One Family Scholars

Coaching & scholarships for low-income single parents in college

The One Family Scholars program provides individualized college, career, and financial coaching to low-income single parents pursuing a college degree. One Family Scholars receive scholarships that offset both direct costs of college (tuition, fees) and indirect costs of college (books, supplies, and living expenses). Scroll down to learn more.

One Family Scholars

The One Family Scholars program provides individualized coaching and support to homeless and low-income single parents pursuing a college degree. Our coaching is focused around five key areas: academic success, personal finance, career success, life skills, and leadership development. 


Scholars also receive a scholarship that helps to offset both direct costs of college (tuition, fees) and indirect costs of college (books, supplies, and living expenses). All awards are individualized based on need and program of study and are designed to reduce or eliminate the need for student loans. 

To read about the impact of the One Family Scholars program, click here.

To learn about eligibility and how to apply, scroll down.

Am I Eligible?

All applicants must be:

  • A single head of household (any gender) with dependent children under 18

  • Living with a family income level below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (see chart)

  • Endorsed by a Community Partner (see Community Partners page) OR referred by two organizations

  • An entering or returning student at an approved accredited undergraduate institution in Massachusetts

  • A resident of Massachusetts and a United States citizen or Permanent Resident

  • Enrolled in a degree granting program track (either associate or bachelor's)

When Do I Apply?

The One Family Scholars application is open twice per year (dates below). Please read through the entire application process below and pay attention to dates and deadlines. Also be sure to read through our FAQ’s listed below. 

How Do I Apply?

Step 1: Complete the Online Application


When the online application is open, a link to it will be available here. If you experience technical difficulties please email scholars@onefamilyinc.org.


Step 2: Submit Supporting Documentation


Applicants are required to submit:

  • Copy of the Financial Aid Award Letter from your school for the current academic year

  • Tuition Bill for the upcoming semester

  • Current official college transcript

  • Academic plan or degree audit approved by your academic advisor

  • Copy of the complete Student Aid Report from the FAFSA for the current academic year 

  • Candidate Endorsement Form - If referred by an OFS Community Partner submit only one Candidate Endorsement Form.  If not, please submit two Candidate Endorsement Forms.

  • (Optional) Current Resume


If we do not receive all of your documentation by the deadline we will be unable to review your application. Documents can be emailed to scholars@onefamilyinc.org, faxed to 857-496-7445, or mailed to 423 West Broadway, Suite 402, South Boston, MA 02127.


Step 3: Respond to Follow Up Questions


During the application review period a member of the One Family staff will follow up with any additional questions. Please check your email and voicemail regularly and reply ASAP!


Step 4: Decision Notices Sent and Conditional Acceptance


Applicants are notified of decisions via email and all accepted Scholars are “conditionally approved” until they attend our day-long in-person orientation in Boston and complete their intake coaching. After that point applicants are considered fully accepted to the One Family Scholars program.


Because of the high number of applications we receive and the limited number of open spots, some applicants are encouraged to reapply for future rounds.

If you have any questions not answered here or in the FAQ's below, please feel free to contact us using the box below or email us at scholars@onefamilyinc.org

Frequently Asked Questions

What is expected of me as a One Family Scholar?


We provide generous support to our Scholars but we also have high expectations. We expect each participant will be an engaged member of the One Family community. This includes participating in coaching, attending One Family sponsored events, prompt communication with staff, and notifying One Family Scholars staff of any changes that might affect your academic or career plans. We also require that almost all Scholars decline their student loans so that they are able to receive a One Family Scholarship. If you rely exclusively on student loans to support yourself in school, our scholarship will not be a good fit for you.


Although not required, we strongly encourage One Family Scholars to work or do an internship while in our program. We also encourage Scholars to strive to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.

What colleges do One Family Scholars attend?


Participants must be enrolled in an accredited undergraduate institution within Massachusetts. Priority consideration is given to applicants who attend public two- and four-year institutions. We do NOT accept applicants who attend for-profit colleges. For a complete list please see One Family's list of approved accredited Massachusetts colleges/universities.

Do you require participants to pursue specific degree plans or can I choose any course of study?


We do not limit participants to specific degree programs; however, we expect you to explain how your course of study will lead you to a family-sustaining career. We select candidates who can clearly demonstrate that their degree program, school choice, and intended career are well-planned and make sound financial sense.

Do I need to be enrolled as a full-time student in order to qualify for the program?


The One Family Scholars program supports full- and part-time students. There is no minimum number of credits per semester, however Scholars are required to complete as many credits each semester as are necessary to graduate within the tenure limits of the One Family Scholars Program (see the following question).

