The program offers four 4-year, $8,000 post-secondary scholarships to students who are dependents of AFT members, as well as 10 one-time $1,000 grants to AFT members to assist with their continuing education.
To honor Robert G. Porter, the secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers from 1963 to 1991, the AFT awards four scholarships of $8,000 each to accomplished high school students who show outstanding service to their community and an understanding of the role unions can play to create a more just society. Porter was a union activist who dedicated his life to championing the rights of working people, promoting civil rights and ensuring that the union was a vehicle for fostering the professionalism of our members.
The AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program for high school students is open to graduating high school seniors.
Applicants must have at least one parent or legal guardian who is an AFT member.
The AFT member whose child or legal dependent applies for a scholarship must be a member in good standing for at least one year.
Children or legal dependents of AFT national, state or local union staff are not eligible for this scholarship opportunity.
Awards are based on academic achievement, commitment to community services and school-related activities, demonstration of leadership, work experience, recommendations, special talents and skills, an essay and a commitment to advancing the interests of working people and building unions.
The $8,000 scholarship award is paid out over a four- to six-year period, depending on the length of time the recipient will use to obtain a degree. Customarily, the scholarship is paid out through four $2,000 annual payments to the recipient and/or the higher education institution attended by the recipient.
The scholarship must be used within six years of the date the award is made.
To continue to receive the scholarship after the first year, recipients are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 as reflected in the annual transcript required by the AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program. Further, the recipient must show continuing enrollment and satisfactory progress toward a degree.