How to Apply

Applications for the 2018 Beat the Odds scholarship program are now closed. Recipients to be selected in November.

The Beat the Odds scholarship program honors outstanding high school students who have overcome tremendous adversity in life to achieve academic excellence, demonstrate leadership in their communities and aspire to attend college. Students must be nominated or seek nomination for the Beat the Odds scholarship program by/from a teacher, counselor, caseworker, or other adult who can speak to the following: his/her character, academic achievement, commitment to social justice issues/community, and the tremendous odds he/she beats every day.

Students must be enrolled in a broader Twin Cities Metro area high school and must be on track to graduate by June 2018. Students are invited to apply regardless of immigration status. Students who are undocumented should review page two of the application linked below before submitting their applications.

Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota will select 10 finalists in the fall of 2017 and from that group will choose five honorees. Honorees will be notified in November and will each receive:

  • A $5,000 Beat the Odds scholarship, allocated during college matriculation, and a laptop computer;
  • Induction into the CDF family and invitation to join CDF’s leadership development ladder; and
  • Honors at the annual Beat the Odds Awards on March 8, 2018. Professional, autobiographical videos of each honoree’s story will be produced in winter 2017/2018 and shown at the ceremony. These films may also be shared with the media, sponsors, supporters and the broader public, as well as posted on our website.