Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Q: What type of support will I receive as a One Family Scholar?

    One Family Scholars receive both financial support and coaching. Our financial support includes a last-dollar tuition scholarship, funds for books and supplies, and a small incentive-based stipend. All awards are individualized based on need and program of study and not all Scholars receive all parts of the scholarship.

    One Family Scholars also receive coaching and counselling focused in four areas: academic success, personal finance, career development, and civic engagement. Our coaching is a critical aspect of the program and all Scholars receive this support.

  2. Q: What is expected of me as a One Family Scholar?

    We provide generous support to our Scholars but we also have high expectations. We expect all participants will be an engaged member of the One Family community. This includes participating in coaching, attending One Family sponsored events, prompt communication with staff, and notifying One Family Scholar staff of any changes that might affect your academic or career plans.

    We also require that almost all Scholars decline their student loans so that they are able to receive a One Family Scholarship. If you rely exclusively on student loans to support yourself in school, our scholarship will not be a good fit for you.

    Although not required, we strongly encourage One Family Scholars to work or do an internship while in our program. We also encourage Scholars to strive to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.

  3. Q: What colleges do One Family Scholars attend?

    Participants must be enrolled in an accredited undergraduate institution within Massachusetts. Priority consideration is given to applicants who attend public two- and four-year institutions. We do NOT accept applicants who attend for-profit colleges. For a complete list please see One Family's list of approved accredited Massachusetts colleges/universities.

  4. Q: Do you require participants to pursue specific degree plans or can I choose any course of study?

    We do not limit participants to specific degree programs; however, we expect you to explain how your course of study will lead you to a family sustaining career. We select candidates who can clearly demonstrate that their degree program, school choice, and intended career are well-planned and make sound financial sense. Applicants who intend to enroll in a specialty program (such as nursing) should see question 16.

  5. Q: Do I need to be enrolled as a full-time student in order to qualify for the program?

    The One Family Scholars program supports full and part-time students. There is no minimum amount of credits per semester, however Scholars are required to complete as many credits each semester as are necessary to graduate within the tenure limits of the One Family Scholars Program (see the following question).

  6. Q: How long can I participate in the One Family Scholars program?

    All Scholars must complete their degrees within 5 years if seeking a Bachelor's degree and within 3 years if seeking an Associate's degree. Scholars who continue to be in good standing may reapply each year for continued support.

  7. Q: Who is the ideal candidate for the One Family Scholars program?

    One Family Scholars are single mothers and fathers with dependent children under age 18 with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines who live in Massachusetts and attend Massachusetts accredited colleges and universities. Applicants must be endorsed by a Community Partner organization (see question 28 below).

    In addition, the ideal candidate is capable of maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher, has an academic plan tied to their career field, and is currently working or has recently worked in their field of study. Finally, One Family Scholars are highly motivated, reliable/dependable, professional, and possess a "can-do" attitude.

  8. Q: I have never been homeless. Am I eligible?

    Yes. The One Family Scholars Program supports single heads of household with income levels at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Many One Family Scholars have experienced homelessness in the past, while many other One Family Scholars have never been homeless.

  9. Q: I am a single father. Am I eligible?

    Yes. The One Family Scholars Program is to both single mothers and fathers.

  10. Q: I am married. Am I eligible?

    The One Family Scholars Program gives priority consideration to single, unmarried heads of household. We will consider applicants whose marital status is in transition on a case by case basis.

  11. Q: My children are over 18 years of age. Am I eligible?

    No. The scholarship is intended for low-income single heads of household with dependents under the age of 18.

  12. Q: I do not have children or dependents. Am I eligible?

    No. The scholarship is intended for low-income single heads of household with dependents under the age of 18.

  13. Q: I am undocumented. Am I eligible?

    No. One Family Scholars must be United States citizens or legal residents eligible to work in the United States. At the moment applicants with DACA are also ineligible to apply.

  14. Q: I live outside of Massachusetts. Am I eligible?

    No. Scholarship awards will only be granted to permanent Massachusetts residents who are enrolled at an accredited undergraduate institution in Massachusetts.

