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 What is 10,000 Degrees?

10,000 Degrees is a leading college support nonprofit in California that helps students from low-income backgrounds earn college degrees.

What does 10,000 Degrees mean by “low-income backgrounds”?

When applying to 10,000 Degrees, students must demonstrate financial need based on family or individual income, current living situation, or other factors.

Does 10,000 Degrees help students who know nothing about college?

10,000 Degrees is committed to help all students gain access and opportunity to higher education in order to realize their educational goals. In fact, 85% of 10,000 Degrees students are the first in their families to attend college.

Why the name 10,000 Degrees?

Initially, our goal was to help 10,000 students from low-income backgrounds get to and through college in every community we serve. Since renaming the organization in 2009 (formerly the Marin Education Fund), we have helped in excess of 25,000 students and their families gain access to higher education.

How long has 10,000 Degrees been around?

10,000 Degrees began as a scholarship-only organization in 1981, based in San Rafael, California. We now also have regional offices in seven counties throughout the Bay Area.

How does 10,000 Degrees help students?

Thanks to comprehensive personal support, college advising, and financial aid management, more than 80% of 10,000 Degrees four-year college students earn bachelor’s degrees, compared to 31% of their peers nationally.

Does 10,000 Degrees have a GPA requirement?

There is no GPA requirement to apply to 10,000 Degrees programs. 10,000 Degrees scholarships students, however, must maintain a 2.0 GPA.

Do students pay to get 10,000 Degrees support?

Students are not required to pay any fees to receive 10,000 Degrees support.

How does 10,000 Degrees get funding?

10,000 Degrees is a nonprofit organization that is funded by individual donors as well as foundations, and corporate sponsors. 10,000 Degrees also receives funding through contracts with local schools and districts as well as community colleges and four-year colleges. Please visit 10000degrees.org/join-us/give for more details.

Does 10,000 Degrees award scholarships?

10,000 Degrees awards the 10,000 Degrees Undergraduate Scholarships, many of which are renewable up to six years. 10,000 Degrees also administers dozens of other undergraduate scholarships. Please visit 10000degrees.org/scholarships for more details.

Does 10,000 Degrees help students with financial aid?

10,000 Degrees support staff work one-on-one and through school-wide initiatives with students and their families to secure the most available local, state, and federal funds available to them. In fact, by combining free financial aid, including grants and scholarships, 10,000 Degrees students take on 80% less loan debt than their peers nationally.

Does 10,000 Degrees help undocumented students?

10,000 Degrees proudly provides individualized support to help undocumented students achieve their dreams of earning college degrees.

How do I give money to 10,000 Degrees?

10,000 Degrees is a 501(3)(c) not-for-profit corporation (Tax ID# 95-3667812) and accepts direct donations as well as matching gifts, stock gifts, workplace giving, scholarships, and estate and legacy gifts. Please visit 10000degrees.org/join-us/give/for more details.

Can I create my own 10,000 Degrees scholarship fund?

Most donations to 10,000 Degrees are pooled to support students through our general scholarship fund in order to more effectively target high-need students and their communities. 10,000 Degrees also administers other scholarships established by community organizations to support specific students, communities, fields of study, and other interests. Please visit 10000degrees.org/scholarships for more details.

How do I volunteer at 10,000 Degrees?

10,000 Degrees volunteer corps currently stands more than 500 members strong, including high school and college peers as well as over 300 Academic Support volunteers who work with K-12 students to help with classwork and related studies. Please visit 10000degrees.org/volunteer for more details.

How do schools partner with 10,000 Degrees?

10,000 Degrees currently provides expertise, training, and related services for students and staff at local high schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges in the North Bay and beyond. Please visit 10000degrees.org/school-partners for more details.

How do non-school organizations partner with 10,000 Degrees?

Organizations, corporations, and other entities wishing to partner with 10,000 Degrees can do so in various ways, including volunteering, workshops, facilities, and institutional giving. Please 10000degrees.org/join-us for more details.

Does 10,000 Degrees have a Board of Directors?

Yes. For a list of current 10,000 Degrees Board of Directors as well as current Advisory Board Members in Marin and Sonoma Counties, please visit 10000degrees.org/board

What is a 10,000 Degrees Fellow?

10,000 Degrees Fellows are recent college graduates from low-income communities who help our students understand, navigate, and manage the entire College Success process and beyond. Please visit 10000degrees.org/fellows for more details.

Mission & Values

What is 10,000 Degrees?

10,000 Degrees is a leading college support nonprofit in California that helps students from low-income backgrounds earn college degrees.

What is the MISSION of 10,000 Degrees?

To help students from low-income backgrounds get to and through college in order to positively impact their communities and the world.

What is the VISION of 10,000 Degrees?

We envision a world in which all children have equitable opportunities to realize their potential, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background.

What are the VALUES of 10,000 Degrees?

Education is the foundation of a just and equitable society. Students and their families as well as schools and local leaders each play a critical role in educating the next generation and strengthening the economic vitality and social health of our communities.

Why does 10,000 Degrees believe in getting a college degree?

10,000 Degrees believes that graduating from a four-year college is the most effective means for our students to earn higher lifetime incomes, have better health outcomes, and enjoy fulfilling lives.

How is 10,000 Degrees able to help so many different students?

10,000 Degrees believes all students can succeed. That’s why we help students by relying on a “strength-based” approach to our work, which focuses on treating each and every student as a unique individual and leaning on their strengths to help them learn, grow, and achieve their academic goals.

