Beat the Odds® - NY Scholarship Application

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For consideration in the New York Beat the Odds® Scholarship Program, you must:

  1. Be a current high school sophomore who resides in or attends school within the five New York City boroughs;
  2. Have overcome significant obstacles such as, but not limited to, poverty, disability, homelessness or abuse;
  3. Have achieved/maintained a grade point average showing improvement or success; There is no GPA requirement;
  4. Following graduation, attend college/university;
  5. Demonstrate commitment to your community and/or social justice issues; and
  6. Attend mandatory workshops, meetings, interviews and award ceremony if selected.
  7. Write a personal statement, of no more than 750 typed words that accomplish the following:
    • Describes the major obstacles and challenges in your life and how you have overcome them;
    • Describes your past and current family, financial, educational, and emotional support systems;
    • Describes how you have been able to achieve academic success or show marked improvement in academics, despite your hardships; and
    • Describes your commitment to serving others, for example; involvement in service clubs at school, community-based service, or taking on major home or work responsibilities.
  8. Submit educator recommendation and nominator form from a teacher, guidance counselor or other educator who is familiar with you both personally and academically. No shorter than one page, typed, 12-point font, single- spaced.
  9. Submit optional letter of recommendation and nominator form from anyone (other than a family member) who knows you well. For example, a mentor, coach, internship supervisor, or clergy member. No shorter than one page, typed, 12-point font, single-spaced.
  10. Complete and submit the Beat the Odds application.
  11. Submit current official transcripts.

Note: The nominator completes the Nominator Form AND Letter of Recommendation.


Applicant/Nominee and Nominator should both review the Application Check List for completion of all requirements prior to submission of the application.

Applicant Check List

  • Completed Application Form
  • Personal Statement - No more than 750 typed words

Submit the application

  • Submit information online by completing the form below. After the student submits their application, Nominators will be notified about submitting their recommendations.
  • You can also print the application and submit to:

            The Children’s Defense Fund-New York
            Attn: Beat the Odds® Selection Committee
            15 Maiden Lane, Suite 1200 New York, NY 10038

            or via email at

Applicant/Nominee Information

First Name
Last Name
Current Grade
Address 2
Zip Code
Home Phone #
Cell Phone #
Upload your personal statement

Parent Information

Yearly Household Income
Total # in Household
Total Adults
Total Children (including you)
Briefly list who you live with (for example: mom, dad, 1 brother, etc.)
First Name of Parent or Guardian
Last Name of Parent or Guardian
Phone #

School Information

High School Name
High School Address
High School Address 2
High School City
High School Zip Code
High School State
Principal/Director's First Name
Principal/Director's Last Name
School Phone #
School Fax #
School Counselor First Name
School Counselor Last Name
School Counselor Phone #
School Counselor Email Address
Upload your official high school transcript