Scholarship Program

The National Federation of the Blind's annual scholarship program is the largest of its kind in the nation. Every year, we award more than $120,000 to blind scholars across the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in recognition of their achievements and professional aspirations.

I am grateful for the scholarship, but more importantly, I am grateful for the terrific leaders I have met. They have taught me to dream bigger, pushing my dreams beyond what I once believed to be possible.

2018 scholarship winners sit for a group photo at the NFB National Convention.Thanks to our generous partners, there are thirty merit-based scholarships currently available, ranging from $3,000 to $12,000. All scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, community service, and leadership. The finalists are announced every spring.* They then attend our national convention in July when the winners of each individual scholarship are selected. Scholarship winners have gone on to succeed in careers ranging from computer science and engineering to civil rights law and international diplomacy.

*Read about the 2019 scholarship finalists, announced May 8.
*Read about the 2019 scholarship winners, announced July 12.


The application period for the 2019 scholarship program ended March 31, 2019. For the 2020 awards, application materials will be available beginning November 1, 2019.


The following requirements apply to all applicants:

  • Must be legally blind (PDF) in both eyes.
  • Must be residing in the United States, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico.
  • Must be pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time, post-secondary course of study in a degree program at a U.S. institution in the fall of the year of application (one scholarship may be given to a person employed full-time while attending school part-time).
  • Must participate in the entire NFB National Convention and in all of its scheduled scholarship program activities (finalists will receive assistance to attend the national convention).

For more information regarding eligibility, we strongly encourage you to review our 2019 scholarship FAQ document (Word).

How to Apply

  1. Confirm your eligibility by confirming you are legally blind (PDF) in both eyes.
  2. Apply online or through the mail. Please note that the application period for the 2019 scholarship program ended March 31, 2019. For the 2020 awards, application materials will be available beginning November 1, 2019.

NFB/HumanWare STEM Internship

The NFB and HumanWare, a leading assistive technology company that makes products to help blind people participate equally in society, have collaborated to offer a STEM internship opportunity. The intern will be part of HumanWare’s research and development department in Longueuil QC, Canada starting around June 2019 through August 2019. The intern will also travel to the NFB National Convention in July. The internship package includes housing, travel expenses, and an internship wage to be determined. If you are interested, please complete the NFB scholarship application on or before February 28, 2019. You will then be given the opportunity to complete the HumanWare internship application.

Helpful Resources

Past Scholarship Winners

    Read about more winners in past issues the Braille Monitor. Scholarship classes are typically highlighted in the August-September issue every year.

    More Information

    For more information about the scholarship program, please contact our scholarship committee chairperson (email is preferred).

    Cayte Mendez, Chairperson
    NFB Scholarship Committee
    Phone: 410-659-9314, extension 2415

    NFB Scholarship Program
    National Federation of the Blind
    200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
    Baltimore, MD 21230