What’s different about 10,000 Degrees student support staff?

10,000 Degrees student support staff are what we call “near-peer mentors” who have recently graduated from college and are from low-income backgrounds themselves. They are able to provide a deep understanding of the challenges facing our students and the many financial and personal resources available to help them realize their academic goals.

How can students be sure they won’t be judged unfairly?

10,000 Degrees believe each and every student has their own story to tell and has the capacity to learn and grow. We also understand that collaboration between students and staff helps build trust and develop new competencies. That’s why we don’t see “problems” but “challenges” we can overcome together.

Why does 10,000 Degrees not have a GPA requirement?

10,000 Degrees believes current GPA guidelines can misrepresent the potential of many students. That’s why there is no GPA requirement to apply to 10,000 Degrees programs. 10,000 Degrees scholarships students, however, must maintain a 2.0 GPA.


What is 10,000 Degrees?

10,000 Degrees® is the leading, equity-focused scholarship provider and college success nonprofit in California that supports students from low-income backgrounds to and through college.

Who is eligible for 10,000 Degrees scholarships?

The basic requirements for the 10,000 Degrees Undergraduate Scholarships are financial need and enrollment in pursuit of your first associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, teaching credential, or certification for a technical program. The enrollment minimum is 12 academic units. The majority of the scholarships we administer are available to students from the Bay Area regions we serve: Marin, Sonoma, San Francisco, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Napa counties.

Please read specific eligibility requirements for all scholarships.

How do I apply for the 10,000 Degrees Undergraduate Scholarships?

The application is available online each year on October 15th. All applications must be submitted online. Visit 10000degrees.org/scholarships.

What is the deadline for the 10,000 Degrees Undergraduate Scholarships?

The priority deadline for applications to be submitted each year is March 2nd. The application will be open until all scholarship funds are distributed. All supplemental materials must be uploaded to the online application or postmarked on the same date as your submission. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. It is your responsibility to respond to all requests for information in a timely manner.

How much money can I receive?

Scholarship awards can be up to $1,500 per student per academic year. Individual amounts at, above, or below that amount depend on specific scholarship guidelines, student financial need, and school attending or will attend.

How are scholarship awards determined?

Because overall funding is limited, all scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis, including meeting eligibility requirements, financial need, and personal statements. Renewal applicants must reapply to our scholarship and must demonstrate continued financial need and academic progress. must demonstrate continued financial need and academic progress.

Which colleges and universities are eligible?

Eligible colleges and universities must be accredited through an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and participate in the Title IX federal student aid program.

Are part-time students eligible?

Students must be enrolled in at least 12 units per semester or term during the current academic year.

What if a student needs to drop a class or reduce enrollment?

If a student must drop below 12 units per semester or term, s/he must contact 10,000 Degrees immediately as it may affect eligibility in the future.

How, when, and where do students get their checks?

If awarded a scholarship from 10,000 Degrees, students must fill out and submit additional documents each year by October 15th. Fall awards (half of total award) will then be mailed to the student address on file and made payable directly to the student. To receive spring awards, students must submit their Fall grades and Spring schedules.

How are colleges notified of awarded scholarships?

IMPORTANT: It is the responsibility of the student to notify the school’s financial aid office when they have been awarded a 10,000 Degrees scholarship.

Can scholarships be renewed each year?

Many scholarships are renewable for up to four years or more. Please check with 10,000 Degrees to determine if a specific scholarship is renewable.

How do students renew their scholarships?

All students must reapply every year to scholarships that are renewable.


What is 10,000 Degrees?

10,000 Degrees is a leading college support nonprofit in California that helps students from low-income backgrounds earn college degrees. We firmly believe in supporting students in reaching their full potential regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, documentation status, or socioeconomic background.

What is the 10,000 Degrees Summer Intensive?

The 10,000 Degrees Summer Intensive is a *FREE* stay on a local college campus where high school students get to explore what life is like for a college student through a series of workshops and cohort bonding activities.

When is this year’s Summer Intensive?

The year’s Summer Intensive will take place between July 13th and July 27th

Who’s eligible for the Summer Intensive?

Students must be current high school juniors who will be seniors next fall. Students must either live in or attend high school in Marin County. If a student lives in Sonoma County, they must attend one of the following high schools: Sonoma Valley, Hanna Boys Center, Casa Grande, Petaluma, Piner, Elsie Allen, or Healdsburg. Students must also demonstrate financial need.

How much does it cost to sign up for the Summer Intensive and 10,000 Degrees?

Nothing! Summer Intensive and 10,000 Degrees support are both completely *FREE*!

Is there a GPA requirement to apply?


How do students “demonstrate financial need?”

Students (with the help of their parents) must demonstrate financial need by completing and submitting Part IV of the attached application.

Can students participate in other “college access” programs at the same time?

If a student is currently enrolled in another college access program, that student will not be eligible for the 10,000 Degrees Institute.

When’s the due date for the Summer Intensive application?

The 10,000 Degrees application is due February 15 – there are no exceptions.

Do students need to complete the entire application?

Yes. Incomplete applications will not be accepted – there are no exceptions.

What happens after the Summer Intensive?

Students receive *FREE* year-round individualized support during senior year, continuing through college graduation. This includes help with college applications, financial aid, and scholarships. Students are expected to attend weekly meeting where they focus on matriculation steps.