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The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation was established by The Detroit News and Detroit Public Schools back in 1980, in honor of its eponym Rosa L. Parks, the late iconic civil rights activist, to empower and inspire youth to reach their highest potential. Since its inception, the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation has awarded over $2 million to more than 1,000 high school senior students.
The foundation offers the Rosa L. Parks Scholarship to high school senior students at private or public schools in Michigan, who will graduate by August of the application year and demonstrate financial need. Forty qualified high school seniors will receive a $2,000 scholarship, each to further their education.
Ideal candidates demonstrate academic excellence, leadership abilities and embody a commitment to social justice that’s reminiscent of Rosa Parks. Students with GPAs of less than 2.5 are ineligible to apply.
Key Information of Rosa L. Parks Scholarship
Area of Study
Country of Study
Intended Level of Study
Number of Awards
Rosa L. Parks Scholarship Timeline
Application Opening Date
Applications open on January 1.
The submission deadline is on March 1.
To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.
- Eligible Grade: High School Senior
- Maximum Age: Any
- Required GPA: 2.5
- Geographic Eligibility: Michigan
- Gender: Any
- Race/Ethnicity: Any
Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.
- Grade transcript
- Recommendation letters
How to ace the Rosa L. Parks Scholarship
Start your application early
You have quite a number of documents to gather for this application, so make sure you start the process early to finish and revise on time. Don’t procrastinate, so you don’t end up missing the deadline.
Get involved in your community
Sometimes, talk is cheap. You shouldn’t just say how much you’re committed to social justice; your application should actually demonstrate it through your activities. If in the past, you’ve shied away from getting involved in such activities or movements, now is the time to take them on.
Choose your recommenders wisely
The people you choose to write your recommendation letters should know you well enough to be able to speak to your academic and non-academic qualities. Only one of the letters is mandated to be from a school representative, so you can reach out to a respectable member of your community for your other letter. You should also choose people you think will deliver in time.
Review your essay
Ensure you submit an impeccable essay, free of grammatical or typographical errors. Go through it multiple times, and have a friend or relative go through it too. Most importantly, ensure your essay has sufficiently and accurately answered the essay prompt.
How the Rosa L. Parks Scholarship is Judged
The selection committee assesses students based on their academic achievements, leadership potential, and commitment to social justice. Financial need is of utmost importance in the application assessment. Students who will be receiving multiple other scholarships may be totally exempted from consideration.
Why We Love the Rosa L. Parks Scholarship
It is not restrictive
Scholarship recipients can use the scholarship to study programs in any discipline of their choosing, at any college in the country.
Scholars are celebrated
Scholarship recipients will give speeches and be celebrated in grand style at the Foundation’s annual luncheon.
Scholars join a life-long network
Scholarship recipients get to become a part of an extensive network of alumni who have gone on to be changemakers in their respective fields. Each year, the foundation places a spotlight on an “Alumni of the year”, and also invites alumni to speak at the annual luncheon.
5 Facts About Rosa L. Parks Scholarship
It is non-renewable
Previous winners of this scholarship can not apply for a renewal.
It can only be used for tuition
The fund can only be applied to tuition and book fees; it cannot be used for other expenses.
It was established in 1980
The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation was founded by The Detroit News and Detroit Public Schools in 1980.
There have been over 1000 awardees
Since its inception, there have been over 1000 awardees, collectively receiving more than $2 million in scholarships.
The foundation offers internships to scholars
Previous Rosa Parks scholars, who have completed at least one year of college, can apply for a full-time summer internship at The Detroit News.