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AFL-CIO Union Plus benefits help current and retired labor union members and their families save money and support them through major milestones, celebrations and hardships. Learn More.
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Union Plus Scholarship

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Union Plus Scholarship

The 2017 scholarship application is now available.

Start Your Application

The Union Plus Scholarship Difference:

Above: Irrawaddy Lamouth, AFSCME Local 685, 2011 Union Plus Scholarship recipient

Union Plus Scholarship Program

Since 1992, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $4 million to students of working families who want to begin or continue their post-secondary education. Over 2,700 families have benefited from our commitment to higher education. The Union Plus Scholarship Program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation, supported in part by contributions from the provider of the Union Plus Credit Card. (You do not need to be a Union Plus Credit Card holder to apply for this scholarship.)

See eligibility in the tab below.

Outstanding Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to the 2016 scholarship winners.  This year, 104 union members and union family members have been awarded $150,000 in scholarships, ranging from $500 to $4,000.

The students selected for university, college, trade or technical school scholarships represent a wide sampling of backgrounds, union affiliations, goals and accomplishments. The selection process is very competitive since we receive over 5,000 applications each year.

How does the Union Plus Scholarship Program work?

Evaluation criteria:

This is a competitive scholarship. Applicants are evaluated according to academic ability, social awareness, financial need and appreciation of labor. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended.

The required essays can account for up to half your total score.

Scholarship applicants are judged by a committee of impartial post-secondary educators.

Application Timeline:

Applications are available starting in mid-June, and a complete application must be received on or before 12:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on January 31, 2017. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

Scholarship Award Amounts:

Amounts range from $500 to $4,000. These one-time cash awards are for study beginning in the Fall of 2017. Students may re-apply each year.

Award date:

The Scholarship Committee will determine recipients of scholarship awards by May 31 each year. During the first week of June award recipients will be individually notified by mail, and all applicants will be sent an email with notification that the award list is posted here. Please note that due to the volume of applications we cannot provide any information on the status of an application before award announcements are made.


  • Current and retired members of participating unions, their spouses and their dependent children (as defined by IRS regulations). At least one year of continuous union membership by the applicant, applicant's spouse or parent (if applicant is a dependent). The one year membership minimum must be satisfied by May 31, 2017.
  • Participating union members from the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada are eligible.  But students must attend an U.S. accredited college.
  • Union members do not have to purchase any Union Plus program product or participate in any Union Plus programs to apply for the scholarships and scholarship awards are not based upon participation in a Union Plus program.
  • The applicant must be accepted into a U.S. accredited college or university, community college or technical or trade school at the time the award is issued. Awards must be used for the 2017 - 2018 school year.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible.
  • Your application must be complete and received by 12:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

Help more union families reach their education goals


Donate Now to the Union Plus Education Foundation




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Member Comments

On 09/06/16 anonymous said:

The union plus scholarship is a great opportunity for union members families to further there education thanks guys

On 06/03/16 anonymous said:

The union has always been important to me

On 02/01/16 anonymous said:

I was unaware of this opportunity until it was past the deadline. The program sounds great.

On 01/22/16 anonymous said:

This is an awesome service!

On 01/21/16 Teresa said:

Helps my daughter in college

On 01/13/16 anonymous said:

iI was'nt aware of this program I will definitely try for my college son

On 12/21/15 anonymous said:

Well organized and detailed.

On 06/05/15 anonymous said:

I love what Union Plus is doing, unfortunately I never see anyone from my Union win. Its heartbreaking that it seems selected to privileged individuals , but this won't stop me from pursing my goals either way. But for those who have won , Congrats to you!

On 05/13/15 anonymous said:

This is great information.

On 08/06/14 Haneka said:

This scholarship program is wonderful. I am a freshman in college and I know how expensive continuing your education can be. I am so thankful that I did my research and became a union plus member. I know my father would be proud. Thank you!

On 08/04/14 David said:

Anything that his helping break the barriers between the upper-class & those in Poverty..

On 07/07/14 anonymous said:

Because you never too old to educate yourself, I am 54 yrs old/young and have been in college since 2010 for my Associates degree in concentration of health and administration,after losing a daughter Marrisa Garcia 32 yrs young to Myeloma cancer, I appreiciate life and want to make a difference.

On 06/06/14 Paul said:

The Union Plus Scholarship has been a huge blessing and benefit for our college son. It's played a critical role in allowing him to afford to attend his dream school, MIT.

On 11/22/13 anonymous said:

I was reading an article on scholarship money and there was a link to this site. My brother was an IBEW member, he died in a car accident in 2008. I am literally in tears thinking his kids may be eligible for a union scholarship.

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