Feature image of Torch Scholars Program

Now in its tenth year, the Torch Scholars Program began as a bold and innovative initiative and has become a unique tradition to Northeastern’s diverse growth. Torch provides students with the opportunity to explore their passions and expand their global horizons. Unparalleled in its support for first-generation students from diverse backgrounds, Torch is much more than a scholarship; it’s a model for access, retention, and achievement. We’ve established scholarship funds to support our Torch Scholars, which recruits first-generation students from low-income backgrounds and supports them with full scholarships and support services.


  • More than 450 students from around the country are nominated for the 10 Torch Scholarships given each year.
  • The five-year graduation rate for Torch Scholars is an outstanding 82% in comparison to the national six-year graduation rate of 48% for first-generation students.
  • Over 85% of the Torch graduates from the first five classes are either employed in their fields or accepted to graduate school within four months of graduation.
  • Scholars have provided over 32,000 hours of community service in the Boston area since the beginning of the Torch Program.
  • Greater than 50% of Torch Scholars have used their scholarship to study, co-op, or volunteer internationally.

If you’re a guidance counselor, teacher, mentor, clergy, or other community worker with a deserving student in mind, join the nomination process and connect us with tomorrow’s first-generation achievers. We’re here to help at any point in the application process.