Lutheran Family Services has received a $3,000,000 gift to establish the Coyner and Donna Smith Diversity Scholarship Fund to provide a college education for graduating high school seniors from low-income, minority families who are residents of Nebraska.

$25,000 scholarships will be awarded toward funding the recipients college education regardless of where they have been accepted and are renewable for four years. The selection committee intends to fund at least five students in its first year. Students who are interested in trade or vocational schools are also eligible to apply. Trade school applicants will receive $12,500, or one-half of the $25,000 grant, renewable for two years.

Student must be entering freshmen year in the 2021-22 academic year and graduating from high school or obtaining GED in 2020-2021 academic year.


  • Be a resident of Nebraska at time of graduation
  • Show financial need  *Financial need is defined as a low-income family whose household annual income is less than $65,000 annually
  • Preference will be given to applicants from disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds that do not identify as Caucasian

Application Deadline: December 15, 2020 by 11:59pm Central Time

Scholarship recipients will be notified of award in Mid-February.

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Is there a fee to apply?
Who do I contact if I have questions about the application?
Where does funding for the Smith Diversity Scholarship come from?
When is the deadline for submitting applications?
I missed the deadline. Can I still apply?
I am a home-schooled student, can I apply?
Is there a minimum SAT or ACT score requirement?
Is there a minimum Grade Point Average requirement?
I’ve already received my GED/Diploma; do I qualify?
What academic and financial information will need to be provided?
Is this Scholarship renewable?
Which school should I list on the application if I have not made a final decision?
Is there an income limit?
Do I have to be a United States citizen to apply for a scholarship?
Am I required to submit proof of NE residency?
When are the winners notified? Are applicants who have not won also notified?
If I am awarded a Smith Diversity Scholarship, how will I receive my money?
Can I use a Smith Diversity Scholarship at any college and for any major?
If I am awarded other scholarships or financial aid, does it affect my eligibility for the Smith Diversity Scholarship?