Religious scholarships are profuse, but many nonbelievers remain unaware that there are also scholarships for atheists and agnostics.

Secular organizations have reserved money to support student activists who are working to eradicate the immoral stigma falsely placed on atheism. Funding can help agnostic freethinkers who view the world through science and reason rather than religious doctrine.

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The Pew Research Center found that 3.1 percent of American adults identify as atheists and another 4.0 percent identify as agnostics. Patheos also reported that the number of college students abandoning religious labels hit a record high of 27 percent in 2015.

If you’re “Good Without God” or another universal spirit, consider the following atheist and agnostic scholarships.

1. American Atheists Founders’ Scholarships

Deadline: February 3rd

In honor of Irving Yablon, Dr. Phillip Butler, Rice O’Dell, and others, the American Atheists Center provides four Founders’ Scholarships for $500 apiece to agnostic students who display activism in their communities. Interested atheists must be attending U.S. colleges or vocational schools full-time this Fall, carry a minimum 2.5 GPA across all academic subjects, show dedication to the separation of religion and government, and present a well-written, 1,000-word essay detailing their motivations.

Contact

American Atheists Founders’ Scholarships

P.O. Box 158

Cranford, NJ 07016

(908) 276-7300

scholarship@atheists.org

Scholarship Link

2. Antelope Valley Freethinkers Scholarship

Deadline: July 1st

Launched in 2016, the Antelope Valley Freethinkers Scholarship provides $1,000 for first, $500 for second, and $250 for third place winners of the essay competition. Accepted entrants must be college-bound high school seniors who live between the Tehachapi and San Gabriel Mountains in northern Los Angeles County. Californians must write 500 to 750 words describing how free thought based in science and reason could help resolve society’s pressing challenges.

Contact

Antelope Valley Freethinkers Scholarship

40915 40th Street West

Palmdale, CA 93551

(661) 722-5997

president@avfreethinkers.org

Scholarship Link

3. Brian Bolton Graduate Scholarship Contest

Deadline: July 15th

Since 1979, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) has offered four scholarships for atheists, including the Brian Bolton Graduate Scholarship Contest. Ranging from $400 to $3,000, this program grants prizes to agnostics above 22 years old who are attending accredited institutions or graduate schools for advancement. The essay requests 600 to 800 typed words answering this question: “Why are God and politics/government a dangerous mix?”

Contact

Brian Bolton Graduate Scholarship Contest

P.O. Box 750

Madison, WI 53701

(608) 256-8900

info@ffrf.org

Scholarship Link

4. Byron Thayer Scholarship Award

Deadline: February 1st

The Philanthrofund Foundation in Minneapolis confers the Byron Thayer Scholarship Award for at least $2,500 to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer atheists or humanists who are enrolling full-time for post-secondary education. Eligible candidates living in the Upper Midwest from Wisconsin to the Dakotas must demonstrate a minimum 2.0 GPA, significant community service, and leadership skills. Don’t forget to attach a 300-word personal statement of your short- and long-term professional goals.

Contact

Byron Thayer Scholarship Award

1409 Willow Street Suite 305

Minneapolis, MN 55403

(612) 870-1806

tom@pfundfoundation.org

Scholarship Link

5. Chinn Scholarship for LGBT Atheist Activism

Deadline: February 1st

Another of the American Atheists Center’s funding opportunities is the Chinn Scholarship for LGBT Atheist Activism, which gifts $500 and a free one-year membership. Suitable applicants would be agnostics who have fought to end religious discrimination for sexual orientation, are matriculated full-time at accredited colleges worldwide, sustain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, and enter an impressive 500-word essay about their activism. Being LGBT isn’t required; straight allies are also considered.

Contact

Chinn Scholarship for LGBT Atheist Activism

P.O. Box 158

Cranford, NJ 07016

(908) 276-7300

scholarship@atheists.org

Scholarship Link

6. Clara Carlson Scholarship from Womanfest

Deadline: May 1st

The Clara Carlson Scholarship from Womanfest was established in 2009 to honor the 102-year-old Washington native and freethinker who relentlessly advocated for women’s rights. This $500 fund could help agnostic women with a passion for gender equality afford post-secondary courses at any accredited U.S. colleges or trade school. Recipients also participate in women-centered projects at the Annual Womanfest Fall Retreat at Camp David Jr. in September.

