Scholarships for AFTPA families

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PA AFL-CIO Scholarship Essay Contest


The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO will be accepting applications for the 2017 Scholarship Essay Contest.  All entries must be submitted or postmarked by January 31, 2017.

Every year the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO offers scholarships to affiliated union members and their families. The criteria for entering are broken up into two categories with different topics for each surrounding an opportunity for students to learn more about the importance of Organized Labor in America. Within each category, there are three scholarships awarded in the amounts of $2000, $1000 and $500. AFL-CIO received 54 essays in 2016.

Download the brochure and application form to make sure you have included all the required information and have submitted your application and essay in the proper form.


Those wishing to apply should fill out an application form and write a 1,500-word (or more) essay on the appropriate topic.


The essay topics are as follows:

Category I-Graduating High School Seniors: How can labor unions help young workers get their fair share in today's economy?

Category II-Post-Secondary Students: What are the advantages for workers in joining a union?


The deadline is Jan. 31, 2017. Mail submissions to Pennsylvania AFL-CIO,

600 N. 2nd St
, Harrisburg, PA, 17101
. For more information, contact AFL-CIO education director Rick Bloomingdale, president, PA AFL-CIO, 717-238-8541.


UnionPlus Scholarship


Sponsored by the Union Plus Education Foundation. The program is open to members, spouses and dependent children of unions participating in any of the Union Plus programs. See the Union Plus Scholarship Program website for more information.

The 2017 application is now available to download. Deadline for 2017 applications is noon, Eastern Time, Jan. 31, 2017.

Since 1991, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $4 million to students of working families who want to begin or continue their post-secondary education. Over 2,700 families have benefited from our commitment to higher education. The Union Plus Scholarship Program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation, supported in part by contributions from the provider of the Union Plus Credit Card. (You do not need to be a Union Plus Credit Card holder to apply for this scholarship.)

The amount of the award ranges from $500 to $4,000.  This is a one-time cash award sent to individual winners for undergraduate study beginning in the fall of the same year.

Winners are chosen based on academic achievement and potential, character, leadership, social awareness, career goals and financial need.  Applications are judged by a committee of impartial post-secondary educators. Recipients announced May 31. Only winners receive notification. 

Union Privilege, founded  by the AFL-CIO in 1986, develops and manages the UnionPlus benefits program, which uses the combined buying power of America’s union members to obtain top-quality goods and services at competitive prices. For discounted services visit Member Benefits at


AFT Robert Porter Scholarship 

This 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. Students must submit a well-researched essay as part of the application. The topics change annually and will be posted on the American Federation of Teachers' website beginning in December 2016.  

Program Eligibility for a one-time $1,000 grant to:

  • Must be an AFT member in good standing for at least one year
  • Pursuing courses in their field of work.
  • No full- or part-time AFT staff, state or local, may apply.

Program Eligibility for a four-year, $8,000 Postsecondary Scholarship

  • Must be an AFT member's dependent
  • Graduating high school senior
  • Parent or guardian must be an AFT member for at least one year

Eligibility information is posted here, and FAQ is here and the application will be posted here soon. Contact if you have additional questions.

Updated November 21, 2016