Ford Opportunity Program

A legacy from Hallie E. Ford

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Hallie E. Ford (1905-2007), a founder of The Ford Family Foundation, established the Ford Opportunity Program to assist single parents in obtaining a degree. She realized that students who are parents have many extra responsibilities. She was determined to help them by providing financial assistance and encouragement. 

Program and Scholarship Details

Applicants must be residents of Oregon or Siskiyou County, California, who are single parents with custody of dependent children (18 years of age or younger) and considered head of household (as defined by IRS regulations) and must have high school diplomas or GED certificates, be about to complete high school, or be continuing college students. 

Each year, up to 50 students are selected as recipients of the Ford Opportunity Program. 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 an associate or 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 his/her home state. Students taking online courses exclusively are not eligible except for Oregon nursing students at OHSU. Additionally, students with existing bachelor’s degrees are not eligible to be recipients of Ford Family Scholarships. 

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 Opportunity 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. 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 before March 1 and must not have a rejected status at the time of the scholarship application review (mid-March).
  • Initiative and commitment to roles in school, home and/or community activities.
  • A concern for others through contributions to volunteer projects and/or family needs.
  • Good character.
  • 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 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 online as part of the application.  
  •  Interviewees will be required to submit a term-by-term education plan and proof of head of household status prior to their interview.

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.
  • 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.

HOw to apply

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 in late 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 late April or early May. Applicant interviews are conducted in Eugene, Oregon. Interviewees will be required to submit a term-by-term education plan and proof of head of household status prior to their interview. 

* 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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