ALA Scholarship Program


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The American Library Association (ALA) is committed to promoting and advancing the librarian profession. To demonstrate this commitment, the ALA and its units provide more than $300,000 annually for study in a master's degree in library and information studies from an ALA accredited program, or for a master's degree with a specialty in school librarianship that meets the ALA curriculum guidelines for a Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredited unit. See the ALA Office of Accreditation's website for a list of ALA-Accredited programs. See the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) website for the list of Nationally Recognized CAEP/AASL Reviewed & Approved School Librarianship Education Programs.

You can apply for a variety of scholarships through the single online application hosted by the ALA Scholarship Program.  Review the following pages for more information on special areas of support or individual scholarship guidelines and benefits:

The scholarship process is open annually from September 1st - March 1st. Applications and reference forms (which must be submitted on-line) are available during that time period. Instructions and general information remain available year round.

Before starting, read the ALA Scholarship FAQ and carefully review the requirements in each category for the scholarships to which you are applying. Then complete the online application. PLEASE NOTE: It is only necessary to complete ONE online application regardless of the number of scholarships you apply for. You may apply for as many scholarships as you are eligible for by checking the appropriate boxes on the application form.

The following items are required for all scholarship applications. Be sure to check the requirements of the specific scholarship for which you are applying because you may need to mail additional documents.

  1. Required. Completed online application (which includes a personal statement).
  2. Required. Completed references (only references on the official online form will be accepted).  A total of three references must be submitted. You will be prompted to indicate your professional references within the online application.
  3. Required. Official academic transcripts from institutions where you received your bachelors degree and from institutions where you are currently enrolled in a MLIS program. These can be submitted directly from the institution, or mailed in the unopened envelope as received from the degree-granting institutions along with any other materials you may need to submit. Only official (sealed) copies will be accepted. Electronic transcripts will not be considered. Transcripts are to be received on or before March 1st. 
  4. Required.  The completed online application, personal statement,  and three references must be received in the ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse by March 1st  to be considered. 

The mailing address is:

ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse
225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601


Note: The completion of the application is the responsibility of the applicant.

Three major factors are considered in awarding these scholarships:
a) academic excellence;
b) leadership; and
c) evidence of commitment to a career in librarianship.

If you have questions or concerns about the application process, please contact the ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse at 1-800-545-2433 ext. 4279 or

Recipients will be contacted by phone after June 1 st.   All other applicants will be notified by e-mail after July 1 st.

PLEASE NOTE: The scholarship application and the reference forms are both online submissions. The scholarship application and reference forms are available until March 1 st