APPLY: AEF Scholarship for New York City Immigrant Students

By Scholarship Monitor

The AEF scholarship, which is an acronym for Ascend Educational Fund scholarship, is sponsored by the non-profit Ascend Educational Fund. 

The scholarship targets immigrant students and children of immigrants who are graduating from a New York City high school, regardless of their ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status. It provides funds to support their enrollment in public or private colleges and universities. 

Since the founding of Ascend Educational Fund scholarship in 2013, $537,500 have been awarded to 72 students in 46 different colleges, representing 34 countries in the last nine years.

What is unique about the Ascend Educational Fund Scholarship?

If you are an immigrant, this scholarship could be the best option for you. Here is why:

Best interests of the Immigrant community

This is one of the few scholarships that specifically targets the immigrant community. Its main objective is to enable and encourage higher education and professional achievement for the immigrant community, so that students of exceptional prospects reach their full potential through higher education.

In 2020, despite the harsh reality of the pandemic to the global community, the Ascend Educational Fund remained committed to their mission of elevating the immigrant community through higher education. In this year alone, $63,000 was awarded to nine deserving immigrant students selected from over 600 applications, representing 7 countries, including China, Egypt, Haiti, Mali, Mexico, Guatemala, and Grenada.

Equal and equitable education opportunity

The Ascend Educational Fund gives equal educational opportunity to all immigrant students. Facts show that sixty percent of students in New York city are immigrants or children of immigrants and this makes New York city the epicenter of immigrants. AEF is aware of how difficult it is for these students to get proper education and attain their full academic potentials so they provide support for these students to give them an equitable educational opportunity. Unlike other prestigious scholarships, the selection of recipients of this award is not limited to ethnicity or immigration status. Everyone gets a fair chance, from Bolivian to Japanese, from citizen to non-citizen.

Amount awarded

The amount awarded to recipients of the Ascend Educational Fund scholarship ranges from $2500 to $20,000 and is renewable if the scholar remains in good standing and maintains a 2.5  GPA.

Time and capital intensive commitment

The Ascend Scholarship Fund stops not only at allocating monetary awards to recipients but also provides mentorship opportunities for all students. They enrol automatically all scholars in an intensive academic mentorship program. 

The mentorship program pairs scholarship recipients with mentors who can help guide them through the college experience and their career exploration process. The goal is to make their transition from high school to college as smooth as possible. These mentors are people who have experience with similar academic and professional pursuits and can properly guide the students.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Recipients must be born outside the United States or have two parents born outside the United States but must be a resident of the United States.
  • Students must be a graduating senior at a high school in the five boroughs of New York City. This includes: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Staten Island.
  • Must also enroll full time at an accredited public or private college or university.
  • Selection is based on qualities traditionally valued and demonstrated by the immigrant community, namely industriousness, resourcefulness, perseverance in the face of adversity, academic achievement, leadership, and dedication to one’s community.
  • All international applicants for whom English is not the native tongue must provide proof of proficiency in the English language.

Scholarship conditions

The foundation disburses scholarships directly to the recipient’s educational institution in equal installments over a two or four-year period, depending on the type of institution. To avoid suspension or revocation of scholarship awards, students must abide by the following conditions;

  • Must enroll full time at an accredited public or private college or university
  • Must remain in good standing and maintain a 2.5 GPA
  • Students must submit progress reports to the Ascend Educational Fund every semester
  • Must take part in mentoring sponsored by the Ascend Educational Fund.

Application Necessities

Credentials essential for this scholarship are;

  • Filled and signed application form
  • Official high school transcript
  • Copy of SAT or ACT score report. However, this is unnecessary if your college does not require a SAT or ACT score report.
  • Two recommendation letters from any adult who is familiar with the student’s community service and leadership qualities such as a teacher, counselor, or community leader. Note that members of the applicant’s immediate or extended family are not permitted to serve as a Recommender. As an alternative, community organization representatives are encouraged to play the role of a Recommender.
  • Two essays.

AEF Scholarship Application procedures

The Ascend application process takes on three procedures;

  • All essential credentials mentioned above should be submitted at
  • Recommendation letters must be submitted as well
  • A committee will review all applications and send notification letters to a group of finalists for interviews.

All questions, comments and inquiries should be directed here

Selection process and final award disbursement

  • Eligible individuals who submit their application packages before the deadline dates are considered for the scholarship award.
  • Competition for the scholarship award is expected to be substantial, therefore all Recommenders are expected to do their best in giving a complete picture of the nominee’s qualifications and potentials.
  • The Ascend Educational Fund selects recipients of the award considering values that are held in high esteem in the immigrant community namely hard work, resourcefulness, perseverance, academic achievement, leadership, and commitment to one’s community, as already highlighted above in the Eligibility Requirements section.
  • Individually finally selected for the award will receive funds in an amount determined by The Ascend Educational Fund.
  • The award will be based on the cost of tuition, fees, books, and living expenses for the academic year and also the availability of grants and other scholarships reported on the submitted financial aid award letter.
  • The scholarship for the undergraduate award is subject to being renewed annually, on the condition that students maintain satisfactory academic progress, full-time status, and timely submission of required documents.

Ascend Scholarship Application Deadline dates

Scholarship application opens onlineNovember 2021
Online Application ClosesFebruary 4, 2022
Finalists Selected & NotifiedApril 2022
Final InterviewsJune 2022

For more information, visit scholarship website

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