2015 US Tzu Chi Scholars Program

Tzu Chi Scholars


Tzu Chi Scholars is a scholarship program funded by Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation USA to recognize and provide financial assistance to outstanding college-bound high school graduates. Tzu Chi Scholars are selected on the basis of their financial need, academic achievement, and community involvement. Each Scholar will receive an award of US$1,000. A small number of Scholars may be further recognized for a four-year total scholarship award of up to US$4,000 if certain eligibility requirements and criteria are met.


About Tzu Chi

In Chinese, tzu (慈) means compassion and chi (濟) means relief; together, it means serving with compassion to relieve worlds' suffering.

Tzu Chi Foundation was established in 1966 by Venerable Dharma Master Cheng Yen on the poor east coast of Taiwan. Over the years, the foundation has been contributing to better social and community services, medical care, education and humanism in Taiwan and around the world. From the first 30 members, housewives who saved two cents from their grocery money each day to help the poor, the foundation with 502 offices worldwide has nearly 10 million volunteers and supporters in over 50 countries, providing relief in over 80 countries around the world. The foundation dedicates itself in the fields of charity, medicine, education, environmental protection, international relief work and the establishment of one of the world's largest bone marrow donor registries. It also promotes humanistic values and community volunteerism.

In 1984, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation in the U.S. registered as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in California. In 1989, the first office in the U.S. was established in Alhambra, California. Since then, more than 80 offices and facilities have been established with over 100,000 donors and volunteers in the U.S. working to make a difference in their local communities.

Master Cheng Yen firmly believes that suffering in this world is caused not only by material deprivation but, more importantly, also by spiritual poverty. She feels that the lack of altruistic love for others has been the root of many problems in this world. Guided by the four basic Buddhist principles of kindness, compassion, joy, and unselfish giving, Tzu Chi strives to ease suffering on earth and to inspire compassion in others by promoting community volunteerism, both locally and internationally. Through sincerity, integrity, trust, and honesty, Tzu Chi volunteers serve all who need assistance, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion.



The applicant shall meet the following conditions:

  1. Demonstrates a strong financial need for college tuition
  2. Is a U.S. high school graduating senior or equivalent (Foreign students on student visa not included)
  3. Has a minimum 3.0 GPA  
  4. Will enroll in an accredited U.S. college full-time for the entire academic year of 2015-2016


Application Form

The scholatship application form can be downloaded here: Application Form Download


Documents Required

The following documents shall be submitted at the time of application:

  1. A completed Tzu Chi Scholarship Application Form
  2. An official high school transcript
  3. A copy of one of the three following document(s) demonstrating the financial need:
    • Family’s complete set of 2014 1040 U.S. Income Tax Return including ALL schedules
    • Family’s complete set of 2013 1040 U.S. Income Tax Return including ALL schedules and the most recent 2014 W-2 form(s)
    • Any official documentation which serves as proof of financial hardship (Note:  Meal plan only is insufficient.)
  4. Two letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, and/or other advisors
  5. A typed autobiography (2 to 5 pages, double spaced) that explains why you should be awarded a scholarship. Please include all of the following:
    • Reason for your financial need and application for this educational scholarship
    • Your personal and academic achievements with specific examples
    • Your academic and career plans with specific goals
    • Your past and current involvement, as well as future plans, towards making a difference in your community
  6. A two-page (double spaced) essay about Tzu Chi, based on the information you’ve gathered from websites, publications, news articles, etc.  Please explain what you have learned about Tzu Chi that inspires you in any way. Express your thoughts openly and honestly.

Only applications which include the complete set of required documents mentioned above will be considered. We will NOT process your application if any of the required documents is missing. 


Application Timeline

The following are the key dates for the 2014 program:

  • The application form and supporting documents must be postmarked by March 2, 2015.
  • A phone interview and/or home visit (in March/April, 2015) may be required in the application process.
  • Recipients of the scholarship will be announced via e-mail in mid May, 2015.
  • Tzu Chi Scholars will be honored at the Scholarship Award Ceremony at your Tzu Chi Regional Offices in June, 2015.
  • The US$1,000 award will be directly deposited in the account of the student’s college account after the completion of the college enrollment. A scholarship processing form will be sent to the award recipients after the award announcement.


Application Submission

On you application package, please indicate Attn: Tzu Chi Scholars Program.  Please send (postal mail, email, or fax) your application package to Tzu Chi Foundation's Regional Office in your area. Pleasen use the following information or this link to locate your Regional Office. Please make sure to send your application to the correct Regional Office. Sending to the wrong office may result in delays in your application. When in doubt, always call ahead to confirm.

Tzu Chi Regional Offices

Northwest Region 
Area: N. CA, N. NV, OR, WA, ID, MT, WY, AK

2355 Oakland Rd, San Jose, CA 95131
Tel: 408-457-6969
Fax: 408-943-8420
Email: tcscholarship@hotmail.com (Only for this region!)

Midwest Region 
Area: OH, ND, SD, MN, WI, MI, NE, IA, MO, IL, IN

1430 Plainfield Rd, Darien, IL 60561 
Tel: 630-963-6601
Fax: 630-960-9360

Northeast Region 
Area: NY, VT, NH, ME, MA, RI, CT

137-77 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354
Tel: 718-888-0866
Fax: 718-460-2068

National Headquarters (Western Region) 
Area: S. CA, S. NV, AZ, UT, NM, CO

1100 S. Valley Center Ave, San Dimas, CA 91773 
Tel: 909-447-7799
Fax: 909-447-7948

Central Region 
Area: N. TX, KS, OK, AR, TN

534 W. Belt Line Rd, Richardson, TX 75080
Tel: 972-680-8869
Fax: 972-680-7732

Mid-Atlantic Region 
Area: KY, PA, WV, DE, NJ

150 Commerce Rd, Cedar Grove, NJ 07009 
Tel: 973-857-8666
Fax: 973-857-9555

Pacific Islands Region 
Area: HI, GU

1238 Wilhelmina Rise, Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: 808-737-8885
Fax: 808-737-8889

Southern Region 
Area: S. TX, LA, FL, MS, AL, GA

6200 Corporate Dr, Houston, TX 77036
Tel: 713-981-8966
Fax: 713-981-9008

Greater Washington D.C. Region 
Area: DC, MD, NC, SC, VA

1516 Moorings Dr, Reston, VA 20190
Tel: 703-707-8606
Fax: 703-707-8607

†The Northwest Region Office is temporarily moved to 175 Dempsey Rd, Milpitas, CA 95035 due to constructions. All mails sent to the old address will be forwarded to this new address. To minimize forwarding delays, please use the new address highlighted here.

Special Instructions for Applicants in Tzu Chi Northwest Region

For applicants from Northern California, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska, please follow the following submission process:

  1. Please send your application including all required documents, except the official transcript and the recommendation letters, in one PDF file by email to tcscholarship@hotmail.com. Application material (except transcript and the recommendation letters) received through regular mail will not be processed. 
  2. Please send the transcript and recommendation letters by regular mail to: Tzu Chi Scholars Program , Tzu Chi Foundation Northwest Region, 175 Dempsey Road, Milpitas, CA 95035.

For High-school Counselor

If you are a high-school counselor, please bookmark this page for your future references. This page will be updated every year.

In the future, we may add a subscription function so that you can be notofied when each year's scholarship program becomes available. 


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