Our Story

The Foundation for Global Scholars (FGS) was established in 2006. Founders Cynthia Banks and Shelia Houston knew firsthand the value of study abroad and international perspective and understood that very few (less than 2%) of American college students studied abroad. Their vision was to open doors for as many college students as possible to have international study opportunities and become globally minded citizens. Study abroad typically creates an increased financial burden on students, so Banks and Houston created a foundation to mitigate the incremental costs of study abroad programs through scholarship support.

In supporting hundreds of young adults annually since 2006 with services, experiences and resources, we’ve identified and recognized global leaders and created real community change on a global level. Through our nationally recognized scholarships and our changemaker awards, Foundation for Global Scholars attracts the attention of tens of thousands of rising undergraduates and graduate students in all 50 states at many of the finest colleges and universities.

Our Impact

Since 2006, we have awarded over $1.75 million in financial assistance and supported over 1700 outstanding students from more than 300 colleges and universities, raised awareness of international education, and gathered a community who are creating solutions to global challenges.

Our Targets

60% of our total annual funding is allocated for students and areas underrepresented in education abroad programs, including:

  • Students receiving the PELL Grant
  • Students of ethnically diverse backgrounds
  • Students studying at Colorado institutions
  • Student military veterans
  • First generation college students

Our Selection Process

Our competitive and streamlined application process ensures that donor investments are best placed and that the application process is user-friendly. The standard FGS Scholarship awards are valued $2000.

How We Are Different

FGS provide resources, experiences and financial support for college students and recent alumni to develop into global leaders and inspire a community of changemakers. We do this by providing successful applicants to our programs with funds to support a study abroad program, a 12- week academically accredited course that provides cultural competence and international project skills, and funds for student-led project that tackles a global challenge, e.g. health care, education, social change, and environmental and social justice, to name a few examples.

The FGS is an independent scholarship provider. Students from any US college or university, from undergraduate degrees through professional degrees, may apply for scholarship assistance. In this way, we are different from almost all other scholarship providers. Further, FGS offers flexibility to individual students with individual purposes.