Osher Scholarships (California, Maine, and Massachusetts)
Scholarships have been a priority of the Osher Foundation since its inception in 1977. The first Osher endowments supporting scholarships were established in the San Francisco Bay Area and the State of Maine. The majority of these programs address the financial need of undergraduate students and include the Incentive Awards Program at the University of California (Berkeley). The programs in Maine reach nearly every private and public college and university in the State. Opportunities for graduate students exist at several institutions in the Bay Area and Maine as well.
The eligibility requirements for the Osher Scholarships tagged as "undergraduate" or “graduate” in this list have been customized to each institution. For more details, interested persons should contact the Financial Aid or Scholarship Office at those schools.
Osher Scholarships for Community College Students (Maine and California)
The Foundation's investment in students at two-year institutions in Maine began with an endowment at the Maine Technical College System in 1999. Over the next decade and during the transition into the Maine Community College System, the Foundation provided additional funding for scholarships that was often matched by public funds. Osher Scholarships are available at each of the seven community colleges in Maine. The awards are earmarked for Maine residents who have been accepted into the program for liberal and general studies and who have not yet accumulated more than 24 college credit.
In 2008, the Osher Foundation provided the Foundation for California Community Colleges a $25 million endowment gift to support scholarships at every community college in the State. This was the Osher Foundation's largest gift to a single entity and the largest private contribution ever made to a community college system in the country. These funds became the cornerstone of the California Community College Student Endowment (CCCSE). The Osher Foundation also pledged to match additional contributions to the CCCSE (on a 1:2 basis) over a three-year period. To qualify for these scholarships, students had to have completed 24 units of degree-applicable study, be enrolled in at least six units for the ensuing semester, and qualify for a Board of Governors fee waiver.
Osher Scholarships for Community College Transfer Students (California)
In 2012, to complement the scholarship program for California Community College (CCC) students, the Osher Foundation provided individual endowment gifts to 21 California State University and University of California institutions to support scholarships for students transferring from a CCC to those baccalaureate campuses.
Eligible students are transferring or have transferred from a CCC with at least 60-semester or 90-quarter units and are entering the institution at the junior level or above; demonstrate financial need; and show academic promise and a commitment to obtaining a baccalaureate degree.
Osher Reentry Scholarship (50 States and Washington, D.C.)
The Foundation was introduced to the unique challenges faced by nontraditional students through its relationship with two Bay Area institutions: Mills College and Dominican University of California. Pursuing a degree at an age older than traditional undergraduates, these students often balance considerable work and family obligations while attending school either part- or full-time.
The Reentry program, launched in 2005, offers scholarship support for students who have experienced a cumulative gap in their education of five or more years; are at the undergraduate level and pursuing their first baccalaureate degree; anticipate workforce participation for a significant period of time after graduation; demonstrate financial need; and show academic promise and a commitment to obtaining their degree.
Osher Fellowships (California and New York)
The Foundation has provided grant and endowment support to certain institutions to host visiting scholars and experts for periods ranging from a week to several months. The California Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium, and Human Rights Watch currently administer Osher Fellowship programs. Each institution has its own process for the selection of fellows.