extended to 5 p.m. PST of the following business day.

For More Information

The Ford Family Foundation Scholarship Office
44 Club Road, Suite 100
Eugene, OR 97401
Toll Free: (877) 864-2872 • Local: (541) 485-6211
Fax: (541) 485-6223

Applications open for the 2018-2019 academic year In November 2017.

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