Higher Education Scholarships
Since 2001 the Foundation has focused on making a positive impact in the lives of bookstore employees by offering higher education scholarships based on financial need, academic performance and community involvement. Scholarships have been awarded to bookstore employees and their dependents for full-or part-time study at any accredited institution in the United States.
Over $1.9 million has been awarded to help defray the costs of higher education for more than 680 individuals. These booksellers and their family members received scholarship awards to help them achieve dreams of becoming educators, writers, engineers, doctors and more.
The Application Period is Now Closed for Higher Ed Scholarships
Changes to the 2019 Scholarship Program
The 2019 Binc Higher Education Scholarship Program reflects a change in eligibility requirements from previous years (booksellers themselves are now only eligible for the Karl Pohrt Memorial Scholarship). This change in eligibility realigns the scholarship program with Binc’s mission to strengthen the book industry and support career booksellers and their families.
Now, only booksellers’ dependents and spouses/partners are eligible for the (7) seven higher education scholarships. The bookseller themselves must be currently employed at a brick and mortar bookstore and have been employed there for at least 90 days for their family members to be eligible.
Booksellers themselves are still eligible for the Karl Pohrt Tribute Award.
Awards will be given as follows:
- Seven (7) awards of $3,500 each to the dependents or spouses/partners of booksellers
- One (1) Karl Pohrt Tribute Award of $5,000 will be awarded to an independent bookseller who has overcome learning adversity or is a non-traditional student.
Applicants to the Binc Scholarship Program must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be high school seniors or graduates or be current postsecondary undergraduates or graduate level students.
- Plan to enroll in full- or part-time undergraduate or graduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school for at least half of the upcoming academic year.
In addition to the requirements above, all applicants to the Binc Scholarship Program must be one of the following:
- Dependents* of former full- or part-time Borders Group who were employed with Borders Group at any point during the 2011 calendar year and who had a minimum of one year employment with the company.
- Dependents* of current employees and owners of retail bookstores in the U.S. who have a minimum of 90 days of continuous employment at the bookstore. The bookstore must have a brick and mortar presence in the U.S. and be owned by an entity deriving a substantial portion of its revenue from the sale of physical books. Employees must be employed directly by the bookstore at the time employment is verified. This includes Regional Trade Association employees and dependents.
Applicants for the Karl Pohrt Scholarship must meet all of the following criteria:
- Current employees and owners of independent retail bookstores in the U.S. who are non-traditional students or who have overcome learning adversity. The employee must have a minimum of 90 days of continuous employment at the bookstore. The bookstore must have a brick and mortar presence in the U.S. and be owned by an entity deriving a substantial portion of its revenue from the sale of physical books. Employees must be employed directly by the bookstore at the time employment is verified. This includes Regional Trade Association employees and dependents.
*Dependents include children aged 25 and under, spouses, and qualified same-sex partners.
Scholarship Management Services (SMS) will again conduct the 2020 scholarship program. The evaluation process will utilize selection criteria including: financial need, prior academic achievement and leadership capabilities (including participation in school and community activities) work experience and a statement of career and educational goals and objectives, and unusual personal or family circumstances.
Eligible students interested in applying are encouraged to visit https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/binc/ for full details.
Past Higher Education Scholarship winners
Professional Development Scholarships
The Foundation believes that the future of healthy bookstores lies in the continuing education of the owners and employees. To encourage further business development and growth, the Foundation offers scholarships for the following professional events and certificate programs.
The Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship will be given annually to a single bookseller with fewer than five years of experience. The bookseller will be given a scholarship for professional development, including attendance at a key industry trade show, one of Carla’s favorite activities. The bookseller will have the opportunity to connect with booksellers, publishers, and authors and to establish the kind of long-term relationships Carla held dear and that keep this business thriving. The bookseller will also be given a stipend to support a community outreach project of his/her own creation. This scholarship and its recipients will celebrate and honor Carla’s boundless enthusiasm for the books themselves, her delight in pairing the right book with the right reader, and her faith in the bookselling community.
Carla Gray believed that books could change people and that people change the world. This memorial fund in her honor connects on both fronts, at the intersection of books and activism.
Denver Publishing Institute Scholarship
In early 2019 The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, in collaboration with Sourcebooks and the Denver Publishing Institute, announced a new scholarship opportunity for current booksellers interested in exploring a career in the publishing side of the industry. Applications for the scholarship, worth up to $7000, to attend the Denver Publishing Institute are being accepted from December 15th, 2018 through February 27th, 2019. This scholarship includes tuition, meal plan, housing, and up to $2000 to cover travel and lost wages.
New in 2017, the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship aims to strengthen the industry by encouraging a greater number of individuals from underrepresented groups to choose and/or continue careers in bookselling. This scholarship will allow up to one bookseller to attend each of the fall regional trade shows.
Scholarships to help cover room, meals and travel expenses are provided by the Foundation.
Selected in partnership with the American Booksellers Association, the Binc Foundation will offer scholarships to cover room, meals and travel expenses to Children’s Institute. The scholarship winners are selected by the ABA. The current ABA rules and regulations apply for these selections.
In conjunction with the American Booksellers Association, the Binc Foundation will offer scholarships to help cover room, meals and travel expenses to BEA.
Scholarships to help cover room, meals and travel expenses to the regional IBA Fall Conferences are offered by the Foundation.** The scholarship winners are selected by each regional IBA. All current regional IBA rules and regulations apply for these selections.
* * These scholarships are provided for where available. Not all regional IBAs offer a scholarship program. Check with your regional IBA for information on how to apply.