Ford Scholars Program
A legacy from Kenneth W. Ford
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The Ford Scholars Program is need-based and open to 1) graduating high school seniors and, 2) community college students ready to transfer to a four-year college, who are seeking a bachelor’s degree in Oregon or California. This program is available to residents of Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif.
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
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 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.
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 his/her home state. 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 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.
The applicant must demonstrate:
- Financial need. Each applicant must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and not exceed the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) limit, as established by the Foundation ($6,000 in 2015). Scholarship offers may be rescinded if an applicant's FAFSA 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 early in January and must not have a rejected status at the time of the scholarship application review (mid-March).
- Leadership skills and leadership roles in school and community activities.
- Good character
- A concern for others and a contribution of time and energy to volunteer projects and/or service organizations.
- A contribution to personal success through paid work experience.
- An ability to clearly communicate personal strengths and goals and to present ideas clearly and concisely in both the application and the required individual interview with a Foundation selection committee.
- An ability to succeed in college as demonstrated by a high school or college GPA of 3.00 or higher, or a GED score of at least 680 (or 2650+ for 2002-2013). Applicants with less than a 3.00 cumulative GPA or 680 (2650 for 2002 - 2013) GED score must have a school counselor, advisor or teacher submit a Special Recommendation as part of the online application.
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 www.OregonStudentAid.gov. The online application is available beginning in the fall of each year.
OSAC’s one online scholarship application offers more than 475 scholarship opportunities. Consult the OSAC website for application materials and additional information about financial aid and scholarships.
Don’t forget that in order to qualify for need-based scholarships, applicants must submit a FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 and before March 1 to be certain it is available in time for the Ford Family Scholarship application review. Submit online at
- The application and worksheet are available online. Use the worksheet to get familiar with the online application process.
- Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 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 began 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 student profile to regularly check your application status.
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 Yreka, California; 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
440 East Broadway, Suite 200
Eugene, OR 97401
Toll Free: (877) 864-2872 • Local: (541) 485-6211
Fax: (541) 485-6223