Portland Housing Authority Scholarship

The PHA Scholarship is open to residents of Portland Housing Authority Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher participants. 

Funding for the scholarship is provided by annual contributions from the Portland Housing Service Corporation as well as grants, donations, and commitments from foundations and private donors. 

The PHA Scholarship is due May 15th each year. 

Contact Resident Services if you have any questions or would like a copy of the application mailed to you. 


The number of awards and amount shall be determined by the Scholarship Committee and limited to the amount of funds available for distribution. Annual scholarships have generally ranged between $1,000 and $2,500 per student and may exceed that range dependent on the number of qualified applicants and funding availability. Awards will be paid directly to the student, in full, at the start of the fall semester.


  • Applicants must be current residents on the lease for Portland Housing Authority Public Housing / HCV Section 8 / Low Income / Subsidized Housing.
  • Applicants must be pursuing higher education through an accredited college, university, trade school or program during the 2023-2024 academic year. 
  • Applicants can demonstrate financial need in order to attend such an institution.
  • Applicant can demonstrate community engagement through volunteer work or involvement at school or in the community.

Application Process

(see detailed instructions on Page 8 and contact us if you have trouble getting any required information)

    1. Complete the attached application form. 
      1. Please type answers when possible  
    2. Provide verification of acceptance or enrollment to your academic institution. 
    3. Submit a typed essay around a page long answering the following questions: 
      1. What is the importance of higher education to you and/or what motivates you to succeed in school? 
      2. What are your challenges to succeeding in higher education? 
      3. Should you receive an award, how will you use the funds to meet those challenges? Since we do not restrict the scholarship to paying tuition, we want to know how you intend to use the money and how that will help you succeed. 
    4. Two letters of recommendation in sealed and signed envelopes or sent directly to the committee by the reference: 
      1. Academic reference form on Page 5 completed by a Teacher, Guidance Counselor, or Academic Advisor. 
      2. Personal reference from a non-relative confirming participation and/or volunteer involvement either at school or within the community on organizational letterhead.
    5. Unofficial Transcript of grades from high school or academic institution presently attending.
2015 PHA Scholarship awardees and the selection committee members