Meet the 2019 Bezos Scholars!

Application Information

The Bezos Scholars Program application will be available in mid-October of 2019 and will be due by midnight on Friday, February 7, 2020.

The upcoming application cycle is open to students who are current high school juniors in the 2019-2020 academic year who attend a public high school with a 30% or greater free and reduced lunch rate in the United States. Please review eligibility criteria for high schools and students now to prepare for the online application. We encourage talented, driven, smart, and compassionate young people to apply! Don't hesitate to reach out at any time to ask questions.

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Become a Bezos Scholar

Bezos Scholars hail from rural Texas, Morocco, the Bronx, Zimbabwe—and everywhere in between. What they share is a rich diversity of experience, thought, and passion for making a difference.


Applicant's school must:

  • Be a public high school (charter, magnet schools, and tribal schools through the Bureau of Indian Education are eligible)
  • Have at least 30% of students who are eligible for free/reduced price meals (firm cutoff)
  • To encourage equity of opportunity, priority is given to applicants attending schools that have not had a Bezos Scholar in the previous two years
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Applicant must:

  • Be a junior during the 2019-20 academic year
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have received DACA status
  • Demonstrate leadership in their school and community
  • Have taken and received scores for at least one of the following tests: PSAT, SAT, ACT, or ACT Aspire
  • Be enrolled in, or have taken, one or more Advanced Placement (AP) classes, International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, or college-level courses
  • Be available to participate fully and attend all trip dates for the Aspen Ideas Festival trip in Aspen, Colorado in late June of 2020. Exact dates TBD
  • August 2020 – June 2021: Commit to participating in monthly webinars, check-in calls, and developing and launching a community change project (Local Ideas Festival). We estimate Scholars and Educators will dedicate 5-15 hours on average per month on program related activities and commitments

The Application Process

To start an application, students must first affirm eligibility and create a profile. To create a profile click on the orange apply now button at the top of the page. A profile allows you to save and return to your application any time prior to the deadline. Once you submit your application, it can no longer be edited. Here’s what to look forward to as you complete your application.

Part I: Your Story

Basic demographic information, school details, coursework, standardized test scores, extra-curricular activities you participate in, and three written essay responses to be able to share what is most important to you – your passions, your accomplishments, and your community contributions. Be sure to have unofficial copies of transcripts and test scores to upload.

Part II: Your Support

As part of your application you also need support and completed application materials from the following:

  • Principal: Your school principal must complete a short form, the Principal Support Form, with information about you, your school, and the educator nominee.
  • Educator: You will need to identify, nominate, and partner with a trusted educator at your school. This educator will also travel to Aspen and take part in the Aspen Ideas Festival, participate fully in the year-long program as your Educator Scholar, and work closely with you for the duration of the program to help plan and execute your community change project. We advise you to communicate with your school principal for guidance on your Educator Nominee.
  • Recommenders: Identify two people to submit letters of recommendation on your behalf. Consider asking a teacher, mentor, or community member. Letters of recommendation from family members cannot be considered.

Links are provided in the application to send online forms directly to the above individuals

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the principal, educator, and those submitting letters of recommendation do so before the application deadline.

The Selection Process

A selection committee—comprised of a diverse group of leaders in education, global advocacy, science, design, media, and youth leadership—select finalists based on academic rigor, strength of written responses, demonstrated leadership, community engagement, and letters of recommendation.

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Download program overview

Bajar un resumen del programa

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