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The application program will be available again in October. Please return then to view the updated Eligibility and Awards for the upcoming academic year! If you are an applicant who would like to discover more scholarship opportunities you might qualify for, please continue to the Scholarship America Hub and sign up!

Catch a Break! Scholarship Program
Application status: Closed

Catch a Break! has established a renewable scholarship program to assist high school seniors or graduates residing in Minnesota who plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study for the first time at an accredited public four-year college or university in Minnesota. Students must demonstrate financial need to be eligible.

This program is administered by Scholarship America┬«, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or disability.

Applicants of the Catch a Break! Scholarship Program must:

  • Be current high school seniors or graduates, ages 21 and under
  • Be United States citizens and residents of Minnesota
  • Be accepted for enrollment for the first time in full-time undergraduate studies at an accredited public four-year college or university in Minnesota for the entire 2020-2021 academic year
  • Live on campus for the first year of undergraduate studies
  • Have a minimum composite ACT score of 24 or higher
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent)

Recipients of the scholarship are not permitted to work during their freshman year of college.

Award information:

  • If selected as a recipient, the student will receive an award of up to $11,000
  • Awards are considered ‘last dollar in’ and will be based on the annual comprehensive cost of attendance of school choice as determined by College Board less other gift aid
  • Awards are renewable for up to three additional years or until a bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever occurs first
  • Renewal is contingent upon maintaining a satisfactory academic performance of 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale in the freshman year
  • After the first year, students must achieve either a 3.0 GPA each semester or maintain a Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in a full-time undergraduate course of study
  • A school change may result in an award adjustment or forfeiture
  • Recipients are required to meet with a Catch a Break! mentor up to twice a year, each year they receive the award; recipients must also participate in group Catch a Break! meetings up to twice a year
  • Recipients of the scholarship are not permitted to work during their freshman year of college
  • Awards are for undergraduate study only


Applicants will be notified in late-May/early-June. Not all applicants to the program will be selected as recipients.

Payment of Scholarships

Scholarship America processes Catch a Break! scholarship payments in two installments in early August and January.

Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of:

  • Academic record
  • Work experience and/or home responsibilities
  • Demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities
  • Honors
  • Statement of career and educational goals and aspirations
  • Unusual personal or family circumstances
  • Essay*

Financial need as calculated by Scholarship America must be demonstrated for the student to receive an award.

Selection of finalists is made by Scholarship America. A selection committee will interview finalists and select recipients. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.

*Essay Question

Each applicant will be required to submit an essay on the topic of: Describe some significant challenges in your life. How have you addressed them and changed as a result? Tell us your story.

As part of your application, you must upload the following documents:

  1. Current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Unofficial or online transcripts must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course, and term in which each course was taken
  2. Copy of the first two pages of the most recently filed IRS Form 1040 used for the Financial Information Page
  3. A completed High School Transcript Form (click to view and print the form). High schools students only

Also as part of your application, three recommendations must be completed on your behalf by 3:00 p.m. CT on March 20, 2020.

Your application is not complete unless all required documents are submitted electronically.

Catch a Break! has partnered with Scholarship America. Select the button below to be directed to the Scholarship America Student Hub!