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Starting September 15th 2023 and closing on January 15th of 2024, The Mensa Foundation offers scholarships to anyone who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident intending to enroll in a certificate or degree program at an accredited U.S. institution for the following fall semester.

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All it requires is a little smidgeon of your time. Time enough to write an essay about yourself, your goals, what you’ve done so far to achieve them, and what you plan to do.

Applicants have until January 15th to write an essay of not more than 550 words explaining their career, academic and/or vocational goals and how they plan to achieve those goals. Applications from Arizona are judged locally and passed along to the Mensa Far West Region where they are further judged and finally they are forwarded to the National Organization for award of scholarships.

The Mensa Foundation's College Scholarship Program bases its awards totally on essays written by the applicants. Consideration is not given to grades, academic program or financial need.

The program is very large in the geographic area it covers (usually about 75 percent of the country), the number of applications (more than 9,000 in recent years), and the amount of money available for awards (an average of $140,000 each year).

U.S. applicants need not be Mensa members. However, Young Mensa members may apply for both these scholarship programs and the additional Mensa Member Scholarship program.

The scholarship application process opens Sept. 15 and closes Jan. 15.

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Greater Phoenix Mensa has funding to make awards at the local level. Mensa Members are also eligible for the Mensa Member Award Program and the Mensa Foundation International Scholarship Program.

To start the US Scholarship process, read the FAQ and begin your essay. Then visit the Mensa Foundation site, read the requirements and click on the link there to Determine Scholarship Eligibility. Paste your essay into the application. DO NOT include information in your essay that would identify you within your essay. You will be assigned to the local group for judging. In the application you will see all the scholarships for which you are eligible and those you may qualify for if you meet additional criteria. That listing appears below.

And please—FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS! Many applications are disqualified every year simply because the applicants did not follow the instructions.

Tips for Writing a Winning Essay

Since your scholarship application will be judged solely on the basis of this essay, it's important that your essay accurately and fully describe your life, academic, career and/or vocational goals and how you plan to achieve them.

The scholarship information states that the essays are judged on grammar, organization and craftsmanship; further, the word limit is 550. We're not recommending you use every last syllable available, but keep in mind that the word length was set after determining how many words should be necessary to describe your plan for the rest of your life. Brevity is good, but not at the expense of providing complete information. Also, you can ask someone to proofread your essay; you don’t have to rely on spell-check!

Your essay and those of all your competitors will be carefully read by at least one team of volunteer judges before winners are selected. In other words, your competition is strong (an average of 5,000 applicants for less than 200 scholarships) and your judges are human beings who are volunteering their time to support the quest for a good education. Keep in mind that the process is about encouraging substance, not style. Turn in a clean and concise essay, but for best results, let your personal passions and goals shine through.

Scholarships Offered

Greater Phoenix Mensa offers a $600 scholarship, there are multiple scholarships available in Tucson and at the regional level, and very big ones available at the national level. For Arizona, general scholarships for which you are eligible have been checked below. In the application you will be able to check additional scholarships for which you qualify.

4 Paws and a Tail - $600.00
Restricted to graduate level studies or continuing education of an established Veterinarian

Bob and Mary Ann Cox Scholarship - $500.00
For a student who has been out of formal education for a period of six or more years.

Carol Martinez Scholarship - $2,500.00
Restricted to the field of information technology

David Mann Scholarship - $2,000.00
Study of aeronautical engineering or an aerospace field.

✔︎ Diana Mossip Memorial Scholarship - $600.00

Don and Virginia Prince Scholarship - $600.00
Must be a military veteran or spouse of a veteran

Dr. Peter M. Kendall Science Scholarship - $600.00
Restricted to the Natural Sciences including but not limited to Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Geology, Environmental Science, Forestry, Pre-Med, Pre-Dent

✔︎ Foundation Trustees’ Award - $500.00
For the region with the highest percentage of local group participation as judged by the percentage groups who complete on time according to the rules of the competition, transmitting all the required paperwork.

✔︎ Galiley Scholarship - $500.00
Awarded to one region each year on a rotating basis.

✔︎ Greater Phoenix Scholarship - $600.00

Greg Timmers Arts Education Scholarship - $600.00
Fine Arts that can include applied arts such as architecture, photography, ceramics and textiles.

✔︎ Grosswirth - Salny Scholarship - $600.00
One award per region.

Harper Fowley - Isolated M Award - $600.00
Study for an undergraduate liberal arts degree (B.A. or A.A.).

Helen Kupper Scholarship - $600.00
For a student pursuing a degree in the Fine Arts.

✔︎ J. F. Schirmer Scholarship - $1,000.00
Best in competition.
✔︎ Jerry Salny Memorial Scholarship - $600.00
Next best in competition that did not receive another national award or Mensa Member award.

✔︎ Joe Zanca Scholarship - $600.00
Next best in competition that did not receive another national award or Mensa Member award.

✔︎ Karen Cooper Memorial Scholarship - $600.00

✔︎ Kuhnel Scholarship - $500.00
One award per region.

Lester London Award - $600.00
Graduate study in history.

Margie Mandelblatt Award - $1,000.00
Study in journalism.

Margot Seitelman Memorial Scholarship - $1,000.00
Graduate student who plans a career in professional writing or teaching English grammar and/or writing.

Mark J Glancey & John G Gray LGBT Scholarship - $1,000.00
To be eligible for this scholarship the applicant must openly identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Rita Levine Memorial Scholarship - $600.00
For a female returning to school after any absence of seven or more years – may be re-enrolled at time of application.

Rosemary Greathouse Scholarship - $600.00
For a student pursuing a degree in the Arts, including creative writing and journalism.

STEM Scholarship - $2,000.00
For natural and applied science, technology, engineering and math majors (includes medical and health sciences majors)

The Skinner HELL’s M’s Memorial Scholarship - $500.00
Interpersonal communications, mediation, or related study.

The Sylvia Scholarship - $600.00
For a woman pursuing a degree in the Natural Sciences or Mathematics.

Walt and Mary McGrew Scholarship for Veterans - $600.00
For a veteran.

Like minds who like minds