Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the AFSA Scholarship Fund Program:

Only the children of Foreign Service employees, whose parent(s) is a member of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), is eligible to apply for an AFSA award/scholarship. A student must be claimed as a dependent on the most recent IRS tax form by his/her parent(s) or guardian(s). The AFSA member is or has been an employee (active duty, retired, deceased, and/or separated) with a foreign affairs agency as defined by the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (Department of State, USAID, USIA, BBG, FCS, FAS or APHIS). Children of the AFSA Scholarship Committee members are ineligible for AFSA awards or scholarships. For those high school students whose parents are not in the U.S. Government Foreign Service, please view information on AFSA’s High School Essay Contest.

To apply for an AFSA need-based undergraduate Financial Aid Scholarship, a student must:

  • Attend or will be attending full-time (12 credit hours or more) as an undergraduate at a two or four year accredited college, university, community college, art school, or conservatory (stateside or overseas) who confers a degree and instruction is provided in English.
  • Maintain a satisfactory academic record (cumulative 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale).
  • Complete his/her undergraduate degree in four years.
  • Show demonstrated financial need by completing the financial instrument, CSS PROFILE. Not all students who apply will receive an AFSA Financial Aid Scholarship.

Issues to consider in applying for an AFSA “Need-Based” Financial Aid Scholarship

AFSA uses the College Board’s “CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®” as its financial instrument to assess a family’s financial situation. The PROFILE® can be found at this third party website:

Guidance on qualifying financially for an AFSA Financial Aid Scholarship

Although many factors are taken into consideration and certainly not an absolute, but a student typically qualifies for an AFSA need-based AFSA Financial Aid Scholarship is from a family with multiple children, with total parent income below $105,000 (assuming a family of four) and investments below $10,000 (not counting a family-owned home).

Important: When completing the PROFILE®, Foreign Service parents should list their "Country of Residence" as the “United States” regardless of where they are currently posted/assigned. In this way, parents are treated as U.S. taxpayers and not as citizens of the host country.


  1. Click on the link above to go to the CSS / Financial Aid PROFILE® webpage.
  2. The PROFILE® will cost $25 to complete and have it automatically sent to AFSA.
  3. The AFSA Financial Aid Scholarship PROFILE® code is 0540.
  4. It is recommended that a parent complete this instrument as it asks for parent and student tax information.
  5. It is not necessary for one's taxes to be completed in order to complete the PROFILE®.
  6. If there are any changes that need to be made to the PROFILE®, please email these with an explanation to

Complete the above by March 4, 2017!

To apply for a competitive AFSA Merit Award (Academic and/or Art or Community Service Award), a student must:

  • Be a high school senior (or in their last year of high school) graduating in 2016.
  • Maintain a satisfactory academic record (a minimum cumulative 3.25 GPA out of a 4.0 scale is needed to apply for Academic Merit Award and a cumulative 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale is needed to apply for the Art Merit Award). Not all that apply will win an award.

General Information

Applicants are required to apply each year for AFSA Financial Aid Scholarships while AFSA Art and Academic Merit Awards are one-time only prizes. AFSA Financial Aid Scholarships are intended to supplement college aid and cannot reduce university scholarships or university grants. Award winners must write a thank-you letter to their scholarship donor or scholarship contact. Students may apply for all AFSA programs, if eligibility requirements are met. Applicants actually apply using the web-based program No piece-meal application pieces can be sent, emailed or faxed except where noted. AFSA cannot process any application that is incomplete, and it is the applicant's responsibility to see that all scholarship materials arrive (not snail mailed) by March 5, 2018. Applicants are also responsible for updating AFSA on any address/email changes throughout the year.

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