Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program for High School Seniors

2018 winner

The Sallie Mae Fund’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program for High School Seniors helps make the dream of higher education a reality for outstanding students from under-resourced, underrepresented, and underserved communities.

The scholarship application period is now closed. Thurgood Marshall College Fund is currently reviewing the scholarship applications we received for the 2024-25 academic year.

Helping more students access higher education

In 2021, the Sallie Mae Fund expanded the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program to further promote diversity in higher education among students from under-resourced, underrepresented, and underserved communities.

Working in partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund, we’ve awarded 80 scholarships to high school seniors, totaling $750,000. 

Meet the 2023-2024 Recipients

Meet our past scholarship recipients

Since 2016, Sallie Mae has awarded $1.4M in Bridging the Dream Scholarships to outstanding high school students. Check out the inspiring stories of past winners, whose lives changed forever.

Alexandria, VA

Anas gets involved whenever he can. He’s active in several student organizations and is lead volunteer at a hospital. His mission is to become a doctor in the developing world and discover new medical advances.

Anderson, IN

Brooklyn spreads kindness to everyone. She’s helped deliver meals for police officers and firefighters, participated in the Million Meals Movement, and helps train new employees at her job at Goodwill.

La Marque, TX

When a community tragedy struck, Jaivyance was inspired to step up and serve others. She volunteers at blood drives, creates classroom support hotlines, and helps out with activities like peer tutoring.

Methuen, MA

Since emigrating from Haiti in 2013, Jemima is now fluent in three languages and takes honors-level courses. A true leader, she volunteers with the Special Olympics and tutors fifth graders while balancing school activities.

Methuen, MA

Josh leads by lifting up those around him. Always first to volunteer for any event, Josh was asked to serve as president of his Best Buddies group. Josh also plays golf with the New England Professional Golf Association.

Newark, DE

Cystic fibrosis may sap some of Nicole’s energy, but dancing has taught her resilience. She excels in her role as dance captain of the school musical, while pursuing her second passion—science. She plans to become a chemical engineer.

Salt Lake City, UT

A first-generation African refugee, Niyera’s determined to thrive. She helps care for her family and volunteers at two hospitals. Her heart is set on a medical career where she can give back to her refugee community.

Gray, GA

Shawn has learned to be self-sufficient. Through a work-based learning program, he scored a job at the chemical company BASF. Now he’s taking classes to get a jump start on college. Nothing will stop him.

Connersville, IN

Victor has a giving heart and is eager to help. Though he’s busy going to school, caring for his brothers, and playing football, Victor finds time to volunteer by helping kids from underprivileged homes.


Ardavia’s dedicated to her community and loves to volunteer. She’s a leader who spreads kindness. Her goal is to get a law degree and continue to help people. 


A talented painter with a creative mind, Simone turned to art to express herself when home wasn’t a safe place. She wants to make the world a better place and help people who face similar situations. 


Jenna shines at school and is an avid reader, winning several awards for her love of books. Her motivation to succeed is inspiring. She wants to go to college and study dental hygiene.  


When Essence lost her sister, she was determined to honor her by becoming the first in the family to go to college. She wants to combine her love of sports and health sciences by helping people as a chiropractor. 


Joe’s a natural leader at school. He inspires his peers to stand up for what they believe in and is a voice for those who don’t feel empowered. His mission is to help make a difference in the world. 


Doug is driven. He thrives in his community, in academics and as captain of his football team. He isn’t going to let anything stand in his way as he pursues a bachelor’s and master’s degree in finance. 


Thanh excels in academics, extracurriculars, and athletics, while juggling multiple jobs to support himself. He works hard every day to achieve his dream of college and working in health sciences. 


Kate has big dreams. She’s a top student, involved in tennis, marching band, musical theater, filmmaking, piano, dance, and community service projects. 


Damian consistently ranks as top of his class and is president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, Ensemble, and the Gospel Choir. Nothing will stand in his way.


Kylie is a member of student council, president of her local 4-H llama club, and plays the role of captain on her volleyball team. She dreams of becoming a teacher. 


Jobany’s an avid volunteer in his community, and president of his high school. Under Jobany’s leadership, his high school has become a significantly more welcoming community. 


Peter wants the best education possible, so he can one day support his family financially. He holds a 4.0 while participating in soccer, drumming, tutoring, and volunteer activities. 


Bryana believes in helping people—at home, in school, and in her community. She dreams of becoming a nurse. 


Quinton uses every extra moment to develop skills that might help him stand out to colleges. 


Kendal’s committed to entering the medical field to make a difference in people’s lives. 


After a devastating house fire, Kayla drew on her dedication and determination to keep going. 

More ways to get free money for school

Our free scholarship app, Scholly by Sallie helps you quickly and easily search for college scholarships. Students who register to use this free tool will be entered to win $2,000 for graduate school.footnote 1

Find scholarships for college



footnote 1. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Ends December 31, 2023. See Official Rules