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Diversity + Inclusion Scholarships

Scholarships are offered through the Office of Diversity + Inclusion

Diversity + Inclusion Scholarships

Several scholarships are available through the Office of Diversity + Inclusion. Learn more about each of these below.

To apply for these scholarships and see all the scholarships ESU offers, visit the Scholarship Page.

Emporia Legacy Connection Scholarship


The Emporia Connection is the official alumni chapter designed to strengthen ties between African American alumni, current and prospective students and the University. The group is comprised of six decades of alumni who live throughout the U.S. The ESU Alumni Association challenged chapters to create a “legacy”— therefore the Emporia Connection Legacy Scholarship was born.


The Emporia Connection Legacy Scholarship was originally established to assist African American students attending Emporia State University. However, in compliance with Federal Law, the scholarship may be awarded to any student who meets the scholarship criteria, regardless of identities.

Scholarship Criteria:

  1. Students must be entering freshmen or transfer students.
  2. Students of any major may apply.
  3. Students applying must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  4. 500-word essay addressing what impact the Emporia Connection Legacy Scholarship will have on your life as a student of Emporia State University and on your future.

Charles and Toy Colbert Scholarship

In February of 1992, Charles Colbert and Toy-Colbert established this Scholarship with the intention to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of African American students. This scholarship award is for any incoming or current student of Emporia State University who has demonstrated and promoted outstanding academic and community activity throughout the previous academic school year.

Selection and Timeline:

The recipient will be chosen by a scholarship selection committee comprised of university representatives. Each scholarship applicant will be asked to participant in an interview. The applicants will be informed by written notification and e-mail of the award selection.

The scholarship recipient will be acknowledged during the Minority Graduation.

Scholarship Criteria:

  • Complete scholarship application,
  • maintain a 2.5 or higher cumulative gpa,
  • be enrolled full time at ESU for 2020-2021 academic year and
  • be an Active leader and member of the Black Student Union.

Lena Rios Memorial Scholarship


J.D. Rios received a Bachelor of Education degree in 1983 in the field of Social Sciences from Emporia State University. As a student he participated in Associated Student Government, worked as a resident assistant and served in Black Student Union in the role of President. In 1993 he received a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. J.D. has played an active role in advancing the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools as the talent acquisition and recruiting manager and he holds a deep passion for education. J.D. joined the Emporia State University Foundation as a Trustee in 2015. He has also been active as a KCK Community College Trustee, served on the Hispanic Advisory Board for UMKC and served as an Alumni Board Member for UMKC. J.D. is also a board member of El Centro, the largest Hispanic serving non-profit in Kansas City Kansas and Johnson County. J.D.’s interests are in human/civil rights and politics. Through this scholarship, J.D. wants to share his financial resources to impact the lives of students and to honor his mother.

Scholarship Criteria

  1. Students who have graduated from a high school in Wyandotte County, Kansas; and
  2. Students who share the donor’s passion for advancing diversity and inclusion at ESU.

Latino Legacy Scholarship


The Latino Legacy Scholarship has been established by the Friends Inspiring Future Hispanic Action (FIFHA) Committee at Emporia State University to assist undergraduate students in continuing their education and serving the Hispanic community.

Scholarship Criteria:

  1. Applicants must be entering freshmen, transfer, or current students at Emporia State University
  2. Students of any major may apply
  3. Students applying must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better.
  4. Attach an academic transcript.
  5. 500-word essay addressing what impact the Latino Legacy Scholarship will have on your life as a student of Emporia State University and on your future. Include previous experiences with and contributions to the Hispanic Community.

Black Student Union


This Scholarship award is for an active member of Black Student Union at Emporia State University. The Emporia State Endowment Association implemented the Black Student Union Scholarship in November of 1977.

Scholarship Criteria:

  1. Be an active and financial member of Black Student Union
  2. Submit an application
  3. Enrolled in Emporia State University during the upcoming academic school year
  4. Cumulative college grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale (transcripts required)
  5. 1 letter of academic reference required
  6. 2 page typed essay on "The Importance of African American Student Leadership at a predominantly white institution"

My Dream, My Future Scholarship


The My Dream, My Future Scholarship provides scholarship support to undergraduate students who advocate for or identify as Dreamers; that is, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

In fall 2018, members of the Kappa Delta Chi sorority, Beta Nu chapter were inspired to show their support for fellow students who were being marginalized and maligned. They also wanted to educate the campus community and bust some common myths regarding undocumented students and the DACA program. They accomplished both goals by creating informative t-shirts and selling them, with proceeds being used to fund the first My Dream, My Future Scholarship.

Scholarship Criteria:

  1. Students who were born outside of the U.S. and brought here to live as a child or students who have a history of advocating for inclusive and equitable treatment of Dreamers
  2. Submit an application