New Jersey Department of Education

Rising Scholars Award


All current high school seniors who are interested in attending any Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and meet the following criteria:

  • Attend a New Jersey public school (including charter schools and renaissance project schools), private school, or are homeschooled;
  • Have a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 or higher on a 4.0 scale or 3.0 or higher on a 4.5 scale; and
  • Have obtained a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score of 900 or above (based on 1600 maximum) or 1250 or above (based on 2400 maximum) or ACT score of 20 or above.

Selection Process

Up to 75 high school seniors will be nominated for selection by a committee consisting of staff from the Amistad Commission and the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), and the Malcolm Bernard HBCU College Fair of New Jersey.  

Eligible students will be evaluated based on their merit, academic and personal goals, school activities, community service, personal statement, and other significant information such as their desire to become future educators and status as first generation college attendees. No materials will be returned to the candidate.

What will New Jersey Rising Scholars receive?

Each Rising Scholar will receive:

  • An award certificate
  • A comprehensive guide of available HBCU scholarships
  • The opportunity to meet with college recruiters participating in the Malcolm Bernard HBCU College Fair Week
  • Eligibility to receive onsite admission to selected institutions and an opportunity to have application fees waived
  • Eligibility to be considered for an HBCU Rising Scholar Fund Scholarship, depending on the availability of funds


The Rising Scholars Recognition Award Application will open Fall 2020.

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