What is the Samsung American Legion Scholarship?

This scholarship is one of a series of scholarships derived from a Samsung Corporation endowment. The endowment was created to express appreciation to U.S. veterans who came to the aid of Korea during its struggle against communist forces during the Korean War. The Samsung Corporation is a worldwide leader in electronics. The American Legion administers this scholarship program from a Samsung scholarship fund.

Am I eligible to apply for the Samsung American Legion Scholarship?

You are eligible to participate if you complete the ALA Volunteer Girls State (VGS) Program and provide acceptable documentation to show that you are a descendant (child, grandchild, great grandchild, or a legally adopted child) of a U.S. wartime Veteran who served on active duty during one or more of the periods of war officially designated as eligible. Those include:

  • WWI: April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918
  • WWII: December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946
  • Korean War: June 25, 1950 to January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam War: February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975
  • Lebanon and Grenada: August 24, 1982 to July 31, 1984
  • Panama: December 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990
  • Persian Gulf War: August 2, 1990 to today

PLEASE NOTE: To compete in the ALA VGS-level competition, you are not required to provide the Form DD 214, which documents proof of qualifying military service. However, in the event that VGS selects you to advance in the competition, you will be required to provide proof of qualifying military service before you can receive further consideration.

How can I apply?

The scholarship application, as well as additional information from the American Legion, is available online. You must submit your application online. Once submitted online, please print and bring a copy to ALA Volunteer Girls State registration. No new applications will be accepted on site — only copies of ones submitted online.

What is the scholarship amount and how many girls are selected to receive it?

Each year approximately 200 VGS citizens apply for the Samsung Scholarship. We select one ALA VGS citizen to receive a $1,000 scholarship. Our candidate also earns the right to compete with Boys and Girls Staters from across the country for one of seven $20,000 Samsung scholarships.

What are the selection criteria?

Selections are based on academic record; involvement in school activities; involvement in community activities; community service; and financial need. Additional points are granted to descendants of U.S. veterans of the Korean War.

How do I know if I’m a competitive candidate for the scholarship?

The Samsung scholarship is very competitive. Those selected to represent ALA VGS generally have a GPA of above 3.50, are within the top percentage of their class, and score in the high 20s or better on the ACT (or earn an equivalent SAT score). Successful candidates also show evidence of multiple school and community activities and receipt of 8-10 local and national level awards.

How should I respond to the essay questions on the application?

We encourage you to type your application so it shows you put time and thought into it. Your responses should be interesting, sincere, and succinct. The application should help the judges get to know you, your goals, and your accomplishments.

If I earn the scholarship, how can I use it?

The scholarship is for undergraduate study only and may be used for tuition, books, fees, and room and board.

When do I find out if I have won the scholarship?

We announce our ALA VGS Samsung Scholarship selection on the final day of Girls State. The seven national-level winners are announced in September.

Who can help me with questions about the program?

You may send us your questions to us, and we’ll direct it to the proper person.