Ron Brown Scholarship Program, established in 1996 by the CAP Charitable Foundation, the Ron Brown Scholar Program (RBSP) honors the legacy of Ronald H. Brown, the late Secretary of Commerce, through a selective, multi- level scholarship and leadership program which focuses on academic achievement, community service and career immersion for African American college bound high school seniors.
The mission of the Ron Brown Scholar Program is to advance higher education and improve the lives of public service-minded and intellectually gifted African Americans and to accelerate their progress into impactful leadership roles and opportunities.
The vision of the Ron Brown Scholar Program is to cultivate the next generation of transformational leaders who positively impact their communities and blaze new paths in their chosen careers and professions.
Established in 1996 by the CAP Charitable Foundation, the Ron Brown Scholar Program (RBSP) honors the legacy of Ronald H. Brown, the late Secretary of Commerce, through a selective, multi- level scholarship and leadership program which focuses on academic achievement, community service and career immersion for African American college bound high school seniors. The RBSP is dedicated to improving the lives of young African Americans and empowering and supporting them to achieve their potential within their chosen academic disciplines and into the workforce. Out of the approximately 5,000 applications received annually, the RBSP awards 20 or more new scholarships in the amount of $40,000 each year ($10,000 per year for 4 years) to talented high school seniors.
The RBSP enjoys a 99 percent college graduation rate of its Scholars. In addition, the RBSP has produced unique patterns of career success and accomplishments for 416 African American youth, who are now leaders, creators and transformers on their college campuses and in their chosen careers and professions, all while remaining dedicated to impacting the lives of others. Graduating Scholars go on to outstanding careers in the arts, sciences and public service, and many more pursue professional degrees in law, medicine and business.
Ron Brown Scholars benefit from a safety net of high-touch mentoring and guidance from committed staff who serve as an extended family to the Scholars to support and nurture their success in college and beyond. The Program coordinates career and communityoriented internships, promotes strong links and a spirit of interconnectedness among the Scholars, and annually hosts regional initiatives, including a highly interactive summer leadership conference to promote fellowship and the exchange of ideas. In 2011, the Ron Brown Scholar Program established the Ron Brown Captains program.
Captains are selected from the top tier of scholarship applications each year. These students represent the top two to three percent of applicants in the scholarship selection process. Ron Brown Captains do not receive financial support, but are provided with resources through our Ron Brown Leaders Network. These resources include job and internship access, leadership development activities, webinars and service opportunities. All applicants to the Ron Brown Scholar Program are considered for this special opportunity in the Ron Brown Captains program. No additional application is required.
“ Politics, life and business are not spectator sports. You have to get involved to get ahead. Most importantly, when you reach that level of success, keep the door open and the ladder down for others to follow.” Ronald H. Brown
APPLICATION DEADLINES November 1 Applications postmarked by November 1 will be given early consideration for the Ron Brown Scholar Program. January 9 FINAL DEADLINE All applications must be postmarked by January 9 to be considered for the Ron Brown Scholar Program.
Eligibility Requirements The Ron Brown Scholar Program seeks to identify students who will make significant contributions to society. Applicants must excel academically, show exceptional leadership potential and make an impact on their communities through service to others. Each year, 20 or more students are designated Ron Brown Scholars and receive $10,000 annually for four years, for a total of $40,000.
The recipients may use the need and meritbased scholarships to attend any four-year accredited college/ university within the United States. Ron Brown scholarships are not limited to any specific field or career objective and may be used to pursue any academic discipline. Since 1996, 416 students have been designated as Ron Brown Scholars. To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, Black/African American and current high school seniors at the time of their application. Current college students are not eligible to apply.
Applicants should demonstrate academic achievement, exhibit leadership ability, participate in community service activities and have a demonstrated financial need. Ron Brown Scholars are selected in the spring prior to entering college. Applications are screened between November and February by Ron Brown Scholar Program staff. In March, finalists are invited to participate in a weekend selection process in Washington, DC, at the expense of the Ron Brown Scholar Fund. Finalists are interviewed by members of the Ron Brown National Selection Committee and are expected to participate in several weekend activities. Scholarship winners are selected on the basis of their application materials, interviews and participation in Selection Weekend activities.
Application Deadline The Ron Brown Scholar Program currently has two deadlines for applications (students must be current high school seniors at the time of their application): November 1 (postmarked) —application will be given early consideration for the Ron Brown Scholar Program. January 9 (postmarked)—final deadline in order to be considered for the Ron Brown Scholar Program. Application materials must be mailed in one packet.