Contact

Clara Carlson Scholarship from Womanfest

403 South Lincoln Street Suite 4

Port Angeles, WA 98362

(360) 775-7663

sheilam@olypen.com

Scholarship Link

7. Cliff Richards Memorial Student Activist Award

Deadline: June 17th

Bequeathed in 2014, the Cliff Richards Memorial Student Activist Award grants $1,000 yearly to support the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s (FFRF) mission to protect the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. Qualified recipients will be atheist or agnostic high school seniors who are preparing for any post-secondary degree full-time while actively involved in community activism. Preference is given to female students of Native American or Alaskan Native heritage.

Contact

Cliff Richards Memorial Student Activist Award

P.O. Box 750

Madison WI 53701

(608) 256-8900

info@ffrf.org

Scholarship Link

8. Everett Hill Memorial Scholarship Fund

Deadline: May 3rd

Valued at $2,000, the Everett Hill Memorial Scholarship Fund is managed by Oregon’s Molalla High School in Clackamas County to honor the alumnus and freethinker who have creatively striven to improve the community. Agnostic or humanist seniors could apply if they’re accepted at accredited, four-year U.S. colleges, excelling academically with a 3.5 GPA or higher, recommended by two adults, and involved in community service.

Contact

Everett Hill Memorial Scholarship Fund

357 E. Francis Street

Molalla, OR 97038

(503) 829-2355 ext. 3337

fixh@molallariv.k12.or.us

Scholarship Link

9. First in the Family Humanist Scholarship

Deadline: June 2nd

Black Skeptics Group Los Angeles started the First in the Family Humanist Scholarship for $1,000 to support atheist high school seniors of color in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Eligible first-generation, irreligious applicants must be admitted into two- or four-year U.S. colleges, participate in community-based organizations, and believe social justice is secular. Priority is given minorities who are undocumented, living in foster care, or homeless.

Contact

First in the Family Humanist Scholarship

8703 La Tijera Blvd. Suite 211

Los Angeles, CA 90045

(323) 482-1595

blackskeptics@gmail.com

Scholarship Link

10. Gladys Carol Scholarship Program

Deadline: March 31st

Offering $5,000 over two years, the Gladys Carol Scholarship Program is an option for agnostic high school seniors or current undergraduates who are applying their freethinking thought to STEM majors, such as evolutionary biology, astrophysics, or civil engineering. Eligibility criteria requires studying full-time at accredited U.S. nonprofits, achieving a minimum 3.0 GPA, working or volunteering for 16+ hours weekly, and having unmet financial need on the FAFSA form.

Contact

Gladys Carol Scholarship Program

74404 Pinon Drive

29 Palms, CA 92277

(760) 586-2185

GCSP@outlook.com

Scholarship Link

11. Hispanic American Freethinkers Scholarships

Deadline: May 30th

The Hispanic American Freethinkers, Inc. bestows several $2,000 scholarships for atheists and agnostics annually to advance Latino culture through science and reason. It’s intended for first-generation, financially needy high school seniors of Hispanic heritage who are matriculating full-time in accredited bachelor’s programs for science, technology, engineering, or math disciplines. Applications are incomplete without an official transcript, faculty recommendation, and 500-word essay about the difference between what’s real and imaginary.

Contact

Hispanic American Freethinkers Scholarships

1818 Library Street Suite 500-20

Reston, VA 20190

(202) 656-5060

info@HAFree.org

Scholarship Link

12. Humanists of Greater Portland Scholarship

Deadline: April 30th

Oregonians who uphold an agnostic or non-theistic philosophy could enter the Humanists of Greater Portland Scholarship contest to win up to $3,000 for college. Eligible entrants must be graduating from public or private high schools in-state, pursue higher education this Fall, attain a minimum “B” average, and display leadership capacity in community service. Judges review students’ 750-1,000 word essays about how a moral compass is developed without religion.

