Sponsor A Secular Student Scholarship

Each spring, the Secular Student Alliance facilitates secular activist scholarships for full-time high school, college, or post-grad students.  Individuals and atheist, humanist, and freethought groups or organizations can sponsor a scholarship. You can have a direct impact on a student's life and reward their secular activism.

Since the Secular Student Alliance is already running a scholarship program, this is an easy way for you to sponsor a scholarship and pick the student to receive your scholarship.  SSA does almost all of the work and you celebrate and reward the student you select.


Step One

Please notify us that you or your group is interested is sponsoring a scholarship by March 15.

The minimum commitment for a scholarship is $1,000.  Some local groups offer more than one scholarship and/or have increased the contribution to $2,000 or $3,000.

Your scholarship can be targeted to students from a specific state or other criteria ( ie. students at an HBCU or students with art-related activism).

A donation to the SSA for the scholarship will need to be made by mid-March.  The donation can be made online or by check.

To confirm your scholarship or if you need additional information, please email

Step Two

The scholarship application will open at the beginning of April.

The Secular Student Alliance runs the scholarship application process and promotes your scholarship online.  You or your group can also promote your scholarship to increase awareness of your support for secular students.

SSA provides you with graphics, wording, and links for promotion on social media, email, or newsletters. Of course, you can create your own graphics.

At the end of July, the scholarship application process closes. The SSA selection committee can choose your scholarship recipient or, which most groups prefer, you can select your recipient.

If you select: After about a week, you will receive all of the completed applications meeting your criteria.  The applications are blind (with no names). You will review the applications, select your top choices, and submit a ranked list of your top choices back to SSA.  The ranked choices will be reviewed from all the sponsoring groups to make sure there are no duplicates.

The SSA staff confirms the students' full-time status and performs reference checks.  Then, the SSA staff creates a short bio, which is approved by the student, and collects a photo.  Once and a while, a student requests to use a pseudonym or not provide a photo to protect their identity.  You will receive the approved bio and photo.

The Secular Student Alliance cuts the check to the student for the scholarship in October.


Step Three

Time to congratulate your student activist.

SSA will set a date to announce the scholarship recipients and promote all of the scholarship recipients nationally.  You can promote the student in your local community.


After the scholarship process is completed, the Secular Student Alliance will provide local groups with the contact information for all of the students who began the process for your scholarship.

Reach out to the students: SSA wants to encourage connection and communication between students and local groups.  You can share what your organization is doing and how they can participate.