Happy Father’s Day: Scholarships for Dads

A girl and her father play on Father's Day


Happy Father’s Day! As a thank you for all that you do, we’ve compiled a list of scholarships to help you on your way to receiving the degree you have always wanted.

The following scholarship options are the most accessible opportunities to help dads pay for their academic expenses, but they are by no means your only options. You can also apply for financial aid or discover your local scholarship network to continue your funding search. There are many options out there, so don’t wait to search for them!

American Assembly for Men

AAMN provides multiple scholarships for men pursuing nursing degrees, though applicants are not required to be fathers. The funds for these awards are supplied by generous donors, and scholarship winners are picked when the donors have compiled sufficient funds. Each applicant must be a nursing student, but there are funding opportunities for those pursuing an associate’s degree, a BSN, an accelerated BSN, a master’s degree, a Ph.D., and more depending on the particular scholarship. Some of their awards include the AAMN Prelicensure Men in Nursing Video Contest ($1,000), Caring Men Paying it Forward ($1,000), and Murse World Academic Progression in Nursing ($1,000). The deadlines vary between scholarships, but stay up-to-date with their site; new registration periods open as donations are received.

Eligibility is as follows:

  • Student must be a male and a current AAMN member.
  • Student must be currently enrolled in a nursing program and have completed one academic semester, trimester, or quarter.
  • Student must provide documentation of completed academic semester and acceptance to nursing school attached in one email by designated due date.
  • Student must provide a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund

This fund aims to help entire families by providing funding to low-income single parents who live in Arkansas or Bowie County, Texas. Over half of low-income families in Arkansas are also single-parent families, and these scholarships can make a difference for the whole family. The award does not just apply to tuition and fees for the parent, but also can go toward everyday costs for the entire family: transportation, groceries, housing, and childcare, among others. The scholarship fund may also provide mentoring and/or financial planning services.

Eligibility is as follows (may vary depending on county):

  • Student must live in Arkansas or Bowie County, Texas.
  • Student must have already earned a high school diploma or the equivalent but not yet completed a bachelor's degree.
  • Student must have maintained at least a 2.0 GPA.
  • Student must be single or divorced by the time the scholarship is awarded.
  • Student must have at least 50% custody of at least one dependent who is 18 years old or younger, over 18 but still completing high school, or an adult with disabilities who lives with and is dependent on the student.
  • Student must live alone with their dependent(s), live with their parent(s) or relative(s), or live with a roommate (not a partner) who does not contribute to parenting.
  • Student must be a legal resident or have received DACA.
  • Student's income must not exceed 250% of the federal poverty level.
  • Student has completed or will complete the FAFSA.
  • Student is attending or planning to attend an institution or program that is approved by the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund and is pursuing or planning to pursue a degree or certification that will lead to gainful employment.

Bruce and Marjorie Sundlun Scholarship

A man and his son researching scholarships for dads on the couch

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The Rhode Island Foundation is a community organization that is "dedicated to meeting the needs of the people of Rhode Island." They do this by distributing grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the state, investing in community programs, and increasing state resources through philanthropy. The foundation also manages many scholarships available to Rhode Island residents, including the Bruce and Marjorie Sundlun Scholarship. This $1,500 scholarship is available to single parents who demonstrate low income and financial need.

Eligibility is as follows:

  • Student must be a low-income single parent.
  • Student must be a Rhode Island resident.
  • Student must be pursuing undergraduate-level study.
  • Students who have previously been incarcerated and those who currently or previously received state aid will be given preference in the application process.

Capture the Dream Single Parent Scholarship

Not all scholarships for fathers are offered nationally; some are regionally-based. The California-based Capture the Dream organization wants to help eliminate the obstacles that low-income individuals and families face when it comes to pursuing education and a career, so they've created a scholarship fund. The $1,000 Capture the Dream Single Parent Scholarship is available only to single parents who are living in one of the nine counties that comprise the San Francisco Bay Area and who have lived there for two years leading up to the time of their application. The application closes on June 30 each year.

Eligibility is as follows:

  • Student must be a Bay Area resident.
  • Student must be a single parent.
  • Student must demonstrate low income and financial need.
  • Student must be enrolled or planning to enroll at an accredited, nonprofit institution.

Hubertus W. V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sponsors this scholarship, which is awarded to 20 to 40 male students each year. Though entries from NAACP members are preferred, applicants do not need to be registered members to apply. They do, however, need to be majoring in engineering, physics, chemistry, or mathematics. A male student who has been accepted to or is applying to an accredited college can enter to win up to $3,000. The annual deadline is April 28, so put a reminder on your calendar to apply for next year.

Eligibility is as follows:

  • Students must be majoring in or planning to major in engineering, chemistry, physics, or math.
  • Student must be enrolled full-time as a high school student (in their senior year) or undergraduate student and maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Full-time and part-time graduate students are eligible if they maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Student must be a U.S. citizen enrolled in or accepted to an accredited university in the United States.
  • Student must demonstrate financial need.


Sponsored by Free College Scholarships, Scholarships4Dads awards $10,000 every quarter to a current or expecting parent. Its goal is to provide dads with the necessary resources and educational programs to further their futures. The funds must be used to pay for educational expenses, such as tuition, room and board, student loan debt, books, computers, and other school related materials. Applying to win is free, and the registration period ends on June 30, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Eligibility is as follows:

  • Student must be a legal U.S. citizen that is 18 years or older.
  • Student must be currently enrolled or will be enrolled in the next three months in a college or university in the United States.
  • Student must be a parent or expectant parent.
  • Employees of Free College Scholarships and/or Scholarships4dads are not eligible to enter, nor are any immediate family members.

Young Fathers Standing United

A father playfully tries to get his child to eat and hopes he wins one of the scholarships for dads that he applied for.

Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock.com

The Young Fathers Standing United organization, based out of Detroit, aspires to rebuild the community by assisting fathers under the age of 25 through mentorship and other resources. Its site provides a list of links to college scholarships. If that isn’t enough, it also points users to scholarship search engines like Fast Web.

Though these are all excellent scholarships for fathers, it’s important that you do not only seek ones specific to parents. You are more than just a student with children! What organizations are you involved in? What stores do you frequent? These can all be factors that make you eligible for financial assistance as you pursue your degree.

Narrowing down your scholarship search to those that are specific to your experiences will increase your likelihood of winning. If you are a man who is gay and lives near Philadelphia, for example, you could apply to the Lax Scholarship Fund for Gay Men. If you are involved in a fraternity like Phi Kappa Tau, there are multiple academic scholarships available at colleges with that specific chapter.

Depending on your situation, you may also be eligible for tuition assistance from your employer or military educational benefits if you are a current military service member or veteran. It is also a great idea to communicate with the financial aid office at your current or prospective college to learn about opportunities specifically for students at your school.

Today is your day. Dare to chase your dreams and get the education you have always wanted!

About Katelyn Brush

Katelyn likes learning, good health, traveling, and pizza on Fridays. Her mixed education, composed of SUNY the College at Brockport, a semester at a community college, and one abroad at the University of Oxford, helped her earn a bachelor’s degree in English. College also gave her a few lessons in Taekwondo and sleeping in a hostel dorm with total strangers. She’s a yoga teacher, author and illustrator of the children’s book, “Signing Together: A Guide to American Sign Language for Everyone.” As a Student Caffé writer, she hopes to help you through the highs and lows of college with a laugh ... or 20.

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