Feature image of Torch Scholars Program

Torch Scholars have the power to change the world. The Torch Scholars Program has the power to change lives. Torch provides scholarship funds, resources, and connections for a diverse group of students to explore their passions and expand their global horizons. More than a program about access and retention, we expect Torch Scholars to become campus and community leaders. Now in its fourteenth year, Torch recruits talented first-generation students from low-income backgrounds across the country who are overcoming adversity, have a drive to succeed, and a commitment to their education.


  • More than 400 students from around the country are nominated for up to 13 Torch Scholarships each year.
  • The five-year graduation rate for Torch Scholars is an outstanding 84% in comparison to the national six-year graduation rate of 48% for first-generation students.
  • Over 86% of the Torch graduates from the first nine classes are either employed in their fields or accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation.
  • Scholars have provided over 45,000 hours of community service in the Boston area since the beginning of the Torch Program.
  • Greater than 70% 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, please nominate a student and connect us with tomorrow’s first-generation achievers. We’re here to help at any point in the application process.