Applications for more than 900 scholarships are due January 31, the Public Education Foundation (PEF) announced today. PEF, in partnership with its donors, will award more than $5 million in scholarships to current high school seniors and college-enrolled students to support them as they pursue their college and career goals.

“Hundreds of generous donors across the community have stepped up to help our students realize their educational and life dreams,” said Rich Broome, CEO of the Public Education Foundation. “These are often life-changing scholarships that also reduce financial stress on our families.

Over the past decade, PEF’s Scholarships Plus program has awarded $20.6 million in scholarships to more than 5,600 students. Fifty-four percent of PEF recipients are first-generation college students, and 79% of PEF recipients complete college, which is far higher than the national college completion average of 62%.

With rising college costs and inflation affecting many students, the need for scholarships is greater than ever. PEF received more than 17,000 applications for scholarships in 2022 and anticipates another record year as students and families search for ways to pay for college without taking on additional debt. On average, PEF scholarship recipients received $6,870 to fund their college education in the 2021-2022 cycle, with 39% of recipients receiving a scholarship that can be renewed for the duration of their program.

PEF offers a one-stop shop for students exploring ways to fund their education and donors looking to support their efforts. With one centralized application, students can apply for hundreds of scholarships in one place at Scholarships range from $250 to $100,000 and opportunities are available so every student can apply for help to attend college or vocational school, regardless of academic performance or financial situation. 

“I was born in Africa and came to the U.S. when I was six years old, leaving all my family behind in search of better education. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, but when I thought about how expensive it is to attend college after high school, it broke my heart,” shared Aminata Dieng, a Western High School graduate and a recipient of the Charles and Phyllis Frias Legacy Scholarship. “I am so grateful every day to the donors who chose to help me achieve my dreams. I will use this scholarship to make them proud and serve my community after I finish school.”Students interested in applying for scholarships through PEF can find the virtual scholarship application, resources and sample documents at