Become a Nina Scholar

Nina Scholars

student testimonials

Ray C., 2017 
Degree: Bachelor of Science, Business (Communication)
WP Carey School of Business

"Pursuing a post-secondary education at a university was always a dream. However, with their support and resources, the Nina Mason Pulliam Scholarship made that dream a reality."

Patrick A., 2016
Degree: Bachelor of Social Work, Social Work
Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions

“Because of the generosity of the Nina Scholars Program, I was extremely grateful to not feel the added pressure of financial burden. The staff was always helpful and available to answer questions, so I can focus on my classes.”

Molly L., 2018
Degree: Bachelor of Science, Family & Human Development
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

 "I was on a dedicated track through college.  My dreams became real through the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program."

The ASU Nina Scholars application is for students who will enroll at Arizona State University in the fall. The application deadline is March 1st. 


  • Up to six-year need-based financial award for undergraduate program
  • Nina Scholars staff provide guided support and individual mentorship
  • Office and study space for scholars
  • Nina course for new cohorts
  • Participation in Nina Scholars exclusive student success workshops and social events
  • Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions staff support
  • Establish a sense of community with Nina peers

Criteria to Apply

Please carefully read through these requirements before you apply to make sure that you are eligible.

Available to individuals meeting at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Adults who have (a) dependent(s) in their household
  • Adults with a physical disability
  • Adults, ages 18 – 25, who have experienced foster care or been disconnected from their parents or primary caregiver and are responsible for their own financial support

Applicants must also meet all of the following requirements:

  • Must have applied to ASU for admission (at Downtown Phoenix, Polytechnic, Tempe, or West) for full-time enrollment before applying for this scholarship 
  • Be a U.S. citizen and resident of Arizona 
  • Be working toward your first college degree 
  • Have previously completed no more than 24 college-level, degree-applicable credits (e.g. entering or current freshman; NOT upper division students)
  • Demonstrate financial need, as determined by FAFSA

Eligibility Definitions & Suggested Documents

Foster Care or Disconnected from ParentsFor the purposes of this scholarship program, this is described as the public-supported system that serves neglected, abused, abandoned, at-risk children and/or those who are wards of the courts. A person who has experienced time in the child welfare system may have lived in an institution such as a group home, child protection agency, or special facility for children, and/or with a foster family. This applies particularly to those persons who were raised away from their biological parents or relative caregivers for extended periods of time, were financially supported by sources other than their families, and are presently responsible for themselves financially. This does not include applicants who are adopted, regardless of former participation in the child welfare system. This also does not include applicants and/or their biological parents receiving TANF, food stamps, or other state aid such as AHCCCS.letter from the State of Arizona indicating assignment into the state child welfare system
Physical DisabilityA physical disability for the purposes of this scholarship program is one that limits or impairs a person's ability to access and/or be fully mobile on campus, and/or creates a special challenge for classroom instruction, tutoring, student support services, participation in campus offerings, and other academic and extracurricular activities. This includes disabilities that substantially limit major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, writing and working. These disabilities may be results of, but not limited to, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, speech impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, loss of limbs, and severe orthopedic injuries. Applicants are to provide official documentation of their physical disability from a medical or health care provider.medical document indicating physical disability type
Adults with DependentsThese are adults who are 25 years of age or older and have dependents in their family units (self not included). These adults may be first-time college students or returning students (those with previous college experience). The family unit may include relatives or other persons who may live in or outside the applicant's household for whom the Internal Revenue Service has determined there is a financially dependent relationship.IRS 1040 copy or similar listing dependent relationships

Application Process

Application Checklist

  1. Must have applied to ASU for admission before applying for this scholarship
  2. Filed FAFSA with ASU Financial Aid Office by the priority date of March 1st 
  3. Apply online to the Nina Scholars program from the the ASU Scholarship website by March 1st
    • Includes submission of a scholarship essay
    • Includes submission of documentation/proof of qualifying criteria 
    • Includes submitting email requests for 2 – 4 online applicant recommendation letters from faculty/instructor who can assess the student's academic performance (apply early; give recommenders enough notice to submit recommendations)
  4. Send official copies of all academic transcripts to the ASU Nina Scholars office (unofficial ASU transcripts are permitted) to: 

ASU Nina Scholars Program
Mail Code 3520   
411 North Central Avenue, Suite 750   
Phoenix, AZ 85004-2163

  • All materials listed above submitted no later than due date listed 

Application Timeline 

  • December 1st: Online applications accepted for regular applicants
  • March 1st: Complete Nina application, as listed above, is due (applications submitted after will not be reviewed)
  • Early April: Selection Committee will meet to choose candidates for an interview. Candidates will be contacted in order to arrange a specific time and date for the interview.
  • Mid April: Candidates will interview with Selection Committee
  • May: Candidates selected for the scholarship will be notified

Passport Scholar Applicants

Passport scholar applicants are Nina Scholars currently enrolled within the Maricopa County Community College District. Requirements and timeline for the ASU Nina Scholars Passport application differs. Contact the Maricopa Nina Scholars program for more information on how to apply as a Passport applicant.