Ron Brown scholarship

The Ron Brown Scholars Program provides financial assistance to students with demonstrated financial need, academic potential, and community involvement. The Ron Brown Scholarship is a scholarship program that honors the legacy Ronald H. Brown. It provides a pathway to higher education for intellectually gifted and community-minded African Americans. The program seeks to diversify the student body of the United States in all fields by significantly increasing the number of African Americans with college degrees.

Ron Brown Scholarships are a scholarship program for African Americans sponsored by the United Negro College Fund. The program was established in 1986 and named after Ronald H. Brown, assassinated while serving as Secretary of Commerce during the Clinton Administration. Ron Brown was a U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The Ron Brown Scholarship is administered by the United Negro College Fund, which helps African-American students get into historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The selection criteria include academic achievement and leadership potential; financial need is also considered. 

ron brown scholarship

Each year 45-50 African American students are named Ron Brown Scholars. They receive $10,000 each of the four years of college for a total of $40,000. This merit-based and need-based scholarship can be used to go to any accredited four-year college/university in the United States.

Ron Brown Scholarship Requirements

To be eligible for The Ron Brown Scholarship you must be must Black/African American, a US citizen or permanent resident, and a high school senior at the time of application. The scholarship can be used at any accredited four-year college in the United States that offers degree-granting programs. The scholarship is open to all academic disciplines. The scholarship cannot be used to fund vocational or technical training.

Two letters of recommendation are required. Your high school guidance counselor, teacher, or principal should write at least one of these letters. A second letter can be submitted by anyone who is familiar with you and can attest your character, leadership ability, and commitment to community service. This could be an employer, mentor, coach, or coach. This cannot be your guardian, mother, or father.

They also require you to submit either an SAT or ACT score. AP exams and SAT II Subject Tests results are optional. In case the scores don’t appear in your high school transcript, make sure to record them on the first page of the application. To ensure that your scores are available at the time you submit your application, or soon thereafter, you should take the SAT I/ACT before the November test administration. In order to win the scholarship, they say that you must also demonstrate a keen interest in public service, community engagement, business entrepreneurship, and global citizenship – the four pillars of the late Ronald H. Brown’s mission to uplift people of all races, cultures, and ethnicities – especially our disadvantaged youth.

Two essays are required, each of approximately 500 words. The first essay will ask you to answer a question. The second essay may be on any topic. You can submit an essay you wrote in one of your classes for college applications, or you can write one entirely new. Remember that essays allow you to share something about yourself that is not possible from test scores or transcripts.

Deadline for Ron Brown scholarship

Two deadlines are currently available for the Ron Brown Scholar Program. Students must be high school seniors at time of application.

November 1, 2010 – Applications will be accepted for the Ron Brown Scholar Program and forwarded to a limited number of scholarship providers.

January 9th is the last date to postmark your application in order for you to be considered only for the Ron Brown Scholar Program.

It is not a good idea to send your application via overnight delivery because the postmark is what really matters. Your application must be received by Monday if January 9th falls on Saturday or Sunday.


Ron Brown Scholarship Acceptance Rate

How to apply for the scholarship

All application materials should be sent in one package. You should not send transcripts or letters of recommendation under separate covers. Applications that are incomplete, emailed or faxed will not be accepted. All applications should be sent to the Ron Brown Scholar Program Office. Ron Brown Scholar Program, 485 Hillsdale Drive Suite 206 Charlottesville, VA 22901.

Online applications are not accepted. However, you can download the application from their website and send it to them. It is not possible to submit an online application. Printing the application online is not an option. Make sure you print both pages. You, your parent/guardian, and the high school guidance counselor will need to complete sections. They are unable to accept faxed, emailed, or printed applications. You can call the Ron Brown Scholar Program to request an extension if you have a valid reason for missing the deadline. To extend the deadline, you must get approval from the Ron Brown Scholar Program.

Semi-Finalists are contacted mid- to late February. Finalists will receive notification in March. They will then be invited to Washington, D.C. (we cover expenses) to be interviewed and notified by the National Selection Committee.

Due to the high number of applicants, they cannot notify those who have not made it to the semi-finalist/finalist stage. The names of scholarship winners will be posted on our website by late April or early May.

Financial need for the Ron Brown Scholarship

When granting scholarships, they take into account financial need. Ron Brown Scholarships are available to those who believe they will be eligible for financial assistance at the colleges where you are applying. If you have the opportunity, list both the incomes of your parents in the first stage. This should also include the non-custodial parent. You should indicate the parent’s location on the application. You should indicate if you live with a stepparent and their income. You should also indicate if you live with a legal guardian.

If you move on to the next stage, financial information will be required. This will include information about non-custodial parents’ income. Your parents will be asked to provide their adjusted gross income from the federal income tax returns for last year. This is the return they filed as a junior high student. They also sign the application and agree to provide proof that income is being shown, along with copies of income tax returns if necessary. You will need to prove your income if you want to move on to the next stage of the application process and become a semi-finalist.


Ron Brown Ruth and Norman Leaders Network

The top 2 to 3 percent of applicants who are not selected for the Scholarships (around 150) will be named Captains. They will join their invitation-only Ron Brown Ruth and Norman Rales Leaders Network, where they will receive professional and personal development services.

Ron Brown Scholars and Captains are found at the nation’s best universities. They hold leadership positions and continue the Ron Brown commitment to service. The Ron Brown Leaders Network has corporate partners who provide students with reliable job and internship opportunities. This is done through networking and recruitment activities. Corporate Partners and young leaders stay connected via an invitation-only LinkedIn Group and monthly webinars. They also host annual conferences.


If you are interested in applying for the Ron Brown Scholarship, you must apply early. The application deadline was January 22, 2018, and November 15, 2018.

You can find more information about this award on our website: We hope this article has helped you learn more about what makes this scholarship unique and how you may be eligible for one.

Other resources:

You can read my post about the National Merit Scholarship.

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