AFSA Scholarships

The AFSA Scholarship Program offers over $260,000 in college aid to children of AFSA members whose parents are/were Foreign Service employees. We provide need-based, financial aid scholarships to undergraduates and academic merit awards, art merit awards, and a community service award to graduating high school seniors. The above activities could not happen without the generous bequests and donations from those in the Foreign Service community. No AFSA membership dues are used in the AFSA Scholarship Program. This robust AFSA member benefit has disbursed more than $4 million to 2,200 students in the last 25 years.

What Do I Need to Know?

The AFSA scholarship program is open to the children of Foreign Service employees whose parents must also be members of the American Foreign Service Association. The employee may be active-duty, retired, separated or deceased. Click here for additional eligibility criteria. AFSA offers aid to high school seniors who can compete for academic and art merit awards as well as a community service award; we also offer financial aid scholarships to tax-dependent undergraduates. For children of parents who are not in the Foreign Service, AFSA offers a high school essay contest - click here for further information on that program.

Our Award Recipients

We are very proud of our many student winners. Their achievements are as varied as they are, and we enjoy following their academic careers once we have had the opportunity to honor them. What kind of students receive AFSA awards and scholarships? Well, you can click here to learn more about our 2015 academic merit award winners, or click here to learn about the 2015 art merit, best essay, and community service award winners. On the financial aid side, here are our latest scholarship recipients. As you can see, they come from a large variety of backgrounds and experiences. We strongly encourage you to apply for our scholarships and awards. There is no typical winner. The Foreign Service life produces a wonderful variety of student experiences; we are proud to honor and recognize all of them.

Our Supporters

The AFSA Scholarship Fund has had the fortune to receive the support of many individuals and organizations over the years. On the right hand side of this page, we have gathered information on some of our donors. Many come from the Foreign Service and have chosen to give back in a meaningful way to the career that defined their lives. In 2015, retired Foreign Service member Linda K. Fitzgerald bequeathed the largest single donation ever - $950,000 - to the Scholarship Fund. Donations need not be of that magnitude to establish a scholarship or merit award. If you are interested in making a donation to the Fund in order to establish a scholarship, get in touch with us. We will be happy to walk you through the required steps.

Want to Know More?

We are pleased to make some of our promotional materials available to you online if you wish to provide information on AFSA scholarships to colleagues at post, your retirement community, or wherever you may be. The materials we have available for your use are a scholarships postcard and a half-page advertisement. You may also find AFSA's collection of articles on education, excerpted from the semiannual education issue of The Foreign Service Journal, to be helpful.

Click to watch short videos on

Scholarship Fund Photos

The AFSA Scholarship Committee announces it has bestowed on 64 children $218,000 in 2015/16 AFSA Financial Aid Scholarships in July 2015.
Left to right are Jonathan Crawford (AFSA staff), Bess Zelle (State Rep), Amb. Lange Schermerhorn (Chair), Dr. Alia El Mohandes (USAID Rep), Lori Dec (AFSA Staff), and Thomas Smitham (State Rep). Not pictured are Christine Strossman (FAS Rep) and Barbara Farrar (FCS Rep).

The Joshua Lane-Holman McMackle Memorial Financial Aid Scholarship established in August 2015.
Tracy McMackle, FAS FSO is honored with a certificate and commemorative AFSA coin from Ian Houston, AFSA Executive Director for establishing the scholarship in her son’s memory.

From left to right, Scholarship Committee members Christine Strossman, John Dinkleman, and Amb. Lange Schermerhorn confer on an issue at fall 2015 meeting.

Contact Us!

If you have any questions about AFSA's scholarships programs, or are interested in discussing ways to support it (through bequests, donations, etc.), please get in touch with Scholarships Director Lori Dec at (202) 944-5504 or, or Scholarship Senior Associate Jonathan Crawford at (202) 719-9714 or