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The Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship


April 1, 2018

The application period for the 2018-2019 Herbert Lehman Scholarship is closed.



The Herbert Lehman Scholarship is a national, highly competitive scholarship that makes annual awards to qualified, outstanding undergraduate students.  The scholarship, established in 1964, is named after the former Governor and United States Senator from New York in recognition of his integrity, courage, and persistence on behalf of numerous civil rights causes. 

Herbert Lehman Scholarships were initially awarded to help African-American students attend formerly segregated four-year colleges and universities in the South and to increase the number of African Americans in the legal profession. 

Today, the mission of the Herbert Lehman Education Program is to help transform the promise of racial equality into a social, economic, and political reality by supporting talented undergraduate students with financial need to stay in school and successfully complete their bachelor’s degree.

Currently, Herbert Lehman Scholarships are open to students who meet the eligibility and award criteria. Awards generally do not exceed four years.

Students who are interested in applying for the Herbert Lehman Scholarship are strongly encouraged to review the eligibility criteria and program description before submitting an application. 

Eligibility & Award Criteria

  • U.S. Citizenship;
  • Must be a graduating high school senior, first-year student in an accredited four-year college;
  • Demonstrated financial need - must have a combined family income of $65,000 or less;
  • Record of academic achievement; and
  • Demonstrated commitment to public service; 

Herbert Lehman Scholarship awards are $2,000 per year for four years totaling $8,000 (as long as scholars remain in good academic standing and continue to meet the scholarship criteria).  The deadline for the scholarship is April 1.  All students will be notified of their status via postal mail or email by mid-July.


Scholarship Application Checklist

Your application must contain all nine items in the exact order listed below, as following:

  • Completed Scholarship Application Form;
  • A copy of the acceptance letter to the college you will attend;
  • Two recommendation letters;
  • Resume;
  • A copy of your transcript from current school (finalists will be required to submit an official transcript);
  • A personal statement;
  • An essay;
  • A copy of your SAT and/or ACT test scores; and
  • A copy of your Student Aid Report (FAFSA Form).

Finalists will be required to submit a head shot photograph (passport size).  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

How to Apply

IMPORTANT: We are accepting applications by email ONLY.  All nine items on the checklist must be attached in one PDF in the order provided by the checklist above and sent to with the subject line:  Herbert Lehman Scholarship – Last name, First name.  If you need additional space in the application form, please attach a separate page.  Applications sent to LDF by mail, fax, or in-person will NOT be accepted. Students will be notified of their status via postal mail or email by mid-July.



Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is the application deadline for the Herbert Lehman Scholarship?

Applications must be EMAILED by April 1, 2018. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • Is there a minimum SAT, ACT, or GPA requirement for the Herbert Lehman Scholarship?

There is no minimum test score or GPA requirement.  The scholarship committee will take into account each candidate’s GPA, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, financial needs, volunteer activities, and essays.  No single component of an application will determine a scholarship award.

  •  Am I eligible for a scholarship if I am not a U.S. citizen? 

Unfortunately, we are not accepting applications from non-U.S. citizens at this time.

  • How must I apply?  

You must download a “fillable” PDF application to your computer for completion. Your supporting documents should be organized in the order listed in the checklist above, in one PDF. Handwritten applications will not be accepted.

  • May I request an application by phone or email? 

You may request an application by sending a request to  If an applicant is unable to download the application from the website, you should inform us by sending an email to the address listed above.  You may not request an application by phone. 

  •  May I fax or mail my application to LDF?   


  • What is the amount of the scholarship award?  Is the award renewable for each year that I am in school?     

Generally, Lehman Scholarships provide $2,000 per year for four years provided that the student continues full-time study, remains in good academic standing with his or her college or university, and fulfills all other program requirements. 

  •  May I apply for a Lehman Scholarship if I am not attending a university in the United States?   

No. Lehman Scholarships are only available to students who will be attending universities and colleges in the United States. 

  •  I will be attending community college next year.  May I apply for a Lehman Scholarship?  

No. Lehman Scholarships are only available to students who will be attending four-year colleges or universities full-time.  

  • How is financial need demonstrated?  

Applicants must provide a copy of their FAFSA Form, and have a family income of $65,000 or less.