  15. Q: I am in the process of applying to college. Am I eligible for your program?

    No. You must be already enrolled in a degree-granting program and pursuing your first associate or bachelor's degree in order to participate in the One Family Scholars program. We do not admit individuals who are in the process of applying to college primarily because we would like to see demonstrated ability to do college level work.

  16. Q: I am taking prerequisites for a nursing program by have not yet been accepted, should I apply to the One Family Scholars program?

    No. If you are applying to a specialty program (such as nursing) you MUST be already accepted into the specialty program prior to applying to become a One Family Scholar otherwise your application will not be reviewed.

  17. Q: I am enrolled in a certificate program. Will One Family Scholars support that?

    No. Our scholarship is for individuals who are enrolled in a degree-granting program pursuing their first associate's or bachelor's degree.

  18. Q: I've already earned a degree but would like to earn another degree in a different field. Am I eligible?

    No. Our scholarship is for first time degree earners. The only exception is applicants who have earned an Associate's degree and are working to earn a Bachelor's degree.

  19. Q: Do you support Master's degree candidates?

    No. Our scholarship is for undergraduate study only.

  20. Q: How do I apply?

    Applicants who have reviewed the eligibility requirements and expectations should fill out our online application for either fall or spring admission (see the following question). After completing the application you will receive a confirmation e-mail and information about submitting supporting documents (see question 23).

    As we review applicants we will follow up individually on an as-needed basis for further information by phone or e-mail. Please make sure you provide a working phone number and an e-mail address that you check regularly. We have a limited window of time to review applications so prompt responses are appreciated.

    Finally, applicants are "conditionally accepted" until they attend an in-person program orientation and initial coaching session.

  21. Q: When can I apply?

    A: The online application will be available during the following periods for their respective academic semesters:

    Semester Application Period
    Fall 2017 Monday June 5, 2017 - Friday June 30, 2017
    Spring 2018 Monday October 2, 2017 - Friday October 27, 2017

    Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis during these times.

  22. Q: Do you have a minimum GPA requirement to apply?

    We do not have a minimum GPA requirement to apply to the One Family Scholars Program, but we review your past academic performance, including GPA and course selection, when making our acceptance decisions. As a guideline, we expect our Scholars to strive to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.

  23. Q: What documentation is required in support of my application to the program?

    Please refer to the required documentation checklist.

  24. Q: I have completed my application but I do not have one of the required documents (e.g. tax return, FAFSA, etc.). Can I still be considered?

    No. Your application will not be reviewed unless you complete the online application and submit all required documentation. During the application period we will notify you by e-mail what documentation we've received and what you still need to submit prior to the deadline.

  25. Q: When will I hear whether I have been accepted or not?

    All decisions will be e-mailed to applicants. Please make sure you apply with an e-mail address that you check regularly. Program decision notifications are typically sent out the last week of July for fall applicants and the last week of November for spring applicants.

  26. Q: If I am not accepted to the One Family Scholars program can I reapply at a later date?

    Some applicants are encouraged to "reapply later" once certain criteria have been fulfilled. If this is the case we will notify you of the specific reasons we would like you to reapply. If your application was "denied" then you are unlikely to be accepted if you reapply at a later date.

  27. Q: I am having technical problems with the online application. Who do I contact?

    For technical assistance with the online application, please send a detailed e-mail to Please be sure to include a description of the problem, the error message if applicable, and the location of the problem.

  28. Q: Do applicants need to be sponsored by a partnering community organization in order to apply to and participate in the One Family Scholars program?

    No. If you are sponsored by a partnering community organization you will receive priority during our selection process.

    However, if you are not currently working with one of our existing Community Partners you can apply and submit two (2) candidate endorsement forms from organizations that you are currently affiliated with, and are willing to support you throughout your tenure in the program.

  29. Q: Who is eligible to become a One Family community partner organization?

    Community partners should be a 501(c)3 non-profit, or a group using a 501(c)3 non-profit as a fiscal agent who work with low-income single parents. If your nonprofit organization works with low-income single heads of household, the One Family Scholars program provides a continued pathway for your clients and their children to leave poverty behind. Nonprofit organizations who are interested in becoming a community partner must complete the One Family Community Partner application. To request an application, please contact