Shawn Carter Scholarship: Jay-Z Wants to Help You Pay for College

Last Updated on May 26, 2023

Shawn Carter Scholarship: hawn (Jay-Z) Carter attends a press event to announce his Carnegie Hall performances to benefit the United Way and the Shawn Carter Foundation.
Photo via Charles Sykes (AP). Shawn (Jay-Z) Carter attends a press event to announce his Carnegie Hall performances to benefit the United Way and the Shawn Carter Foundation.
Jay-Z is just one of today's breed of hip-hop moguls who are using their wealth and fame to help disadvantaged students get a good college education. Jay-Z, (Shawn Carter) together with his mom, Gloria Carter, established the Shawn Carter Scholarship after Gloria's retirement, with the goal of offering scholarships to single moms, children of disadvantaged families, students who have grade point averages of 2.0 and any one who desires a higher education. The foundation was officially established as a 501(c) in 2003 and awarded its very first full-college tuition scholarship in 2002. To date, over 750 scholarship awards amounting to over $1.7 million dollars have been given away by the Foundation.

Although the Foundation looks at academic excellence as its top criteria for eligibility, it also considers other socio-economic factors and the applicant's other qualities such as leadership and participation in community service. The Shawn Carter Scholarship candidates come from all backgrounds from different parts of the country. Any one who has the desire to pursue higher education and is willing to work hard to achieve his or her academic goals can apply for this scholarship grant.

Shawn Carter Scholarship Details

The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation provides grants ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 for every student who qualifies. Scholars who reapply every year will receive financial support from college admission to graduation. The grants may be used to pay for tuition fees, books, lab fees, food and travel expenses. The Shawn Carter scholars are expected to give back to their communities through community service or by mentoring younger students who may later on be future Shawn Carter scholars.

Application Date

Application starts on April 1st and ends on April 30th (11:59PM EST) To apply, please visit the scholarship application page.


All high school seniors, undergrad college students (2nd year or 4th year), GED diploma holders, students at vocational or trade schools who meet the following requirements are eligible:

  • High school seniors, students with GED diplomas, undergraduate (2 year or 4 year) college students, and students at vocational or trade schools
  • US citizen or Permanent Resident
  • 25 years old or younger
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA

How To Qualify

  • Get your application done early and submit the application form and your documents on time.
  • Write an essay explaining why you deserve the scholarship. Share your extra-curricular activities and specify details that can help them see that you are an exceptional student. Let them know about your long-range plans. Make sure your essay is clear of grammar and spelling errors.
  • Although a photograph is optional, if you do decide to send one, send a head shot from the shoulders up.

For more information on this scholarship opportunity, visit the SC Foundation website.

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