Transcripts and letters of recommendation should not be sent under separate cover. SAT/ACT scores must be included on the application at the time it is mailed. Incomplete, emailed or faxed applications will not be considered. Only semifinalists and finalists will be notified by the Ron Brown Scholar Program office in March. Winners of the scholarship will be notified by April 1 and names will be posted on the Ron Brown Scholar Program website in May. Scholarship Conditions Ron Brown scholarships may be used to supplement financial aid offered by the college or university a student plans to attend. Students may use the scholarship to cover the costs of tuition, fees, books, room and board, computers, health insurance, study abroad and other college-related expenses. Ron Brown scholarships may not be used to displace aid awarded by a college or university and cannot cover any portion of the parental contribution.
For further information, please contact: Ron Brown Scholar Program 1160 Pepsi Place, Suite 206 Charlottesville, VA 22901 Phone: 434-964-1588 Fax: 434-964-1589 Email: [email protected] Website: www.ronbrown.org
Due to the high volume of applications, the Ron Brown Scholar Program is only able to notify students who move on to the semifinalist and finalist rounds of the competition.
Frequently Asked Questions Ron Brown Scholarship Program
By the Numbers
- Approximately 5,000 applications received each year
- 416 Ron Brown Scholars named since 1996
- 99% graduation rate
- 58% of Ron Brown Scholars attend Ivy League universities
- 54% of alumni complete graduate studies
- 100% involvement in extensive community service projects
- 2 Ron Brown Scholars were elected to be the First Marshals of their Harvard graduating class
- 1 Ron Brown Scholar has been named a Harry S. Truman Scholar
- 4 Ron Brown Scholars have been Rhodes Scholarship finalists
- Who funds the Ron Brown Scholarship Program? The Ron Brown Scholar Program benefits from the generous support of numerous donors and partners who provide not only financial support, but also valuable mentoring, internship opportunities and other important investments in Ron Brown Scholars.
- How much financial assistance do Scholar recipients receive? The Ron Brown Scholar Program awards 20 or more college scholarships annually in the amount of $40,000 to extraordinary African American high school seniors. Students must attend a four-year accredited college or university within the United States. Since 1996, the Program has awarded more than 400 scholarships.
- Does the Ron Brown Scholar Program provide financial assistance for undergraduate education only? Yes, financial assistance is provided only for undergraduate education. However, the Ron Brown Scholar Program strongly supports creating life-long bonds with and between the Scholars and the Program staff. Scholars do continue to receive mentorship and guidance toward personal and professional goals far beyond their undergraduate careers.
- When is the deadline for submitting applications? The Ron Brown Scholar Program currently has two deadlines for applications (students must be current high school seniors at the time of their application): November 1 AND January 9. If January 9 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, your application should be postmarked by the following Monday. We begin accepting applications after August 1 of your senior year in high school. Since the postmark is what matters, there is no advantage in sending your application by overnight delivery service.
- When are letters of recommendation and school transcripts due? Can they be sent separately from my application? Application materials must be mailed in one packet. Transcripts and letters of recommendation should not be sent under separate cover. Transcripts in a sealed envelope are acceptable to send with your application materials. Incomplete, emailed or faxed applications will not be considered.
- Do my letters of recommendation have to be written by teachers, or can they come from anyone? We ask for two letters of recommendation. At least one of these should be written by your high school guidance counselor, teacher or principal. The second letter may be submitted by someone who knows you well and can attest to your character, leadership ability, commitment to community service, and/or academic achievement. This may include an employer, mentor or coach. It cannot be your mother, father, guardian or a family member.
- What standardized test results are required? How and when do I submit my scores? We require either SAT (Verbal and Math) or ACT (composite) scores. Results of SAT II (Subject Tests) and AP exams are optional. Record the required scores on page one of your application in case they don’t appear on your high school transcript. A copy of your score report may also be included with your materials. You should take the SAT or ACT no later than the November test administration date so that the scores are available by the final application deadline of January 9.
- Are there minimum SAT or ACT scores? No. We do not have cutoff scores. Competition for the scholarships is intense, however, successful applicants have demonstrated a serious commitment to academics. This is reflected in their course selection, high grade point averages, rank in class and test scores.
- What essays are required? The application says to submit an essay that I wrote for my college What if they didn’t require any? We require two essays, each approximately 500 words. In the first essay, we ask that you answer a specific question. The second essay can be on any topic. If you haven’t written one for a college application, you may submit an essay that you wrote for one of your classes, or write a new essay. Keep in mind that the essays are an opportunity for you to tell us something about yourself that we cannot learn from your transcript or test scores.
