At several different American colleges and universities, a Bill Cosby scholarship exists to help students in need of financial aid pursue a collegiate level education. While the Cosby scholarships are university-specific (meaning that you can't apply for a Cosby scholarship unless you will attend a certain college or university), all of the Cosby scholarships are need-based. This means that college students in need of financial assistance will receive these scholarships.
Schools with Bill Cosby Scholarships
The particular schools that offer Cosby scholarships administer them through the Financial Aid Office. While many college scholarships are administered by the organization offering the scholarship, there is no central place to apply for a Cosby scholarship. You simply apply for this scholarship alongside the others you apply for through the Financial Aid Office at your college or university.
Temple University Cosby Scholarships
At Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, there are two different opportunities for students to receive a scholarship funded by the Cosby family. Both scholarships are for students who are studying or intend to study a science at Temple University. The first scholarship is called the Camille and Bill Cosby Scholarship, which is offered to a student in the junior year studying natural sciences. Two scholarships are offered each year in the amount of $3,500, and the scholarships are renewable for one year (the senior year), assuming that the student remains in good academic standing and keeps his or her GPA above a certain level.
A second Cosby scholarship at Temple is one that is designed for entering students intending to study science. Scholarships are given to female students who attended one of four private high schools in Philadelphia. The scholarship is for $2,400 annually, and no application is required. Recommendations come from the high schools to the university's Natural Sciences department.
Berklee Music Online Cosby Scholarships
Berklee Music offers online degrees in music. In addition to offering a unique, online studying opportunity, this school offers several different celebrity-sponsored scholarships. While most of these scholarships are from musicians, songwriters and composers, Bill Cosby has also become one of the celebrity sponsors for this award. Recipients of these awards receive $1,250 towards earning their online degree from Berklee Music.
In addition to these recognized scholarships, Cosby has often donated large sums of money to universities, primarily with the intention of offering the money to students who need assistance covering college costs.
For example, Cosby donated 20 million dollars to Spelman College in 1989. More recently, he donated the proceedings of a performance to the University of Massuchusetts (where he earned both his Master's and his Doctorate in Education); his goal was not only to help with college tuition costs, but also that students who received the scholarship money would, in turn, agree to teach in underprivileged regions for a few years following college graduation. For these donations, and for the philosophy behind them, Cosby received the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award.
While these Cosby scholarships are often missing from scholarship lists, they are valuable scholarships to receive. Even though none of these scholarships represent a "free ride" through college, all of them make considerable contributions to the cost of a college education. If you combine these scholarships with a handful of other earned scholarships, you can make a considerable dent in your education costs, cut them in half, or even go to school entirely on scholarship money. It all depends on the costs at your school and how many scholarships you apply for and receive.