The Nina Scholars Program is available to students at all Maricopa County Community Colleges. This program provides a unique opportunity where students from disadvantaged backgrounds can obtain the resources and financial support needed in order to successfully complete their college education.
This program covers full tuition, fees, and books and provides each student with an academic advisor mentor. It also includes a $3,200 annual living allowance. The Nina Scholars program is highly focused on all aspects of the success of its student participants.
Available to individuals who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Incoming freshmen ages 18-25 who have been raised through the child welfare system* and have no form of financial support
- College-age youth and adults with physical disabilities*
- Adults who have dependents in their family units*
- *see eligibility definitions below
Applicants must also meet all of the following criteria:
- Be working toward their first college degree
- Be a United States citizen and resident of the state of Arizona
- Demonstrate financial need, with priority given to those with a household income of 80 percent or less of the median income for Maricopa County (approximately $44,079 annually).
Note: Applicants are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Have previously completed no more than 24 college level credits
Scholarship Eligibility Definitions
Child Welfare System
For the purposes of this scholarship program, Child Welfare System is described as the public-supported system that serves neglected, abused, abandoned, at-risk children and/or those who are wards of the courts. A person who has experienced time in the child welfare system may have lived in an institution such as a group home, child protection agency, or special facility for children, and/or with a foster family. This applies particularly to those persons who were raised away from their biological parents or relative caregivers for extended periods of time, were financially supported by sources other than their families, and are presently responsible for themselves financially. This does not include applicants and/or their biological parents receiving TANF, food stamps, or other state aid such as AHCCCS.
A physical disability for the purposes of this scholarship program is one that limits or impairs a person's ability to access and/or be fully mobile on campus, and/or creates a special challenge for classroom instruction, tutoring, student support services, participation in campus offerings, and other academic and extracurricular activities. This includes disabilities that substantially limit major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, writing and working. These disabilities may be results of, but not limited to, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, speech impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, loss of limbs, and severe orthopedic injuries. Applicants are to provide official documentation of their physical disability from a medical or health care provider.
Adults with Dependents
These are adults who have dependents in their family units (self not included). These adults may be first-time college students or returning students (those with previous college experience). The family unit may include relatives or other persons who may live in or outside the applicant's household for whom the Internal Revenue Service has determined there is a financially dependent relationship.