- Can I apply online? No. You must print the application from our website and mail it to us. It is not possible to apply online. If you do print the application from the website, be sure to print all pages. There are sections for you, your parent/guardian, and high school guidance counselor to complete.
- Can I fax or email my application? APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE FAXED OR EMAILED. Due to the large number of applicants, we are unable to accept faxed or emailed applications.
- I missed the deadline. Can I still apply? If you have a legitimate reason, that was beyond your control, for missing the deadline, you may call to request an extension. Approval must be given by the Ron Brown Scholar Program in order for the deadline to be extended.
- 13. Do I have to be aS. citizen or permanent resident in order to apply for a Ron Brown scholarship? Yes. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in order to apply.
- Is there an income limit? Financial need is a factor that we consider in awarding scholarships. If you think that you will be eligible for financial aid at the colleges to which you are applying, you should apply for a Ron Brown scholarship.
- 15. Whose income should be listed if my parents are separated or divorced? If my parents have remarried, do I include my stepparents’ income? In the first stage of the application process, you should list the income of both parents if it is available to you. This should include the non-custodial parent. If a parent’s whereabouts is unknown, you should list that on the application. If you are residing with a legal guardian, you should list their income on the application. Should you advance to the next stage, information about your non-custodial and stepparent’s income will be requested and will be taken into account in determining financial need.
- Do you need verification of my parents’ income? The application asks your parents for their adjusted gross income on last year’s federal income tax return, that is, the return that they filed when you were a junior in high school. By their signatures, they also agree to provide proof of income, including copies of income tax returns, if required. If you advance to the next stage in the application process and become a semifinalist, verification of income will be required.
- Can I use the Ron Brown scholarship at any college and for any major? The scholarship may be used at any degree-granting four-year college within the United States. Recipients may study any academic discipline of their choice. The scholarship may not be used for vocational or technical training.
- When are the winners notified? Are applicants who have not won also notified? Semifinalists will be contacted by early March. Finalists will be notified in mid-March and invited to Washington, DC, (we pay expenses) to be interviewed by the National Selection Committee. Because of the large number of applicants, we are not able to notify those who have not reached the semifinalist or finalist stage. We will post the names of the scholarship winners on our website in early May. A self-addressed stamped envelope may be included with your submitted application in order for the Program to acknowledge receipt of your application.
- Which schools do Ron Brown Scholars attend? Scholars attend a wide range of schools and are not limited in where they may attend or the discipline they may study. To date, more than 250 Ron Brown Scholars have graduated from more than 50 different colleges and universities. Fifty-eight percent of Scholars have attended Ivy League universities.
- When are Ron Brown Captains notified? Students selected as Captains are selected based on the materials submitted to the RBSP. Ron Brown Captains are notified in late March/early April.
Ron Brown Scholar Program Application
APPLICANT: APPLICATION DEADLINES
Applications postmarked by November 1 will be given early consideration for the Ron Brown Scholar Program.
All applications must be postmarked by January 9 to be considered for the Ron Brown Scholar Program.
Please respond to the following questions. Attach your typed responses to this form.
- Please list your extracurricular, community, employment or other activities in order of their importance to you. Indicate the dates you participated in the activity, positions held and the number of hours per week you spend on each activity. We realize that the way you spend your time outside the classroom may be affected by factors beyond your control, such as the need to work.
- 2. List any significant awards or honors you have received during high school for academic or extracurricular achievemen
- Essays: You must respond to both (A) and (B). Each essay should be no longer than 500 words. (A) Choose the one activity you listed as most important in question #1 and tell us why it is significant. (B) Submit one essay that you plan to send or have sent as part of a college application. This may be on any topic. If your college application did not require an essay, please submit an essay on the topic of your choice.
- Please ask two individuals who know you well to submit letters of recommendation. At least one letter should be from a teacher or other school professional.
- Please submit an official transcript with most current semester course load and school profile with application materia A school profile is an information sheet about your high school. This profile would include information on the school location, student enrollment and/or types of courses offered. If the school does not offer a school profile the applicant will not be penalized if it is not included with the application materials.
- Application materials must be mailed in one packet. Transcripts and letters of recommendation should not be sent under separate cover. To verify receipt of your application, include a self-addressed stamped envelope. A photograph is optional. Incomplete, emailed or faxed applications will not be considered. We suggest that you keep copies of your application materials. Semifinalists will be contacted in early March and winners will be announced on our website in May. We regret that we are unable to individually notify other applicants of the decision on their applications.
The Ron Brown Scholarships are reserved for Black/African American high school seniors and may be used at accredited four-year institutions. If you have questions, please call, email or visit our website, www.ronbrown.org