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There are a number of scholarship opportunities available for AFSCME members and their dependents. There are two main "traditional" AFSCME scholarship programs, one through AFSCME International and one through Oregon Council 75, as well as programs administered by the Union Privilege program of the national AFL-CIO and the Oregon AFL-CIO.

The AFSCME Family Scholarship Program from the national union is open to children of AFSCME members. Traditionally, 10 scholarships of $2,000 each are awarded nationwide. These scholarships are renewable for $2,000 each year for a maximum of four years, provided the student remains enrolled in a full-time degree program at an accredited institution.

Applicants must be a high school senior graduating in the spring who will be enrolling the following fall in a full-time, four-year degree program at any accredited college or university and must be a daughter or son of an AFSCME member (or whose legal guardian or financially responsible grandparent is an AFSCME member).

The application deadline is typically Dec. 31 of each year for the following year's scholarships. For more information and/or to download scholarship applications forms, go here.

The national union website also includes information on other, limited scholarships available for union members, such as the Jerry Clark Memorial Scholarship for social science majors, training at the Meany Institute and so on.

The Donna Danner Memorial Scholarship Fund is named after one of Council 75's most beloved members. Donna Danner was a union activist at Local 328 (Oregon Health & Science University) for many years before her premature passing from complications from a brain tumor on Nov. 18, 2000.

Applicants for this scholarship fund must be active, laid-off, retired or disabled members of Council 75 in good standing, or the spouses (including life partners and their children), natural children, stepchildren or grandchildren of active,  laid-off, retired, disabled or deceased members in good standing of Oregon AFSCME  Council 75. The Council 75 member must have been an active member of Oregon AFSCME for at least one year as of March 1 of the year in which the scholarship application is filed, or have been a member for one-year preceding the date of lay-off, death, disability or retirement.

Applicants must be planning to enroll in full-time, undergraduate or graduate courses of study at eligible institutions. Part-time enrollment (minimum of six credit hours) will be considered, but only for Council 75 active members, their spouses (or life partners) or laid-off members. The Danner scholarships are awarded annually in the amount of two $1,000 scholarships and five $750 scholarships.

In 2008, the Cornelia Valentine Murphy Scholarship was established in the name of the former Council 75 Political Coordinator by her brother, Paul Murphy. There will be one $500 scholarship awarded annually to a Council 75 member in good standing (as above). The Murphy memorial is an endowment fund that needs donations in order to keep the scholarship alive. Contributions can be made through Council 75.

Both Council 75 scholarships are administered by the Oregon Student Assistance Commission. OSAC forms can be obtained at Oregon high school guidance offices, or can be completed online at You can also call them at (800) 452-8807 or (541) 687-7395 in the Eugene calling area. The OSAC website also includes all of the application rules and processes. Final application materials must be received by the Commission no later than March 1 of each year — but applicants are urged to begin the process soon after Jan. 1. The Danner scholarship is listed as AFSCME Oregon Council #75, Scholarship Code 315MX, while the Murphy scholarship is listed as Murphy — Cornelia Valentine Murphy Memorial, Scholarship Code 500MX.

Applicants submitting completed materials prior to Feb. 15 of each year are eligible for one "early bird" scholarship. Applicants must also file an Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form can be filked online at

For more than 10 years, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has supported working families pursuing post-secondary education. The Union Plus Scholarship Program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation, an arm of the national AFL-CIO’s Union Privilege Program.

The Union Plus scholarship application is typically available year-round, with all applications needing to be postmarked by Jan. 31 of any given year for that year’s consideration. More information and downloadable forms are available at You can also search over 100 other union-related scholarships through the Union Plus site, although many of those scholarships are restricted to members or children of other specific unions.

Finally, the Oregon AFL-CIO also administers its own scholarship program. The state federation offers limited opportunities to traditional four and two-year colleges and universities, as well as vocational/occupational scholarships.

The Oregon AFL-CIO program is a one-time award for graduating Oregon high school seniors. Applicants must write an essay, and preference given to applicants from union families. Typically, the Oregon AFL-CIO awards four scholarships each year.

The application process for the Oregon AFL-CIO scholarship program is also administered by the Oregon Student Assistance Commission. As noted above, the OSAC deadline is March 1 each year, but the commission urges applicants to begin the process soon after Jan. 1. Again, OSAC forms can be obtained at Oregon high school guidance offices, or can be completed online at

Page Last Updated: Apr 01, 2014 (10:59:49)

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