One Family Scholars
Scholarships and academic/career coaching for single parents in college.
The One Family Scholars program provides individualized academic and career coaching to single parents with low incomes in college in Massachusetts. One Family Scholars also receive scholarship funds to help cover direct costs of college (such as tuition, fees, books, and technology) as well as indirect costs of college (such as childcare, transportation, and living expenses).
Scroll down to learn more or read about the impact of the One Family Scholars program here.
One Family Scholars
The One Family Scholars program provides individualized coaching and scholarship funds to single parents with low incomes who are pursuing a college degree in Massachusetts.
Our coaching is focused around five key areas: academic success, personal finance, career success, life skills, and leadership development. Scholarship funds help to offset both direct costs of college (tuition, fees, laptops, etc.) and indirect costs of college (transportation, childcare, etc.). Scholarship amounts vary based on each student's financial 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 with dependent children under 18
Living with a family income level below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level
Endorsed by an organization - find the candidate endorsement form here
An entering or returning student at an approved accredited undergraduate institution in Massachusetts (list of accredited undergraduate institutions)
A resident of Massachusetts and a United States citizen or legal Permanent Resident
Enrolled in a degree-granting program track, either associate or bachelor's. (Please note we do NOT accept applicants seeking a second associate degree or second bachelor's degree.)
When Do I Apply?
The One Family Scholars application is usually open twice per year. Check back here for details about the next application cycle in the coming months.
When applying, 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, you will be able to find a link to it on this page. If you experience technical difficulties please email email@example.com.
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
(Optional) Current Resume
Documents can be submitted as attachments with your online application, or through a personal Dropbox link. This Dropbox link will be sent to you via email within 5 business days of you submitting your online application.
If we do not receive all of your documentation by the deadline we will be unable to review your application.
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. All accepted Scholars are “conditionally approved” until they attend program orientation, complete orientation paperwork, and participate in 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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 to 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 an ideal candidate for the One Family Scholars program?
One Family Scholars are single parents (any gender) with dependent children under age 18 and incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level who live in Massachusetts and attend Massachusetts accredited colleges and universities. Applicants must be endorsed/referred by an organization (endorsement form here).
Finally, preference is given to candidates who align with the qualities listed below. Please note we accept candidates with none, some, or all of these characteristics - what matters most is meeting the minimum qualifications listed above and submitting a completed application with all documentation.
Preference is given to applicants who:
will receive Pell Grant during each year of the One Family Scholars program
have a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA
are in Good Academic and Financial Aid Standing
are Black/African American or Hispanic/Latinx
live in one of the following cities: Attleboro, Barnstable, Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Springfield, Taunton, Westfield, or Worcester
have experienced homelessness
are currently working in their field of study
have a disability and are connected to their college's disability services office
identify as LGBTQIA+
are in a major/program tied to their desired career field
are currently working or have recently worked in their field of study
are highly motivated, reliable/dependable, professional, and posses a "can-do" attitude
I was previously a Scholar who took a break and am now enrolled in college courses again. How do I become a Scholar again?
Whether you were a Scholar who took a leave of absence during your degree program, or you graduated with your associate degree and took a break before starting a bachelor's program, you will need to reapply to the One Family Scholars program. Minimum application qualifications still need to be met, and you need to have left the One Family Scholars program in good standing. This includes having upheld the terms and conditions of One Family Scholars Handbook and Coaching Contract. Contact your previous coach or email email@example.com for more info on reapplying to the program.
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 single parents of any gender.
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.
All of my children are over 18 years of age. Am I eligible?
No. The scholarship is intended for 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 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.
Who is considered an eligible non-citizen?
To qualify for the One Family Scholars program, applicants must be eligible for federal student aid. To qualify for federal student aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. An eligible non-citizen must be a lawful permanent resident with a Form I-551, I-151, or I-551C (Permanent Resident Card, Resident Alien Card, or Alien Registration Receipt Card), also known as a "green card".
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 now?
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 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 made for applicants who have earned an associate degree and are now 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 and Good Academic Standing.
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 assistance with the online application, please send a detailed email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include a description of the problem, the error message if applicable, and the location of the problem.
What kinds of organizations can submit a Candidate Endorsement Form on my behalf?
This requirement is open to a broad range of organizations. Common examples include colleges (or centers/groups within your college) or social service organizations such as shelters, career support organizations, case management providers, and more. We also have accepted forms from religious leaders in the past. The most important thing is that the person completing your Candidate Endorsement Form knows you well. If you're not sure if a specific person/organization will be appropriate, feel free to email email@example.com with your question.
Where can I find the Candidate Endorsement form?
Download the Candidate Endorsement form here!