Smile Train College Scholarship Program

students in smile train office

Does everyone on your cleft team know you by name? Have you had to tell your friends, teachers, or coaches, “Sorry, I can’t. I have surgery that week.”? Do you still remember the conversation your parents had with you about bullying before you started school? Is your cleft your superpower?  

If this sounds like you or someone you know, Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity, has a scholarship opportunity just for you. Founded in 1999, Smile Train innovated a unique “train the trainer” model that empowers healthcare workers the world over to make high-quality comprehensive cleft care available to children in need in their own communities. We stand for the right to universal, local healthcare; the inherent dignity of all people with clefts; and fostering a truly global #CleftProud community. That’s why we started Smile Train’s College Scholarship Program to help two cleft-affected American high school seniors each year receive a quality education and live their dreams.  

Smile Train’s College Scholarship Program is open to all U.S.-based high school seniors born with a cleft. Interested students will fill out the application below and write short essays on their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and how being cleft-affected has impacted their lives. 


Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for one of two $5,000 scholarships:  

  • Were born with a cleft lip and/or palate  
  • Are between the ages of 14 and 19  
  • Can provide proof of matriculation to a four-year university, college, or vocational school
  • Can share evidence of academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and how being cleft affected has impacted their life  
  • Are U.S. citizens

This opportunity is not available to current or former Smile Train staff members or members of the Board of Directors or their first-degree relatives.

Scholarship Details

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