Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Scholarships

General Information:

The JACL has been helping students achieve their educational dreams with the National Scholarship and Awards Program since 1946.  The program currently offers over 30 awards, with an annual total of over $70,000 in scholarships to qualified students nationwide.

The National Scholarship and Awards Program offer scholarships to students at the entering freshman, undergraduate, graduate, law, financial need and creative & performing arts. All scholarships are one-time awards.



Every applicant must be an active National JACL member. JACL Membership is open to everyone of any ethnic background. All who meet eligibility criteria are welcomed and encouraged to apply. Note: applicants need to hold an Individual or  Student/Youth Membership (Couple/Family membership by a parent will not meet this requirement). You may join/renew online here http://jacl.org/member/index.php.

Applicants must be planning to attend full time at a college, university, trade school, business school, or any other institution of higher learning within the United States at the undergraduate or graduate school level in the fall of 2014.  Students deferring enrollment will not qualify for the 2014 scholarship program.

Applicants may apply under only one scholarship category. The exception to this rule is that students may apply for consideration for the Abe & Esther Hagiwara Student Aid Award in addition to another category. However, a successful applicant will only receive the higher of the two awards applied for.

Entering Freshman applicants must be high school seniors.  Creative & Performing Arts applicants cannot be professional artists.

Past recipients of JACL scholarships or awards are limited to a total of two awards.


Application Process:

Only one application need be submitted to qualify for all awards listed in that same category. Applications will be reviewed for award preferences noted in the brochure.

The following is a condensed list of supporting documents required to complete a JACL Scholarship Application: JACL Membership; Personal Statement; Letter of Recommendation; Official Transcripts including SAT and/or ACT test score verification; Work Experience; and Community Involvement.


  • November 2014- Applications are available through local JACL regional offices, National JACL Headquarters & web site.

  • March 1, 2015- Entering Freshman applications must be postmarked and mailed to your local JACL chapters.  Applications must be complete (3 copies) and accompanied by ALL supporting documents.

  • April 1, 2015- All other applications (undergraduate, graduate, law, arts and student aid) must be postmarked and mailed to the JACL National Scholarship Committee, c/o Washington, DC JACL (address listed on the application).  Applications must be complete (3 copies) and accompanied by all supporting documents.

  • August 2015- Scholarship award recipients will be notified.


Additional Information:


For additional information regarding the JACL National Scholarship

Program, please contact Patty Wada at (415) 345-1075 or pwada@jacl.org