The Massachusetts afl-cio scholarship Program

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The Massachusetts AFL-CIO Scholarship Program

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO, along with affiliated local unions, and labor/non-labor organizations, offers a scholarship program providing hundreds of scholarships totaling over $900,000 to union members, their children/step children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and non-union Massachusetts’s high school seniors.

Who is Eligible?

Every year the Massachusetts AFL-CIO publishes a scholarship brochure describing the eligibility criteria for each award. Students with a union affiliation are eligible for both the Massachusetts AFL-CIO awards and those awards listed under their specific local union/central labor council. Students with no union affiliation are eligible only for the Massachusetts AFL-CIO scholarships.

What are the requirements?

The brochure is divided into 2 sections describing the two types of scholarship programs. Section 1 lists those scholarships requiring the student to take the Massachusetts AFL-CIO Labor History Exam in February. Section 2 lists those scholarships offered by local unions/central labor councils that select their own winners either through a lottery or exam of their own (to qualify for these scholarships students do not need to take the Labor History Exam in February).

How do I sign up for the Labor History Exam?

Interested applicants can access/download the application, the brochure, and the study guide through our website at, or through their guidance department. Participation in the Scholarship Program of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO is voluntary. Students desiring to take the Labor History Exam apply directly to their Guidance Office, Social Studies Teacher, or Principal by December. The school then forwards the number of seniors desiring to take the examination in February to the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and in turn receives exams and instructions for supervising teachers. Each exam must be complete and bear the signature of the Principal, Department Head, or Examination Coordinator, and returned to the Massachusetts AFL-CIO the following day.

What is the scope of the Labor History Exam?

The labor history exam is divided into two parts. Part 1 is a series of multiple-choice questions covering the history and structure of the labor movement in America, legislation affecting America workers, child labor laws, minimum wages, civil rights, safety in the workplace, old age and health insurance, unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation and past and current labor events. Part 2 is an essay of 500 words or less based on a topic selected by the Scholarship Committee each year.

How are winners selected?

All Massachusetts AFL-CIO scholarships and local union/central labor council scholarships listed in Section 1 of the scholarship brochure are awarded solely on the basis of the multiple-choice exam and essay score. Awardees are selected by the Scholarship Committee, which reviews and scores the essay question, and combines this score with the multiple-choice exam. Students that comply with the guidelines and rate highest on the exam shall be judged the winner of local union/central labor council awards. Students sponsored by a local union are eligible to receive no more than 2 scholarships.

How do I apply for scholarships offered by my local union or central labor council?

After reviewing the scholarship brochure, students who believe they are eligible for local union/central labor council scholarships listed in Section 2 of the scholarship brochure should contact their local union/central labor council for application information and further eligibility requirements.

For more information, contact Carla Trulli, Massachusetts AFL-CIO Scholarship Coordinator at (781) 324-8230 Ext 10or
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