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Osher Scholars and Fellows Program


For Students

Osher Scholarships are available at many institutions of higher education around the country.

The Foundation does not make grants to students directly. Colleges and universities administer the scholarship programs after receiving support from the Foundation. A list of institutions offering Osher Scholarships is available here. In all cases, students apply for the scholarship through the college or university, not through the Osher Foundation.

Note that the eligibility requirements for Osher Scholarships vary across institutions. These program descriptions provide a general sense of the selection criteria for Osher awards at specific schools. Interested persons should contact given institutions for exact details regarding the scholarship application process, including deadlines, and the size of scholarships available.

For Institutional Grantseekers

The Foundation is not inviting proposals for this program at this time. Any notice of plans to expand this program would be posted on this webpage.

The Osher Scholarship Program with some potential for growth in the future is the Reentry Scholarship Program (background below). If you would like the Foundation to be aware of your college or university and its services for nontraditional students, you may submit letters of introduction that address the following points.

• Approximately, how many students at the institution are pursuing their first baccalaureate degree and are between the ages of 25 and 50?

• Describe the special needs of reentry students and how those needs are addressed at the institution. Is there a unit within the institution dedicated to reentry and/or non-traditional students? If so, when did it begin offering services?

• What other services are available to help reentry students achieve success (evening/weekend courses, counseling services, childcare et al.)?

Letters should be addressed to Eric Gillespie, Program Director, The Bernard Osher Foundation, One Market Plaza, Spear Tower, Suite 4025, San Francisco, CA 94105. They will be reviewed and kept on file.

Background on Osher Reentry Scholarship Program

The Foundation defines reentry students as individuals who have experienced an interruption in their education of five or more years and who want to resume their education at the undergraduate level. This scholarship is intended to benefit students who have considerable years of employability ahead of them—typically aged 25 to 50.

Reentry students often have special needs including matriculation and career counseling, familiarization with new information technology used in higher education, and balancing the requirements of their families and employment. The Foundation has supported select institutions with established services addressing the needs and fostering the success of reentering students.

In the past, the Foundation provided institutional grants of up to $50,000 a year with a possible renewal for a second or third year. These grants are restricted to baccalaureate-degree-granting institutions. Upon demonstrated success, the Foundation established endowments to provide permanent support for the program.

Osher Reentry Scholarships are awarded to students who

• have experienced a cumulative gap in their education of five or more years;

• are at the undergraduate level and pursuing their first baccalaureate degree;

• anticipate workforce participation for a significant period of time subsequent to graduation;

• demonstrate financial need;

• show academic promise and a commitment to degree completion.

Qualified students may include part- and full-time students, with preference given to newly matriculating students. Scholarship awards must be applied to student tuition fees exclusively. These funds are not intended for graduate students, individuals seeking an additional degree, those enrolled in online courses exclusively, or international students who are visiting the United States with the intention of returning to their countries of origin after graduation.