Scholarships for Student Activists

Scholarships (2)

SSA Student Activist Scholarships

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The scholarships are available to full-time students enrolled in high school or college in the United States and are designed to support students who in addition to pursuing excellence in their academic studies are also activists for secular values on their campus and/or in their community.

The application deadline is July 31, 2024.

The ScienceSaves Scholarship

The Center for Inquiry is pleased to announce the ScienceSaves Video Scholarship for College-Bound High School Seniors!
All our lives have been improved by the discoveries of science. Describe an experience in your life that demonstrates that science does indeed save. The experience can be something that happened to you or someone you know.

This scholarship is open to all US high school seniors. The deadline to apply is May 6, 2024.

Apply Now

Before you start on the application below you may wish to take some time and write out answers to the following questions which will appear in part three of the application. 

  1. What are your educational, career, and life goals?
  2. What is your secular identity? How did you come to your secularism and how do you see it remaining a part of your life?
  3. What other aspects of your identity intersect, interact with, or inform your secularism?
  4. What secular activism have you been involved with (on campus or off)?
  5. What intersectional activism have you been involved with (on campus or off)?
  6. What activism plans do you have for this academic year?
  7. Why is the work of the SSA important to you and what are your goals relating to the Secular Student Alliance Mission and Vision?
  8. What obstacles, barriers, or financial hardships have you faced in pursuing your academic goals? What role would this scholarship have in helping you overcome these challenges?

As part of the application process, please prepare a 30-60 second video in which you tell us a little bit more about one aspect of your application: about your secular identity, or why it is important to you, or why you are passionate about state/church separation or your activism, or highlighting something important to you. 

In addition to scholarships that apply to all high school and college students nationwide, there are also unique and state-specific scholarships, including:

Zora Neale Hurston Scholarship - awarded jointly by Black Nonbelievers

Dr. Hector Avalos Scholarship - awarded jointly by Hispanic American Freethinkers

Cliff Richards Memorial/FFRF Scholarships for students attending an HBCU

Yip Harburg Lyric Foundation/FFRF Scholarship for a student in the Arts or arts-related degree

Al Luneman/FFRF Student Activist Award for a student who is outspoken on state/church separation

The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers ( sponsors a scholarship for a student who is active duty military or a veteran


If you are enrolled in school in one of the following states, you may be eligible for these scholarships:


  • The Florida Humanist Association sponsors scholarships for students enrolled in college in the state of Florida. 
  • The Humanists of Sarasota Bay sponsors a scholarship for a student enrolled in college in Sarasota County or nearby counties.
  • The Humanists of North Central Florida sponsors a scholarship for a student enrolled in college in the North Central Florida region.
  • The Central Florida Freethought Community sponsors a scholarship for a student enrolled in high school or college in the state of Florida. 


  • Houston Oasis sponsors a scholarship for a student enrolled in college in the state of Texas.
  • Freethinkers Association of Central Texas in San Antonio sponsors a scholarship for a student enrolled in college in the state of Texas.


  • Jefferson Humanists, a chapter of the American Humanist Association, sponsors one scholarship for a student in the state of Colorado.
  • FFRF Metro Denver Chapter sponsors a scholarship for a student in the state of Colorado.


  • The Freethought Society sponsors a scholarship for a student in the state of Pennsylvania.


  • HumanistsMN and HMN members Craig Luedemann and Mary Robischon sponsor scholarships for students in the state of Minnesota.


  • The Rationalist Society Of Saint Louis sponsors a scholarship for a student in the state of Missouri.


  • Atheists United, Inland Empire Atheists Agnostics and Humanists, and the Humanist Society of Santa Barbara sponsor a scholarship for a student enrolled in college in Southern California.

New Jersey

  • The New Jersey Humanist Network sponsors a scholarship for a student in the state of New Jersey.

Privacy Information:  We do not collect information from website visitors.  The information provided in the scholarship application is not shared with third parties.  The selection process is blind and does not include contact information.  Sponsoring organizations receive scholarship applications to review and select the recipient of their scholarship/s, and contact information after the scholarship process has closed.  All recipients review and approve the text and description used to announce the scholarships recipients.

If you would not like to receive further communication, please email to be removed from our database.

Sponsor A Secular Student Scholarship

Individual, national organizations, and local atheist, humanist, and freethought groups can directly impact the lives of secular student activists by sponsoring a scholarship.  The Secular Student Alliance does most of the work.  You select and congratulate your student scholarship recipient. 

The American Atheist scholarship

American Atheists celebrates student activism by awarding scholarships to students who demonstrate atheist activism in their communities and schools. The application period opens in December of each year with applications due by mid-February. Check back for a link to the application.

Black Skeptics of Los Angeles First in the Family Humanist Scholarship

Freedom From Religion Foundation Catherine Fahringer Memorial Award

Four $2,500 scholarships are awarded to high school youth to assist with their tuition, room and board, books, and other academic resources. This award is available to high school youth who live in the U.S. who identify as atheist, agnostic, humanist and/or secular, and are accepted into two or four-year colleges. Preference is given to students of color (Black/African American, Latino(a), Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American). Students who are (or have been) in foster care, homeless, undocumented and/or LGBTQ are encouraged to apply.

Check back for the 2021 scholarship application.


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