Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program

The Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholars Program provides financial support, leadership development experiences, and service opportunities for students with demonstrated financial need, strong academic potential, and interest in and commitment to community service. The program seeks to develop community and global leaders through leadership development and service experiences during the academic year and provides an opportunity to travel to South Africa during the summer to engage in service and leadership experiences.

The Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholarship Program is for students who demonstrate both academic merit, commitment to service, and financial need. To be eligible for selection as an Oprah Winfrey Scholar, students must have:

  • A minimum High School GPA of 3.2 or 3.0 Morehouse College GPA
  • A combined SAT of 1200 or ACT of 26
  • A demonstrated commitment to service, and
  • An EFC (expected family contribution) of $5,000 or less.

The specific service requirements of program participation will change each year with an expectation that, during their matriculation at Morehouse College, students will serve as mentors for middle and high school students, serve as implementers of a leadership program at a local middle and high school, and participate in other service activities with Oprah Scholars. Additionally, scholars must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and complete 15 credit hours each semester. Fulfilling program participation requirements is necessary to maintain the scholarship.

How to Apply

Each spring the Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program Office solicits applications from eligible incoming freshmen and students who meet the eligibility criteria. New scholars are selected by May of each year to begin participation in the fall.

Oprah's Legacy

Oprah Winfrey’s history of giving in support of Morehouse students began in 1989 with a $1 million contribution made during commencement exercises that established the Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholarship Fund. Subsequent gifts made between 1989 and 2007 were added to the corpus of the Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholarship Fund, resulting in a total gift amount of $12 million.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program, Ms. Winfrey visited Morehouse College on October 7, 2019. Ms. Winfrey’s day at Morehouse featured time with the 48 Oprah Winfrey Scholars, a luncheon featuring presentations by the scholars and President David A. Thomas, an unveiling of her portrait in the Massey Leadership Center, and a “fireside chat” with President Thomas. Please see a short video of Ms. Winfrey’s time with her scholars here.

Ms. Winfrey shared that she gave to Morehouse in 1989 because she believes that “the College has a ‘moral core’ and mission to develop servant leaders focused on excellence—something that is similar to the teachings she learned as a child.” The Oprah Winfrey Scholars Program has funded the educations of almost 600 scholars.

During her visit, Ms. Winfrey announced plans to donate an additional $13 million to support and expand the program. Winfrey’s $25 million gift is the largest endowment in the history of the College. In announcing her generous gift, Ms. Winfrey shared, "I was really surprised to learn that it's been 30 years since I made that $12 million donation to Morehouse, so today, I'd like to add $13 million to that."

Program Leadership

Jann H. Adams, Ph.D.
Director, Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholarships Program
Lead Director, Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership

Advisory Board 2020-2021
  • Harold Bennett, Associate Professor of Religion
  • Uzee Brown, Division Chair, Creative and Performing Arts
  • Leah Creque, Professor of English
  • Terrence Dixon, Vice President of Enrollment Management
  • Monique Dozier, Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer
  • Juliet Elu, Division Chair, Business Administration and Economics
  • Micah J. Holmes, Business Administration Major, Class of 2020
  • Kipton Jensen, Associate Professor of Philosophy; Director, Leadership Studies Program, AYCGL
  • Belinda Johnson-White, Associate Professor of Business Administration
  • Frederick Knight, Associate Professor of History; Director, Institute for Research, Civic Engagement, and Policy, AYCGL
  • Jaylen D. Lowe, Psychology Major, Class of 2021
  • Emannuel Onifade, Professor of Business Administration
  • David Wall Rice, Professor of Psychology; Director, Institute for Social Justice Inquiry and Praxis, AYCGL
  • Wallace Sharif, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Ruihua Shen, Professor of Chinese Studies; Director, Office of International Education, AYCGL
  • Levar Smith, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Ulrica Wilson, Associate Professor of Mathematics; Director, James King, Jr. Institute for Student Engagement and RISE Program
  • Sinead Younge, Professor of Psychology