Oprah Winfrey Scholarship Programs

People looking for a way to fund their higher education should try to apply for any grant or scholarship opportunities. One of the opportunities you can try would be the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship funds.

As you may have expected, the initiator of this scholarship program is one of the most influential women in the United States, Oprah Winfrey. Over the course of decades, Oprah has proved that she really does care for equal education for every American. She proved it as she created the Oprah Angel Network. It is a charity foundation that has helped many college students that has financial problems.


Oprah Winfrey Scholarship Foundation Schools

There are a number of universities and colleges that receive the money from Oprah. They receive the fund in the form of Oprah Winfrey scholarships. You can find Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, the Tennessee State University among other universities on the list. There’s also a program known as A Better Chance that provides funding for college preparatory programs.

There are three foundations that are related to Oprah. Those are the Oprah Winfrey Foundation (OWF), the Oprah Winfrey Operating Foundation (OWOF) and the Oprah’s Angel Network (OAN).

The first one we mentioned is focused on channeling Oprah’s passion in philanthropy. It covers various aspects including educational, arts and medical venues.

The OWOF is focused on providing educational help for people in South Africa, especially African girls. Last but not least, the OAN is the foundation where you can participate in donating money for those who are in need. The OAN ensure that 100 percent of your money goes directly for those who need it. It is because Oprah has covered all of the management and fundraising expenses.

Funding and Application

Out of the three foundations mentioned above, the scholarships and grants are available from the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and also Oprah’s Angle Network. The scholarships provided are aimed to help students with extreme financial need. That said, the scholarship works a bit differently from your standard scholarship program.

The money from the program is for funding approved universities scholarship programs. Typically, the programs are in favor for ethnic minorities and women. Therefore, it is pretty unlikely that the money will be given directly from the foundation to an individual.

Therefore, if you’re planning to apply for the scholarship program; it would be best to contact your current college or university’s financial aid office and ask them if there’s any program affiliated with the Oprah foundation. For example, there’s the Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program for African Women in New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. If you are currently in senior high school, then it would be best to start researching the universities, college or schools that have received money from Oprah Foundation.

Most of the scholarship programs funded by Oprah foundation in the universities focused on providing help for needy African American women, so you can consider this as a minority scholarship too. It is important to have some proof that you really come from a low-income family, so the best course of action would be completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Fulfilling this will determine your eligibility for the Pell Grant, which can be the gate for the Oprah Winfrey Scholarships and grants in your college.

Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholars Program

The Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholars Program offers financial assistance, leadership development opportunities, and service experiences to students who demonstrate financial need, academic potential, and a dedication to community service. This program aims to nurture community and global leaders through various leadership development activities and service engagements throughout the academic year. Additionally, it provides the chance to travel to South Africa during the summer for further service and leadership experiences.

To qualify for the Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholarship Program, students must exhibit academic excellence, a strong commitment to service, and financial need. Eligibility requirements include a minimum high school GPA of 3.2 or a 3.0 GPA at Morehouse College, a combined SAT score of 1200 or an ACT score of 26, and an expected family contribution (EFC) of $5,000 or less.

Participation in the program involves fulfilling specific service obligations, which may vary annually. Throughout their time at Morehouse College, scholars have to mentor middle and high school students and lead a leadership program at a local school. Even they have to engage in other service activities alongside fellow Oprah Scholars. Additionally, maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and completing 15 credit hours per semester are essential. Those are the requirements to retain the scholarship.

How to Apply

Every spring, the Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program Office invites applications from eligible incoming freshmen and current students who meet the program’s eligibility criteria. The selection process for new scholars is typically completed by May of each year. Thus, allowing selected individuals to commence their participation in the program starting in the fall semester.

Oprah Winfrey South Africa Leadeship Program for Scholars

The Oprah Winfrey South Africa Leadership Program offers a life-changing educational journey for Oprah Winfrey scholars. Even the program offers travel to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. This immersive experience involves meetings with community leaders, university officials, faculty, and students from esteemed institutions. For example, the University of Western Cape, University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria, and Stellenbosch University.

Through service days, students engage in activities like condom distribution at the Sonke Gender Justice Field Program and assisting at the Mahou Center Orphanage for children affected by AIDS.

Exploration of historic sites and organizations dedicated to apartheid’s history and reconciliation. For instance, Apartheid Museum and the Leah and Desmond Tutu Foundation, offers profound insights into South Africa’s extraordinary past. Additionally, excursions to Pilanesburg National Park, Cape Point, and Table Mountain allow students to appreciate the country’s natural wonders.

During this enriching experience, students and faculty engage in focused discussions and reflection on various topics. It can be race, poverty, reconciliation, and privilege. Each student documents their learning journey through an electronic portfolio. Moreover, they capture reflections and personal narratives that highlight the transformative impact of the experience. As a result, Oprah Winfrey Scholars return to the United States with a deeper understanding of South Africa’s socio-political and economic landscape and its connections to global issues.


  • 25 Great Scholarships Sponsored or Inspired by Celebrities – http://www.top10onlinecolleges.org/25-great-scholarships-sponsored-inspired-celebrities/
  • Oprah Winfrey Scholarships – http://college.lovetoknow.com/Slideshow:Oprah_Winfrey_Scholarship
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