 

How long can I participate in the One Family Scholars program?


All Scholars must complete their degrees within 3 years if seeking an associate degree and within 5 years if seeking a bachelor's degree. Scholars who continue to be in good standing may reapply each year for continued support.

Who is the ideal candidate for the One Family Scholars program?


One Family Scholars are single mothers and fathers with dependent children under age 18 with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines who live in Massachusetts and attend Massachusetts accredited colleges and universities. Applicants must be endorsed by a Community Partner organization.


In addition, the ideal candidate is capable of maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher, has an academic plan tied to their career field, and is currently working or has recently worked in their field of study. Finally, One Family Scholars are highly motivated, reliable/dependable, professional, and possess a "can-do" attitude.

I have never been homeless. Am I eligible?


Yes. The One Family Scholars Program supports single heads of household with income levels at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Many One Family Scholars have experienced homelessness in the past, while many other One Family Scholars have never been homeless.

I am a single father. Am I eligible?


Yes. The One Family Scholars Program is available to both single mothers and fathers.

I am married. Am I eligible?


The One Family Scholars Program gives priority consideration to single, unmarried heads of household. We will consider applicants whose marital status is in transition on a case by case basis.

My children are over 18 years of age. Am I eligible?


No. The scholarship is intended for low-income single heads of household with dependents under the age of 18.

I do not have children or dependents. Am I eligible?


No. The scholarship is intended for low-income single heads of household with dependents under the age of 18.

I am undocumented. Am I eligible?


No. One Family Scholars must be United States citizens or legal residents eligible to work in the United States. At the moment applicants with DACA are also ineligible to apply.

I live outside of Massachusetts. Am I eligible?


No. Scholarship awards will only be granted to permanent Massachusetts residents who are enrolled at an accredited undergraduate institution in Massachusetts.

I am in the process of applying to college. Am I eligible for your program?


No. You must be already enrolled in a degree-granting program and pursuing your first associate or bachelor's degree in order to participate in the One Family Scholars program. We do not admit individuals who are in the process of applying to college primarily because we would like to see demonstrated ability to do college level work.

 

I am taking prerequisites for a nursing program but have not yet been accepted, should I apply to the One Family Scholars program?


No. If you are applying to a specialty program (such as nursing) you MUST be already accepted into the specialty program prior to applying to become a One Family Scholar otherwise your application will not be reviewed.

 

I am enrolled in a certificate program. Will One Family Scholars support that?


No. Our scholarship is for individuals who are enrolled in a degree-granting program pursuing their first associate or bachelor's degree.

I've already earned a degree but would like to earn another degree in a different field. Am I eligible?


No. Our scholarship is for first time degree earners. The only exception is applicants who have earned an associate degree and are working to earn a bachelor's degree.

Do you support master's degree candidates?


No. Our scholarship is for undergraduate study only.

Do you have a minimum GPA requirement to apply?


We do not have a minimum GPA requirement to apply to the One Family Scholars Program, but we review your past academic performance, including GPA and course selection, when making our acceptance decisions. As a guideline, we expect our Scholars to strive to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.

If I am not accepted to the One Family Scholars program can I reapply at a later date?


Some applicants are encouraged to "reapply later" once certain criteria have been fulfilled. If this is the case we will notify you of the specific reasons we would like you to reapply. If your application was "denied" then you are unlikely to be accepted if you reapply at a later date.

I am having technical problems with the online application. Whom do I contact?


For technical assistance with the online application, please send a detailed email to scholars@onefamilyinc.org. Please be sure to include a description of the problem, the error message if applicable, and the location of the problem.

Do applicants need to be sponsored by a partnering community organization in order to apply to and participate in the One Family Scholars program?


No. If you are sponsored by a partnering community organization you will receive priority during our selection process. However, if you are not currently working with one of our existing Community Partners you can apply and submit two (2) candidate endorsement forms from organizations that you are currently affiliated with, and are willing to support you throughout your tenure in the program.

Who is eligible to become a One Family Community Partner organization?


A Community Partner should be a 501(c)3 non-profit, or a group using a 501(c)3 non-profit as a fiscal agent who works with low-income single parents. If your non-profit organization works with low-income single heads of household, the One Family Scholars program provides a continued pathway for your clients and their children to leave poverty behind. Non-profit organizations that are interested in becoming a Community Partner must complete a One Family Community Partner application. To request an application, please contact scholars@onefamilyinc.org.
 

Contact Us

One Family, Inc.

423 West Broadway, Suite 402

South Boston, MA 02127

617-423-0504

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