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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 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.