Scholarship Programs

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There are two types of Scholarship Programs with which the Rotary Club of Erie is involved: the Rotary Club of Erie Scholarship Foundation for City of Erie High School Seniors providing college scholarships to qualifying candidates, and sponsoring Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholars . Both are described below.  



Rotary Club of Erie
Scholarship Foundation

The Scholarship Foundation was established on November 28, 1956 as a separate corporation under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by members of the Rotary Club of Erie. We celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2006. 

The business and affairs of the Foundation are managed by the Board of Trustees consisting of seven Rotary Club of Erie members. The Foundation is a 501 (c)(6) organization and contributions are tax deductible.


Through the Foundation, worthy high school seniors in the four public schools in the City of Erie, may acquire needed financial help in paying for their first year of college which might otherwise be unavailable to them because of economic circumstances.  

Each year the Foundation awards $1,500 or more to chosen students among candidates from Central High School, East High School, Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy and Strong Vincent High School. Awards are earmarked for expenses related to the students' freshman year of college. The awards go directly to the student. 

Who Qualifies
Each year we ask the student advisors/counselors in each of the Erie City high schools to suggest five outstanding individuals in their schools who have applied or been accepted to college. Ideally, these students
exemplify "Service Above Self", the Rotary motto; have good grades, and have a financial need. The college of choice is not a determining factor. Two students are chosen based on the strength of their application, an essay on their personal "Service Above Self" and an in-person interview by Rotarians.

Download the PDF brochure found on the Home Page in the Downloads section for more information. See your advisor to include you if you feel you qualify!

Our awards are funded by our endowment - managed by the Erie Community Foundation - and other direct tax deductible personal contributions made by those who believe in helping our youth toward their goal of a college education.





The Rotary Foundation Mission :
  • Achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational and cultural exchange programs.

1,200 students study abroad each year under the Ambassadorial Scholarship program. Grants are also provided to teachers to study in developing countries. Scholarship availability depends on a Rotary districts contributions to The Rotary Foundation and whether they have chosen to fund scholarships for the year in which you are applying.


  • One year and Two year: $26,000
  • 3 month cultural: $12,000
  • 6 month cultural: $19,000
  • University Teachers 3-5 months: $12,500
  • University Teachers 6-10 months: $22,500
Scholarships are for undergraduate or graduate students (and qualified professionals).

Serve as Ambassadors of goodwill to the people of the host country, give presentations about their homelands to Rotary Clubs and other groups, and upon returning home speak to Rotary clubs about their experiences that led to greater understanding of their host countries.

  • Citizens of a country in which there are Rotary clubs
  • Completed at least two years of college
  • Apply through a Rotary club of legal residence, place of full-time study or employment
  • Cannot be lineal descendants
  • Persons with disabilities and members of Rotaract clubs are encouraged to apply
  • Cultural Ambassadors must have completed one year of college level coursework

Ideal candidates:

Possess excellent leadership skills and potential.

  • Understand of obligation to speak
  • Proven record of success in academic or vocational studies
  • Articulate and proficiency in foreign language where studying
  • Well groomed and professional appearance
  • Demonstrated commitment to community service
  • Willing and available to attend mandatory outbound program in Chicago or local district
  • Interested in identifying service project while abroad
  • Well defined and realistic goals
  • Mature and seriousness of purpose
  • Excellent public speaker
  • Knows history, culture and politics of home and host countries
  • Diplomatic and articulate
  • Concrete ideas how to improve international understanding and world peace
  • Researched institution of study
  • Study in a field that makes an impact on humanitarian needs of the world
  • Dedicate part of their personal or professional life to Service Above Self
  • Flexible and sense of humor
  • Sincere about maintaining relationship with Rotary throughout life


Encouraged fields of study:

  • Healthcare (awareness and education)
  • Children at Risk
  • Concern for the Aging
  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Population issues
  • Urban concerns
  • Disabled persons
  • International understanding and goodwill
  • Poverty and hunger
  • Polio eradication
  • Preserve planet earth

Good luck and enjoy this unique opportunity to join in the service of Rotary around the world by becoming an Ambassadorial Scholar. It will take you places and provide you with experiences beyond your dreams.