Rotary International is an organization that involves leaders in finding solutions to community problems and global needs. Founded in 1905, the Rotary Club engages in fundraising and active community service. Funds raised have been used to tackle worldwide issues such as the polio epidemic in Nigeria or farming efforts in Cameroon. The Rotary foundation funds scholarships for undergraduate and graduate education. Local chapters administer district grants and the national organization provides global grant awards, packaged scholarships and peace fellowships to provide access to post-secondary education.

Peace Fellowships

If your passion is to study abroad at the graduate or professional level, consider applying for a Rotary Peace Fellowship. This scholarship provides full funding for selected students to work on governmental peace issues at a Rotary Peace Center. Graduate fellowships are 14 to 24 months long and include a two- to three-month fellowship. If you’re seeking a professional development opportunity, you can apply for a fellowship at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and spend three months in a peace-related program. You’ll need a local club to sponsor your application before applying to the international organization. Begin the process online, but start early. The application deadline is July 1.

Global Grant Scholarships

Global grant scholarships are available for graduate students with a research interest aligned with one of Rotary’s areas of focus: fighting disease, providing clean water, promoting peace, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies. If you're selected, you can receive full funding for your educational expenses, including international travel and support for a humanitarian project. The application process begins by seeking sponsorship from a district chapter. The deadline is July 1, so seek local support as early as possible. One application per district is submitted for funding from the world fund each year.

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Packaged Grant Scholarships

The Rotary Foundation offers packaged grants for graduate students studying water and sanitation or nursing and midwifery. If you’ve been admitted to the UNESCO_IHE Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands, you can apply for one of eight packaged grant scholarships. Inquire at the institute for application information. Similarly, if you plan to study nursing and midwifery at Aga Khan University in East Africa, you can apply to the Rotary District 9200 for a two-year scholarship.

District Grant Scholarships

Local Rotary Districts provide educational scholarships for students enrolled in secondary, post-secondary and graduate schools. You can even apply for a grant to cover specialized education program such as a language course or professional training program. Grant recipients may receive specialized mentoring or support from local Rotarians. Contact the club in your district for specific information on application requirements and deadlines.

About the Author

Dr. Kelly Meier earned her doctorate from Minnesota State Mankato in Educational Leadership. She is the author and co-author of 12 books and serves as a consultant in K-12 and higher education. She has worked in education for more than 30 years and serves as a faculty member and college administrator in Minnesota.