Unite Here Local 23 and partner employers believe in the benefits of post-secondary education and are proud to provide a scholarship program for members’ children and grandchildren.  Below are answers to frequently asked questions. To apply for a scholarship or to renew, please download the appropriate application form at the bottom of this page. Questions? Email us:, or, text or call: 301-876-4419


The Fund is committed to supporting scholars through a post-secondary degree.

Who is eligible to apply for a new scholarship?
  • You must have an eligible sponsor; and
  • Be 21 years of age or under; and
  • Be a recent high school graduate (with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, or, a recent GED student with a B averageOR
  • Be a university student with a GPA of 2.7 or higher
Can I apply the following year if I don’t get the scholarship the first time I apply?
  • YES! Provided that you meet all the eligibility criteria above you can apply again the following year.
Does every eligible applicant get a scholarship?
  • This is a competitive award, and there are a limited number each year.
  • An independent scholarship committee, composed of professors and teachers, makes the decisions. See below, “Application Process” for what they consider.
Who is eligible for a renewal?
  • STEP is committed to supporting as many students as possible through their college career. Any student who received an award is eligible to renew, provided that:
  • You have an eligible sponsor; and
  • Have maintained a GPA of 2.7 or better. (Exceptions may be made for those whose
    GPA falls between 2.5 and 2.7. Contact the Scholarship Coordinator for details); and
  • Be under the age of 26

How many times can I renew? 

  • Scholarship winners may receive up to 3 renewal awards, for a total of 4 academic years (8 semesters) of support. The number of semesters of support depends on  if you apply as a High School senior, a college Freshman, Sophomore, or Junior.
  • All awards must be made within a 6-year period.
Who can sponsor a new or renewal scholar?
  • Any union member can sponsor her/his child or grandchild if the union member is currently employed with a contributing employer; and
  • Has had contributions paid into the fund for at least 12 months out of the last 18 months

What is Covered?

Up to $4,000 Per Year!


How Can I use the Funds?
  • The scholarship is for tuition only.
  • Payment goes directly to the university.
  • There are no reimbursements for past semesters through the scholarship.
What Institutions are Covered?
  • Your university or college must be an accredited not-for profit 2- or 4-year college or
  • Exceptions are made on a case by case basis for accredited post-secondary
    technical schools
Is this for full-time study only?
  • No. But students must enroll for at least a ½ credit load per the university’s assessment of full time study for each semester they receive the award.
  • Individual awards are pro-rated based on
    credit load, with the maximum amount available only to full-time students.

Application Process

The 2020 deadline for applications is June 15th!

How do I apply

  • Download the relevant application below.
  • Email to ask for a form to be emailed to you.
  • Submit the form and all supporting documents by the deadline.
What can I do if my GPA is lower than what you require but there are special circumstances?
  • Include a letter with your application to explain a lower GPA (hospitalization, a mother tongue other than English, learning disability, etc), and what you are doing to improve. 
  • If you are working with a teacher on raising your grades, taking summer classes, or you are being tutored or are getting support from a writing center, ask your tutor or teacher to submit a letter as well.
How are awards decided?
  • All applications that are submitted by the deadline are assessed by a scholarship committee composed of independent educators (professors and teachers). The committee evaluates applicants based on: grades and course difficulty; personal essay; teacher/professor recommendations.  The personal essay and letters of recommendation matter!
Can I appeal a decision?
  • You can ask the Director of the program to have the committee review their decision.
  • You may be asked to submit any additional documentation that might help the committee.
How does my HS teacher (or university professor) submit a recommendation?
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to ask your teacher for a letter!
  • Your teacher should submit their recommendation letter directly to the scholarship coordinator, and if possible use a work email address.
  • DO NOT cut and paste the letter or send it yourself.
  • Please see complete instructions
    with the application.