Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Achievement Awards

For Learning Ally members who are completing undergraduate or graduate degrees and are blind or visually impaired


Each year, the Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Achievement awards are presented to Learning Ally members who are completing undergraduate or graduate degrees, and who are blind or visually impaired, in recognition of academic achievement, outstanding leadership, and service to others.

Mary P. Oenslager was a friend of Anne Macdonald, our founder. She began contributing to Learning Ally, formerly RFB&D, in 1953 and, in 1959, helped us establish the Scholastic Achievement Awards program, personally funding the awards. Mary P. Oenslager shaped the program and enjoyed getting to know the winners each year. In addition to her financial support, she was an active volunteer, serving on our Board of Directors, and actively recruited individual and corporate supporters.

Offered since 1991, the awards are given to six students who are chosen by a selection committee. Learning Ally presents the three top winners $6,000 each and three special honors winners $2,000 each. The top three winners will be presented with their awards in Spring 2018 at our annual Student Success and Achievement Summit.


To apply for this award, you must be able to respond affirmatively and check all of the following eligibility criteria:

I am a blind or visually impaired student who is currently pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree.

I have an active Learning Ally subscription since January 1, 2016 or before. Additionally, I have added at least 1 book to my Learning Ally bookshelf in the past 12 months.

I have received, or will receive, a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from an accredited four-year college or university in the United States or its territories between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017

I have not previously received an award from Learning Ally, formerly RFB&D.

I am not a family member of a Learning Ally staff or board member, or volunteer serving on the national board.

Applicants should be aware that:

As a top winner, you must be present at the National Achievement Awards Gala during April 2018 in Denver, Colorado.

All winners will be asked to represent Learning Ally as a spokesperson and advocate at various local, virtual and national events. Costs associated with these events will be covered by Learning Ally.

All requirements should be met

Congratulation! You meet all of our requirements, please login and proceed to an application.