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James R. Hoffa became a Teamster member in 1934 and served as General President for 14 years, and, in recognition of his tireless service to the union and its members, was honored as General President Emeritus for life. At the November 1999 General Executive Board meeting, then-General Secretary-Treasurer C. Thomas Keegel presented a resolution to establish the new scholarship fund. This site describes the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund (JRHMSF) and outlines eligibility requirements and application procedures.

The James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund is an independent organization established and registered as a tax-exempt entity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Fund is established solely to provide scholarships to the child or dependent of a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and contributions to the Fund are deductible as charitable contributions to the extent permitted by law. In 2016 the Fund awarded $1,200,000 in scholarships.



Q1. How much are JRHMSF awards?

A. JRHMSF scholarship award amounts range depending on chosen scholarship opportunity. Academic Scholarship awards either a $10,000 award split up over four years at $1,250.00 per semester, or a one-time $1,000.00 award; whereas, Training and Vocational Scholarship awards up to $2,000.00, depending on financial need. See scholarship amount details in the applications.

Q2. Can I apply for more than one scholarship?

A. No, JRHMSF’s scholarship applications allow students to apply to one scholarship based on chosen scholarship type. See eligibility details in the applications.

Q3. Does JRHMSF offer scholarships for K-12?

A. No. JRHMSF scholarships are awarded to high school seniors planning to enroll in a four-year college after graduation, community college transfers and students who plan to attend trade or vocational schools.

Q4. Are scholarships renewable?

A. Depending on the scholarship opportunity, the majority of JRHMSF scholarships are single-year awards. However, the winners of the $10,000 award of the Academic Scholarship will have their scholarship renewed each year up to four years at $1,250.00 per semester.


Q1. Do I need to be the son, daughter, or financial dependent (this does not include spouses) of a Teamster member?

A. Yes. To qualify for our scholarships, applicants must be the son, daughter or financial dependent (this does not include spouses) of a Teamster member (also referred to as “Teamster Member Relation”) who qualifies (or in the case of retirees, has qualified)* as a member in “ good standing” in the Teamsters Union as defined in Article X, Section 5 of the International Constitution.

Q2. I completed and passed a General Education Development (GED) test. Am I eligible for JRHMSF scholarships?

A. Yes. Students with a GED are eligible for JRHMSF scholarships. However, you must attend a four-year college for the Academic Scholarship, or a community college, training/vocational school for the Training and Vocational Scholarship.

Q3. I am a high school student. When can I apply?

A. High school seniors can begin to apply for JRHMSF scholarships beginning December 1st of every year.

Q4. Do you offer scholarships for prospective Community College Students?

A. Yes. JRHMSF has a scholarship program specifically for community college students. Students can only receive JRHMSF funds if they are attending training or vocational non-baccalaureate programs (Associates programs typically). Funds will halt if students plan to transfer to an accredited four-year college.

Q5. I am a home-schooled student. Am I eligible to apply?

A. Yes. As long as your home school program will issue you an official high school transcript to submit to JRHMSF, you are eligible to apply. Additionally, you may submit a transcript produced by your program or the person in charge of your home schooling, however, the transcript must be signed by credentialed teacher. Additionally, you must take the SAT II for eligibility of the Academic Scholarship.

Q6. What are training or vocational programs related to work in a Teamster represented industry, class or craft?

A. There are no defined programs; however, to apply for the Training and Vocational Scholarship, the chosen program must be related to work in a Teamster represented industry, class or craft. These industries include: Airline, Bakery & Laundry, Brewery & Soft Drink, Building Material & Construction Trade, Car haul, Dairy, Food Processing, Freight, Graphic Communications, Industrial Trades, Motion Picture & Theatrical Trade, Newspaper, Magazine, Electronic Media, Package, Parking, Port, Public Services, Rail, Solid Waste & Recycling, Tank haul, Trade Show & Convention Centers, and Warehouse.

This year, the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund distributed $1.2 million in scholarship awards to the sons and daughters of Teamsters in the U.S. and Canada.  Next year, 2017, the Fund is committed to distributing $1.4 million, an increase of $200,000.  We appreciate the support of our local unions and joint councils who have kept this scholarship the strongest in the labor movement.

In addition, we have initiated a Training and Vocational Programs scholarship.  Similar to the Academic Scholarship, applicants must be the son, daughter or financial dependent of a Teamster member (including BLET, BMWED and GCC members). The training and vocational programs must be related to work in a Teamster-represented industry, class or craft.