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For high school graduation year 2025 and after:

En Español

To apply for an Onward We Learn scholarship you are required to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is available online at You should file your FAFSA on or after Oct. 1 when the FAFSA Form becomes available.

If you are not eligible to fill out the FAFSA, please contact Susan Mansolillo at 401-519-0206 or to make alternative arrangements.

To be eligible for an Onward We Learn scholarship, you must earn admission to an accredited college, university or community college. You are eligible for a donated scholarship for up to six years after high school graduation or receipt of GED credential. You must request your first scholarship award before you turn 22 years old.

Onward We Learn provides two types of scholarships: “cash” and “donated.”

Cash scholarships for Onward We Learn participants can be used at any accredited college, university or community college anywhere in the United States. The amount of a cash scholarship is equivalent to the minimum Pell Grant award (in 2021, this amount is $650) and is awarded only once to defray costs for students in their first year of college.

Donated scholarships for Onward We Learn participants are available at many Rhode Island schools and certain out-of-state schools. The following schools in our Scholarship Collaborative offer donated scholarships to our students:

The policies and practices of scholarship disbursement are left to the discretion of the college you attend. In most cases, the amount of a donated scholarship will exceed a cash scholarship from Onward We Learn. However, we cannot determine how these colleges and universities set their practices for donating Onward We Learn scholarships. The money for these scholarships comes from the institution’s funds, and they have the right to set their own policies.

To receive a donated scholarship, you must gain admission to one of our Collaborative Schools.   The scholarship amount will vary depending upon the school you go to and the school’s policies.

Donated scholarships are renewable. To maintain your scholarship you are expected to meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress determined by your school (typically 2.0 GPA), and renew your FAFSA annually if applicable.

The donated scholarship is a multi-semester award. The number of semesters you are eligible for depends on the type of institution you attend:

Four-year school: Eight semesters or twelve tri-semesters

Two-year school: Four semesters

No, the school you are attending will include your donated scholarship in your financial aid package to reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Cash scholarships are available to Onward We Learn participants who do not receive donated scholarships and who attend an accredited college, university or community college anywhere in the United States.

The cash scholarship can be used for any “legitimate educational expense” after tuition and fees have been paid in full. These expenses may include books, room and board, and transportation.

Yes, the cash scholarship is paid directly to you. Payments are made after your school verifies your attendance.

Yes, Onward We Learn students attending CCRI can transfer to a four-year school that offers donated scholarships.

No. You will receive either a donated scholarship from a school that offers scholarships to Onward We Learn participants or a one-time cash scholarship that can be used at any school.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Susan Mansolillo at 401-519-0206 or

Note: This document simplifies Onward We Learn’s Scholarship policies for informational purposes and does not constitute a legal agreement. Revised July 2018.

Onward We Learn policy prohibits discrimination based upon race, sex, age, gender identity or expression, national origin, religion, color, sexual orientation, veteran status or handicap/disability status.