Frequently Asked Questions

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 1st – application will be considered for the Ron Brown Scholar Program AND forwarded to a select and limited number of additional scholarship providers.

January 9th – final deadline in order to be considered for only the Ron Brown Scholar Program ONLY.

If January 9th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, your application should be submitted by the following Monday.

Application materials must be mailed in one packet if not submitted online.  If submitted online, requests for transcripts and recommendation letters are processed through the online application.  If application is mailed, transcripts and letters of recommendation should not be sent under separate cover. They should be included with your application materials.  Incomplete or faxed applications will not be considered.

At least one letter of recommendation should be written by your high school guidance counselor / college counselor.  The second letter may be submitted by anyone who knows you well and can attest to your character, leadership ability, commitment to community service and academic achievement. This may include someone such as an teacher, employer, coach or mentor. It cannot be your mother, father or guardian.

SAT and ACT scores are not required.  However, if you took the exams, those scores should be submitted. 

If you are not submitting your application online, application materials should be mailed to the Ron Brown Scholar Program Office. The address is: Ron Brown Scholar Program, 485 Hillsdale Drive, Suite 206, Charlottesville, VA 22901. The 2023 application is now closed.

No. We do not have cut-off scores. Competition for the scholarships is intense, however, successful applicants have demonstrated a serious commitment to academics. This is reflected in their high grade point averages, rigorous academic course selections, and rank in class.

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 can’t learn from your transcript, and other application materials.

Yes.  however, the 2023 application is now closed.  When submitting online, be sure all sections have been completed.  You are not able to retrieve your application once it has been submitted.  

We do not accept faxed applications .

Only under extenuating circumstances will a late application be accepted.  To submit a late application, approval must be given by the Ron Brown Scholar Program.  You should call the Ron Brown Scholar Program at 434-964-1588 with any questions.

Yes. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in order to apply.

Financial need is a significant 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.

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 reside with a step-parent, that should be indicated and their income listed.

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 parent’s income will be requested and will be taken into account in determining financial need.

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 semi-finalist, verification of income will be required.

The scholarship may be used at any degree-granting four-year accredited 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.

You are eligible for a Ron Brown Scholarship even if you receive other scholarships or financial aid.

Semi-Finalists will be contacted in mid-to late February. Finalists will be notified in early March and invited to Washington, D.C. (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 semi-finalist or finalist stage. We will post the names of the scholarship winners on our website in early May.

The scholarships are funded by the Ron Brown Scholar Fund a public 501(c)3 charity and through generous donations from friends and partners.