BBB Educational Foundation Scholarships: Your Guide to Opportunity

Scholarships can open doors and change lives. The BBB Educational Foundation scholarships offer hope and support to students across the United States as they pursue their educational dreams. 

A Leader in Scholarship Support

The BBB Educational Foundation is the philanthropic arm of theBetter Business Bureau. Since 1973, it has awarded over 7,000 scholarships totaling more than $21 million to students of high integrity who demonstrate financial need. All scholarships are need-based and focus on helping those who may not otherwise have the means to continue their education.

The Foundation offers national and local scholarships tailored to students at different educational levels – whether you’re just starting your academic journey or nearing graduation. Award amounts also vary depending on the program, but financial support can reach as much as $10,000 per year. With a variety of deadlines throughout the year, there are multiple opportunities to apply.

Overall, the BBB Educational Foundation aims to open more doors to educational success. By providing scholarships, they hope to equip promising students from all backgrounds with the resources to achieve their full potential and build a prosperous future.

National Scholarship Programs

The BBB Educational Foundation’s flagship national scholarship programs offer life-changing support to students nationwide. Here are the key details on each:

National Merit Scholarship Program

  • Eligibility: Students entering college next year who are Semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Must have financial need.
  • Award Amount: Up to $2,500 per year, renewable for up to 4 years
  • Application Deadline: January of senior year of high school
  • Number Awarded: Varies each year

As one of the most prestigious scholarship programs in the U.S., the National Merit Scholarship recognizes students who showcase exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. BBB Educational Foundation’s support of these scholars helps open doors to top colleges.

Career & Community Leadership Award

  • Eligibility: High school seniors with financial need, minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrated leadership in school/community. Pursuing AA/BA degrees full-time.
  • Award Amount: $5,000 for one year
  • Application Deadline: January of senior year
  • Number Awarded: Up to 20 annually

This scholarship honors students who show strong character and have made an impact beyond the classroom through their volunteer activities, work experience, and community involvement. Great for well-rounded individuals dedicated to both academic and personal growth.

Continuing Education Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Current college undergraduates with financial need and minimum 2.5 GPA. Returning to an accredited college/university for the next academic year.
  • Award Amount: Up to $2,500 per year for up to 2 additional years of study
  • Application Deadline: April 1 and November 1
  • Number Awarded: Up to 60 total each cycle

For students who need some extra help continuing their education after high school. Renewable support can make completing a bachelor’s degree after financial setbacks more achievable.

These three national programs represent the foundation’s broad focus – from assisting top achievers entering university to supporting all dedicated students throughout their educational journey. Strong applicants from any background have an opportunity through merit and need-based considerations.

Local and Special Scholarships

In addition to national offerings, the BBB Educational Foundation provides targeted local and specialty scholarships. Eligibility and selection criteria vary for each, so stay tuned to your community. Here are a few highlights:

  • Local Scholarships: Awarded in specific metropolitan areas based on the location guidelines. Often under $2,000 each.
  • BBB Student of Integrity Scholarships: For high school seniors committed to ethics. Awards up to $2,500.
  • Legacy Scholarships: Given in honor of BBB members, leaders, and founders. May focus on majors like business.
  • Dream Scholarship: Supports students chasing entrepreneurial dreams. Up to $5,000 per year.
  • Military Family Scholarship: For dependents of active/retired armed forces members. Renewable up to $5,000 total.
  • Non-Traditional Student Award: For students returning to school later in life with job/family responsibilities.

Checking your city or browsing specialty programs can uncover extra funding opportunities uniquely suited to your background and academic pursuits. Local BBB offices also promote locally funded scholarships.

The Application Process

Now that you’ve learned about the different BBB Educational Foundation scholarships available, it’s time to start preparing your application. Here are some tips to maximize your chances of being selected:

  • Gather materials early: You’ll need transcripts, letters of recommendation, essay drafts, and FAFSA details – start in the fall for spring/winter deadlines.
  • Tailor each application: Address how you specifically meet the unique eligibility requirements and selection priorities for that particular scholarship.
  • Emphasize integrity and merit: Highlight accomplishments, leadership roles, and community involvement that demonstrate your character and worthiness for the award.
  • Explain your financial need clearly: Personal statements and budgets provide context for your situation and why the funding is crucial.
  • Proofread thoroughly: Have others review your essays and application for errors before submitting. First impressions matter.
  • Apply to multiple: Increasing your opportunities by applying to national, local and specialty scholarships fitting your profile.

Following these guidelines and starting early can give your application the best odds. Be sure to check application status and deadlines carefully on the BBB Educational Foundation website. Scholarship aid is out there – you’ve just got to put in the effort to find it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about BBB Educational Foundation scholarships:

Can international or undocumented students apply?

No, all BBB Educational Foundation scholarships are only available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a valid Social Security number.

What are the exact GPA requirements?

GPA requirements vary by scholarship but generally range from a minimum 2.5 cumulative unweighted GPA. Higher GPAs above 3.0 are preferred for more competitive awards.

Can scholarships be used at any accredited school?

Yes, as long as your chosen college, university, vocational/technical program or graduate school in the U.S. is accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This includes public and private institutions.

When will I be notified of the application decision?

Notification timelines depend on the specific scholarship, but you can usually expect to hear back between 4-8 weeks after the application deadline via email. Check the website for projected decision dates.

What should I do if I have other questions?

Contact the BBB Educational Foundation directly via email at or phone at 417-862-4223. Representatives are available to answer inquiries and provide guidance on your scholarship search process.


The BBB Educational Foundation’s range of scholarship opportunities can make higher education more financially possible for deserving students across the United States. With dedicated preparation and strong applications, you too may be able to secure funding that supports your academic dreams and career goals.

Remember, staying on top of multiple application cycles throughout the year provides more chances to earn financial support. With focus and integrity, promising futures can absolutely be within reach. Now get out there and start putting together your best application – the rewards of scholarship success could be life-changing.

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