Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Program

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Program is sponsored by the City of Oceanside and managed by the Housing Commission, a citizen advisory panel appointed by the City Council.

Purpose and Criteria The scholarship program was established in 1989 to encourage and enable graduating high school seniors in Oceanside to attend college. Fundraising for the program began in 1991 and the first scholarships were awarded in 1993. The funds are directed primarily to students from low- and moderate-income families, and students who exemplify the ideals and teachings of Dr. King and other civil and human rights leaders. Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of academic achievement, financial need, ability to meet and overcome challenges, and perceived ability to succeed in college or university. Recipients must be residents of the City of Oceanside or attend high school in Oceanside. Scholarships are awarded without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion or any other arbitrary factor. Community representatives and members of the Housing Commission review applications and select recipients.
Application Any graduating high school senior living in Oceanside may apply to the scholarship program, regardless of which high school (public or private) the student attends. Application forms are available in February from high school scholarship coordinators, the Oceanside Public Library, and online. Applications are due to school scholarship coordinators April 13, 2022. The 2022 Application is available now here.
Conditions The scholarship may be used toward costs at any accredited college, university, or technical school. The award is normally for one year; community college students may request, in writing, to receive disbursement over two years. Recipients must show proof of enrollment at least half-time to receive the funds prior to disbursements. The amount and number of scholarships awarded each year depends upon the amount of funds donated to the program.
Source of Funds The scholarship funds come from donations by individuals, families and local businesses; no public monies are used in the program. All donations are deposited into a separate trust fund account managed by the City. Donations are used solely for the purpose of the scholarship program and may be considered tax-deductible contributions. Donors should consult their tax advisor. The City can provide a letter acknowledging donation upon request. The program awarded $53,500 to 16 students in 2021, for a total of $960,500 to 372 students since 1993.

2021 Scholarship Sponsors and Hosts

Congratulations to the 2021 MLK, Jr. Scholarship winners! Please find a list of the 2021 winners here: 2021 Winners. Biographical information on the 2021 winners can be found here:  Meet the Winners!

The scholarship awards are announced in May at a garden reception honoring the recipients and their families. All donors are invited to the reception. Recipients are also recognized at their high school awards nights. For information about future annual garden receptions or to make a donation, call Janet Bledsoe Lacy at (760) 722-1234, or the MLK Scholarship Coordinator at (760) 435-5042, or via email at mlkscholarship@oceansideca.org

Information For more information, contact the MLK Scholarship Coordinator at the City of Oceanside - Neighborhood Services Department: (760) 435-5042 or email: mlkscholarship@oceansideca.org

Resources for MLK Scholarship Applicants