The Mensa Foundation Scholarship

Learn about eligibility requirements for the Mensa Educationa and Research Foundation. This organization offers scholarships locally which are the least competitive (compared to national scholarships) with decent cash awards. Find out about deadlines and application rules in this post!

The Mensa Education and Research Foundation was established in 1971 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) company that offers scholarships at varying amounts to eligible students. They provide international scholarships, scholarships to Mensa members and general US scholarships with an extensive judging process. The scholarship itself is fairly simple, just an essay 550 words or less detailing your career, academic and/or vocational goals and how you plan on achieving them. The scholarship program runs through September 15 to January 15 annually with the application only available during these periods. In order to participate, you’ll need to reside in one of the American Mensa Local Group’s area. A list can be found at their website. As far as the extensive judging process for the US scholarship, your essay has to go through three tiers of evaluating (Local, Regional and National) with a winner announced at each level.

Application Process

The eligibility requirements include students who are planning to enroll at an accredited institution and also live in the geographic area of a participating Local Group. The application is only available during the scholarship period and once completed, must be sent to a Local Group for judging. The scholarship amounts can range from $300 to $1,000 depending on how far your essay went in the judging process. Generally, the award structure looks like this: National winners: $1,000; Regional winners: $500; and Local winners: $300, though amounts could be higher or lower depending on availability of funds. In total the Mensa Education and Research Foundation gives away approximately $60,000 each year in scholarships to eligible students. Since the essay is real short, being as descriptive as possible and even a little entertaining might give you an edge over the competition.

About the Mensa Education and Research Foundation

With the aid of 400 volunteers across the nation, the Mensa Education and Research Foundation provides educational activities, offers national and international awards, publishes the Mensa Research Journal, has a site dedicated to kids and offers scholarships to recognize those who have great potential in research, education and practical achievement. They are focused on “the pursuit of excellence in intelligence” and offer programs like the AG youth Program which provides family friendly activities for kids ages 4-12, the Excellence in Reading Program, a list of suggested books organized by grade level to promote reading; and TeenSIG (Special Interest Group) which is a program dedicated to teens. Finding local scholarships may give you a greater chance at winning as typically the competition isn’t as high as national programs. There are more groups like the Mensa Foundation that provide scholarships at the local level which should be sought after if really in need of a scholarship.


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