Shawn Carter Scholarship – Apply & Pursue Your Dreams

The Shawn Carter Scholarship, established by rapper Jay-Z and his mother Gloria Carter, aims to bridge the financial gap for deserving students facing economic hardship. Focused on empowering underserved youth in urban areas, the Scholarship Fund offers renewable grants to qualified individuals pursuing their first undergraduate degree.

Shawn Carter Scholarship

This scholarship goes beyond just financial aid.  The Shawn Carter Foundation, which administers the program, prioritizes students who demonstrate resilience and a commitment to giving back to their communities.  Recipients are expected to participate in community service and mentorship programs, fostering a well-rounded development alongside their academic achievements

Who is Shawn Carter?

Before we dive into the scholarship details, let’s explore the inspiration behind this incredible opportunity. Shawn Carter, better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is a legendary musician, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Recognizing the power of education, he established the Shawn Carter Scholarship to empower talented individuals from underserved communities to achieve their educational goals.

Shawn Carter Scholarship Benefits

The Shawn Carter Scholarship offers several benefits to deserving students:

Financial Support

The scholarship provides grants to cover a significant portion of your college expenses. This includes tuition fees and essential educational costs like books, lab fees, and even travel in some cases.  It can also extend to select living expenses, easing the financial burden associated with attending college.

Support Beyond Tuition

Unlike some scholarships, the Shawn Carter Scholarship recognizes the various costs of attending college.  By helping with books, travel, and living expenses, allows students to focus on their studies without worrying about everyday necessities.

Renewable Grant

This isn’t a one-time award.  Provided you meet the eligibility requirements and reapply each year, the scholarship can support you throughout your undergraduate studies, promoting financial stability for your entire college journey.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Shawn Carter Scholarship, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • Academic Status: Be enrolled in or accepted to an accredited institution for your first undergraduate degree. This applies to high school seniors, GED holders, and students enrolled in 2-year, 4-year, or vocational/trade schools
  • Age: Must be 25 years old or younger.
  • Academic Performance: Have a minimum GPA of 2.0 (though the Shawn Carter Foundation considers other factors as well).
  • Financial Need: Come from a household with a yearly income not exceeding $75,000.
  • Citizenship: Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Non-Academic Factors: While there’s no specific essay requirement mentioned, the Scholarship Fund prioritizes students who demonstrate resilience in the face of challenges, a commitment to community service, and a strong desire to give back.

How to Apply for the Shawn Carter Scholarship

Information on the application process is typically available around April 1st each year. Here are the general steps to follow (be sure to check the official website for the latest updates):

  • Check Eligibility: Ensure you meet all the scholarship criteria.
  • Gather Documents: Prepare required documents like transcripts, proof of income, and recommendation letters.
  • Apply Online: Submit your application through the designated online portal.
  • Selection Process: Await notification on your application status.

Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation: is the official website for the scholarship program. They provide the most up-to-date information on deadlines, eligibility requirements, and the application process.

What does the Scholarship Cover?

The Shawn Carter Scholarship offers renewable grants to cover various college expenses, including:

  • Tuition fees
  • Books and learning materials
  • Lab fees
  • Travel costs (in some cases)
  • Select living expenses

The scholarship amount can range from $1500 to $2500 per year, with the potential to receive funding throughout your undergraduate studies upon meeting renewal requirements.

Standing Out from the Crowd: Crafting a Compelling Application

A strong application is vital to secure the Shawn Carter Scholarship. Here are some tips to bolster your submission:

  • Highlight Your Achievements: Showcase your academic excellence, extracurricular activities, and any awards or recognitions you’ve received.
  • Craft a Powerful Essay: Use the essay portion to tell your story, highlighting your goals, challenges, and how the scholarship would empower you to achieve your dreams.
  • Seek Strong Recommendations: Request letters of recommendation from teachers, mentors, or advisors who can speak to your potential.
  • Proofread and Revise: Meticulously proofread your application to ensure it’s free of errors and portrays a professional image.


Is the Shawn Carter Scholarship a one-time award?

No, if you meet the eligibility criteria and reapply each year, you can receive the scholarship throughout your undergraduate studies.

What if my GPA is slightly below the minimum requirement?

The Shawn Carter Scholarship selection process considers various factors beyond just GPA. Demonstrating exceptional motivation and overcoming personal challenges can strengthen your application.

Can I use the scholarship for graduate studies?

Currently, the Shawn Carter Scholarship is dedicated to supporting undergraduate students pursuing their first degree.

Are there other scholarship opportunities besides the Shawn Carter Scholarship?

Absolutely! Numerous scholarships cater to students from diverse backgrounds and academic pursuits. Explore resources like or to discover scholarships aligning with your profile.

How much is the scholarship worth?

The award amount can range from $1500 to $2500 per year.

When is the application deadline?

The application period typically opens around April 1st. Refer to the official website for specific deadlines.

What are the expectations for Shawn Carter Scholars?

Along with academic achievement, the program emphasizes giving back to the community. Scholars are encouraged to participate in community service and mentorship initiatives.

I don’t meet the exact GPA requirement. Can I still apply?

While a 2.0 GPA is the minimum, a strong academic record is always beneficial for your application.  Demonstrate your commitment to education through essays and extracurricular activities.