The Bezos Scholars application is open to U.S. students who are current high school juniors attending a public high school with a 30% or greater free and reduced lunch rate. Please review detailed eligibility criteria below.
The application for the Bezos Scholars Program is currently closed. Every year, applications to apply open in mid October and close at the end of January. Generally, semi-finalists are notified by mid-March, finalists by early April, and those ultimately selected by late April. Public announcements of newly selected Scholar cohorts are shared on our website in early May.
We encourage talented, driven, smart, and compassionate young people to apply. Don't hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time with questions and for support.
To receive an email when next year’s application opens, please sign-up for the “News & Alerts List.”
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.
As part of the application, students must nominate an educator from their school to participate with them. This Educator Nominee must be able to commit to participating in the year-long program from May of junior year - May of senior year. This includes active participation in and commitment to:
We estimate that students and educators dedicate 5 - 20 hours per month on program-related activities throughout the year.
To start an application, students must first affirm eligibility and create a profile by clicking the Apply Now button at the top of the page. A profile allows you to save and return to your application before the deadline. Once you submit your application, it can no longer be edited. Here’s what is included in the application:
Your Story requires basic demographic information, school details, coursework, cumulative GPA, standardized test scores, employment and/or extra-curricular activities, and four written essay responses.
Your Support requires applicants to invite and provide the name and email of their principal, educator nominee, and one personal recommender. The people identified should be prepared to support the applicant in applying for this opportunity, and in being a Scholar during the year-long program.
When their contact information is submitted in the application, they will receive an invitation email with a link to an online form. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the principal, educator, and recommender submit their forms by the application deadline.
Here are more details on the support forms required in the application:
A selection committee comprised of a diverse group of leaders in education, youth leadership and development, science, the arts, and Bezos Scholars alumni evaluates and recommends candidates based on:
Readiness to Engage in the Program
While academic rigor is a qualifying requirement, we recognize that there are many factors that can affect a student’s success beyond grades, GPA, classes, and test scores. If an applicant has experienced any academic challenges, we encourage and advise them to share this in their essay responses and include evidence on how they are actively addressing them.
We also recognize that some schools do not, or cannot offer AP, IB, or college level courses. In these cases applicants can submit courses taken outside of their school, at other learning institutions, or online. If advanced coursework is not offered at an applicant’s school and an applicant therefore has had limited exposure to this, we advise them to share that in their essay responses.
Student Written Responses Essay Questions
While student written responses are an integral part of an application review process, we recognize being an English Language Learner may affect English writing competencies. We encourage and advise applicants to address anything affecting their ability to craft and write their essay responses in their application, with the emphasis that they do not have to disclose anything they are not comfortable disclosing.
Principal Support, Educator Nomination, Recommendation
We seek 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 U.S.
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