Application Information

Bezos Scholars are united by a shared passion for making a difference and a desire to lead change. We encourage talented, driven, smart, and compassionate young people to apply. Those selected receive mentorship, leadership development, free college advising and online tutoring, and $1,000 in funding to launch a Community Change Project to make a difference in their hometowns.

Applications to apply to the Bezos Scholars Program are currently closed. Applications to apply for the 2022 cohort will open by mid-October of 2021. Annually, candidates are notified of their status by early March and Scholars are selected by mid-April. A public announcement of the new Scholar cohort is shared on our website in early May.

To send an email inviting someone to apply—or to encourage others to help promote the program—please click on "Share" in "Email this Opportunity". Use our Social Media Toolkit to easily promote the opportunity on your channels. And to be notified when the application opens up again next fall, please sign up for our “News & Alerts list”.

Please review detailed eligibility criteria below and reach out to for any programmatic questions.

Email this Opportunity

News & Alerts List

School & Applicant Eligibility Criteria

Applicant's school must:

  • Be a public high school in the United States (charter and magnet schools are also eligible).
  • Have a 30% or greater free and reduced lunch rate.
  • To encourage equity of opportunity, for 2021 cohort applicants, students attending schools who have had a Scholar selected since 2018 are not eligible to apply. Click here for a full list of current ineligible schools.

    Applicant must:

    • Be a junior during the current academic year and at the time they are applying to the program.
    • Be in good academic standing, on track to become a senior and graduate the following academic year.
    • Not currently attend one of the ineligible schools listed in the above link.
    • Have a proven track record of demonstrated leadership in their school and/or community.
    • Be enrolled in, or have taken, one or more Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or college-level classes.
    • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have received DACA status.
    • Be available to fully participate in the year-long program and attend all dates for the Aspen Ideas Festival trip in Aspen, Colorado, in late June/early July. Dates for the 2022 cohort will be shared by October of 2021.

    *Due to ongoing pandemic safety concerns, the Scholar trip to Aspen slated for late June 2021 had to be cancelled. We are excited to still host a cohort and present daily engaging virtual programming for Scholars June 24 - July 2. During that time, they will also participate in the virtual Aspen Ideas Festival, June 27 - 30.

Student Promotion Flyer

Educator Nominee Promotion Flyer

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The Application Process

Here is an overview of what is required in the application.

Part I: Student Application

  • Requires submitting basic personal contact and demographic information.
  • General school information, including overall school free and reduced lunch rate.*
  • Information on your academics, including:
    • Current unweighted cumulative GPA.
    • Be enrolled in or have completed at least one Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college-level course.
  • At least two extra-curricular activities.
  • A two-minute introductory video.
  • Three short written essay responses.
  • Submitting college entrance test scores (PSAT/SAT/ACT) and employment history is optional. If you are unable or choose not to submit test scores or employment history, your application will still receive full consideration.

*Overall school free and reduced lunch rate refers to the percentage of students at your school who currently receive free and reduced lunch. If you do not know your school's current rate, please ask a school staff person in your attendance office or cafeteria.

Part II: Educator Nominee Confirmation and Form

Applicants will need to identify and nominate a trusted adult from their school to become their educator nominee. Educators will be required to go to Aspen with students, participate fully in the year-long program, and collaborate with them and the teams they build to help develop and launch community change projects.

Learn who is eligible to be nominated and how to ask someone to be your educator nominee.

Please refer the person you've asked to be your educator nominee here, so that they can learn more about the role, program commitments, and Educator Scholar experience. You can also download and use the Educator Nominee Promotion flyer (linked above) when encouraging potential nominees.

Not sure who to ask? Or is the individual you've asked not able to commit to program requirements? Solicit suggestions on who you could nominate from trusted people at your school and in your community.

Part III: Recommendation

Applicant's will need to identify one person to submit a recommendation on their behalf. This person should know them well and have seen them thrive in a leadership position, successfully manage responsibilities, and collaborate well with others.

Learn who is eligible to provide a recommendation and how to ask someone to provide one.

Check out our FAQ section to learn more about the application process, what to include to submit a competitive application, and more about the free college advising Student Scholars are offered. Review the timeline page for an overview of the Scholar selection process for the year-long program for selected Scholars. Lastly, review the program's impact on students and educators.

Student and Educator Program Commitment:

Student applicants and their educator nominees are asked to evaluate and confirm their capacity to fully participate from May of the student's junior year to May of their senior year. Their commitment generally entails the following:

  • Engaging a specific community; identifying a collective need and how to make a meaningful impact on that need.
  • Attending the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado, for one full week in late June (all-expenses-paid) if it is safe to travel at that time. If it is not safe to travel, students and educators agree to participate in virtual program offerings during the same time frame.
  • Dedicating between 5-20 hours per month on program-related activities throughout the year (Scholars and Educators). This includes attending two to three virtual sessions a month that are one to three hours long, and monthly check-in calls with other Scholars and the Bezos Scholars Program team.
  • Building a team from their community to help develop and launch a community change project.
  • Submitting a grant proposal and other funding deliverables identified by the program related to the community change project.
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The Selection Process

The Bezos Scholars Program is seeking passionate and intellectually curious young people who are rising leaders in their schools and communities. We value cultural, racial, socioeconomic, geographic, and gender diversity among applicants and seek to select a cohort that reflects the diversity across the United States.

A selection committee comprised of a diverse group of leaders in the fields of education, youth leadership and development, science, the arts, and Bezos Scholars alumni evaluate and recommend candidates.

Review what the committee looks for when selecting Scholars.

This was truly a life-changing experience. I left Aspen knowing I now have a family that will always support me, and feeling confident that my fellow Scholars are making a tangible difference in the world. – Eric Tran, 2017 Bezos Scholar