Contact

Humanists of Greater Portland Scholarship

P.O. Box 3936

Portland, OR 97208

(503) 452-1861

scholarship@portlandhumanists.org

Scholarship Link

13. Humanists of Sarasota Bay Scholarship

Deadline: September 30th

The Humanists of Sarasota Bay fund a similar $1,000 scholarship for Florida high school seniors from Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa, Fort Myers, Orlando, and the surrounding area who have an agnostic identity. Appropriate applicants will be entering full-time undergraduate study at accredited U.S. colleges, carrying a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, participating actively in secular activism, and submitting a well-written essay titled “How Humanism Defines My Life.”

Contact

Humanists of Sarasota Bay Scholarship

1226 N. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, FL 34231

dbhelgager@comcast.net

Scholarship Link

14. James Randi Educational Scholarships

Deadline: Varies

Founded in 1996, the James Randi Educational Foundation honors the world-famous magician who won the American Humanists’ Lifetime Achievement Award for books like The Faith Healers. Scholarships are available for up to $5,000 for agnostic undergrad and graduate students who are applying rational skepticism in diverse fields, such as psychology, philosophy, science, or computer science. Applying will involve writing a two-page essay that inoculates that public against pseudoscience and superstition.

Contact

James Randi Educational Scholarships

201 SE 12th Street

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

(323) 229-7771

jref@randi.org

Scholarship Link

15. Jerry Carpenter Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 1st

Iowa Atheists & Freethinkers funds the Jerry Carpenter Memorial Scholarship for $1,000 each year to support high school seniors in the “Hawkeye State” who don’t believe in God. Qualified applicants must have lived in Iowa for 24+ months, identify as atheists, be entering college the upcoming year, show academic merit with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and demonstrate secular activism in their school communities. Board members, officers, and their immediate relatives aren’t eligible.

Contact

Jerry Carpenter Memorial Scholarship

P.O. Box 672

Des Moines, IA 50303

scholarship@IowaAtheists.org

Scholarship Link

16. Kappa Omicron Nu Master’s Fellowships

Deadline: April 1st

Atheists and agnostics seeking scholarships could turn to Kappa Omicron Nu, the national honor society for the human sciences. Ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 each, the Master’s Fellowships help active members fund graduate tuition at accredited U.S. colleges with rigorous, research-based human science programs, including anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Applicants for programs like the Eileen C. Maddex Fellowship will require three recommendations, a transcript, and research proposal.

Contact

Kappa Omicron Nu Master’s Fellowships

1749 Hamilton Road Suite 106

Okemos, MI 48864

(517) 351-8335

info@kon.org

Scholarship Link

17. Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: February 6th

Although not reserved for atheists, the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship from the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) could provide $1,700 for non-believers with an ideology rooted in science. Interested candidates must be following in the invertebrate zoologist’s footsteps by enrolling as full-time juniors, seniors, or graduate students for accredited degrees in biological sciences. Funding helps cover proposed research on species lacking a backbone at marine or terrestrial field stations.

Contact

Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship

800 North State College Blvd.

Fullerton, CA 92831

(657) 278-2382

jburnaford@fullerton.edu

Scholarship Link

18. Michael Hakeem Students of Color Scholarships

Deadline: July 15th

Atheists of African American, Hispanic, Asian, or American Indian heritage could obtain one of the 10 Michael Hakeem Students of Color Scholarships bestowed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) each year for $400 to $3,000. Eligible minorities must be actively participate in the freethought movement, enroll at accredited two- or four-year colleges, and submit an original 1,000-word personal essay reflecting on their irreligious reasoning.

Contact

Michael Hakeem Students of Color Scholarships

P.O. Box 750

Madison, WI 53701

(608) 256-8900

info@ffrf.org

Scholarship Link

19. NAP Scholarship for Our Secular Future

Deadline: March 1st

The National Atheist Party (NAP) presents the Scholarship for Our Secular Future annually for $1,000 to two outstanding high school seniors or current undergraduates who’re devoted to keeping government free of superstition and religious bias. To qualify, applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents, have less than 70 credits at accredited colleges, carry a minimum “B” average, perform charitable acts , and write a 500-word essay supporting secular activism.

