PEF members and their dependents are eligible for numerous union-sponsored scholarships. Do not miss the opportunity to make education more affordable by applying for college scholarships.  Remember to meet application deadlines to qualify.

PEF Regions and Divisions – please send information concerning scholarships offered to your constituents to the PEF Education Department for posting to this web page by emailing Communicator@PEF.org.

PEF Scholarships

PEF’s Joseph Scacalossi Scholarship has helped students since 1988, when it was founded as a tribute to a state Department of Labor member who helped form PEF and fought for the rights of his members in Manhattan.

Every year, 10 students are each awarded $1,000 annually for four years.

The student must be a child, stepchild or ward of an active, retired or deceased PEF member.

The scholarship is open to high school seniors and college freshmen.  Preliminary applications are now being accepted until March  18, 2022. Please click here for the form.

The Jean DeBow Women in PEF Scholarship was created to honor the memory of our former Vice-President, Jean DeBow. There will be one scholarship award of $1,000, given annually at the PEF Convention, for an Active Female PEF Member, who is pursuing an accredited Post Secondary education in any field.

Application details and instructions are available here.

DEADLINE:  Completed applications are due at PEF headquarters by May 1 of every year.

Other Union-based Scholarships

Our affiliation with AFT and SEIU enables members and dependents to be eligible for other union-based scholarship programs. Eligibility requirements, evaluation criteria, award amounts, application instructions and deadlines vary.

The Union Plus Scholarship Program awards scholarships ranging from $500 to $4,000. The scholarship program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation, and the selection process is very competitive as more than 5,000 applications are received each year. During the past 22 years, Union Plus has distributed more than $3.5 million in scholarships to working families. Applicants are evaluated on their academic ability, social awareness, financial need and appreciation of labor. A grade point average of 3.0 or higher is recommended.

Current and retired members of participating unions such as PEF, along with spouses and dependent children are eligible to apply. Students must be enrolled in an accredited college or university, community college, or technical or trade school. Undergraduate and graduate students also are eligible.

Online applications are recommended and available at http://www.unionplus.org/college-education-financing/union-plus-scholarship/ or, mail your name, all contact information, and your international union to Union Plus Education Foundation, c/o Union Privilege, PO Box 34800, Washington, DC 20043-4800.

SEIU's Scholarships

SEIU Lottery Scholarships (Apply online at http://aim.applyists.net/seiu)
Fifteen $1,000 scholarships renewable for up to four years as well as 33 $1,500 scholarships for one year of study.


The Bonnie Ladin Scholarship (Apply online at http://www.nlc.edu/current-students/scholarships/)
The Bonnie Ladin Scholarship is available for SEIU members, their children and local union staff who are attending the National Labor College. Bonnie Ladin was an organizer at SEIU for 20 years and played an integral role in building SEUI to make it the union it is today. In honor of her tremendous contributions to the labor movement, SEIU created a scholarship in her name.


SEIU Jesse Jackson Scholarship (Apply online at http://aim.applyists.net/mf)
One $5,000 scholarship renewable for up to four years is given to a student whose work and aspirations for economic and social justice reflect the values and accomplishments of the Rev. Jesse Jackson.


SEIU Moe Foner Scholarship (Apply online at http://aim.applyists.net/mf)
One $5,000 nonrenewable scholarship is available to students who are pursing a degree or training in the visual or performing arts, and who believe the arts are a vehicle to advance social change.

Other Resources

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) is an excellent source for information on financial aid programs, forms and services available.  New York State students may be eligible for a variety of State grant, scholarship and award programs to help pay for college.  For information visit:  http://www.hesc.ny.gov/.

Check with the guidance office at your child’s school for information regarding local scholarships.