Contact

NAP Scholarship for Our Secular Future

P.O. Box 371

Florence, KY 41042

NAP.EB@usanap.org

Scholarship Link

20. Out to Innovate STEM Scholarships

Deadline: June 3rd

Agnostic freethinkers could seek funding from the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP) through the $5,000 Out to Innovate STEM Scholarships. Religious preference isn’t considered, but atheists who identify as LGBTQ or straight allies, have completed two years of post-secondary education, declare scientific majors, take 12+ credits per term, and achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher would qualify.

Contact

Out to Innovate STEM Scholarships

P.O. Box 91803

Pasadena, CA 91109

(626) 791-7689

jb-board@noglstp.org

Scholarship Link

21. Richard Dawkins Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: February 3rd

Partnered with the Atheists Alliance of America, the Richard Dawkins Foundation started a $1,000 scholarship in 2006 to remove the stigma surrounding non-belief. The program helps outspoken atheists devoted to secular activism to afford rising tuition costs at accredited two- and four-year colleges globally. Entering the contest involves writing 500 to 1,000 words about the importance of protecting atheist civil liberties. Scholars also earn free AA membership and registration to the National Conference.

Contact

Richard Dawkins Foundation Scholarship

1012 14th Street NW, Suite 205

Washington, DC 20005

(716) 636-4869 ext. 428

lfoster@centerforinquiry.net

Scholarship Link

22. Secular Student Alliance Scholarships

Deadline: September 30th

Agnostic members of the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) could claim the four $2,500 and five $1,000 scholarships delivered yearly based on activism. One $1,000 award is specifically reserved for secularists attending historically black colleges. Eligible recipients must enroll full-time at United States universities, carry a minimum “B” average, organize large-scale projects that normalize secular identity, and write an essay on how their goals align with SSA’s mission.

Contact

Secular Student Alliance Scholarships

P.O. Box 2371

Columbus, OH 43216

(614) 441-9588

ssa@secularstudents.org

Scholarship Link

23. Silverman Secular Humanist Scholarship

Deadline: March 15th

At the College of Charleston, the Department of Mathematics honored the Emeritus Professor’s contributions by presenting the Silverman Secular Humanist Scholarship for $1,500 per year. It’s designed for COFC undergraduates who self-identify as atheists or humanists, take 12+ credits per semester, possess a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater, and exhibit moral, ethical behavior not on the basis of religious systems. Applications must include tentative post-graduation plans, two recommendations, and three short answers.

Contact

Silverman Secular Humanist Scholarship

66 George Street

Charleston, SC 29424

(843) 805-5507

SilvermanScholarship@cofc.edu

Scholarship Link

24. The Secular Society Scholars Program

Deadline: December 1st

Celebrating its 175th anniversary, Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, offers The Secular Society Scholars Program to agnostic, first-year students who are entering their liberal arts education full-time next Fall. Recipients receive full-tuition coverage that’s valued at approximately $36,200. Freshmen are selected based on academic merit, SAT/ACT scores, enthusiasm for extracurricular activities, aptitude for creative work, and activism for secular values. Finalists must pass a weekend, face-to-face interview in mid-late February.

Contact

The Secular Society Scholars Program

7916 Williamson Road

Roanoke, VA 24020

(800) 456-9595

huadm@hollins.edu

Scholarship Link

25. William J. Schulz Scholarship Essay Contest

Deadline: July 15th

High school seniors with agnostic beliefs could pursue the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s (FFRF) funding opportunities through the William J. Schulz Scholarship Essay Contest. This program gifts $400 to $3,000 to 16 college-bound seniors who are matriculating as incoming freshmen at accredited U.S. institutions full-time. Current recipients attend Duke, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Dartmouth, and more. Judges seek a well-written, 750-word essay about the challenges of growing up a freethinker.

Contact

William J. Schulz Scholarship Essay Contest

P.O. Box 750

Madison, WI 53701

(608) 256-8900

info@ffrf.org

Scholarship Link

Not believing in God as the “Supreme Being” won’t leave you ineligible for religious scholarships because atheists can find funding too. That’s excellent news because free financial aid is increasingly essential to cover college tuition and fees. In fact, the U.S. News found that tuition has jumped by 226 percent at public and 179 percent at private universities since 1995. Footing the bill out-of-pocket simply isn’t feasible for most, so begin your search for assistance with these 25 great scholarships for atheists and agnostics.