Mike Rowe Work Ethic Scholarship Opens to Student Applicants

The Work Ethic Scholarship is aimed at those enrolled or planning to enroll in one of a series of trade education programs on the premise that personal responsibility and extreme work ethic are vital and neglected values in the United States. 


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The Mike Rowe Works Foundation has opened its annual Work Ethic Scholarship Program to 2019 applicants enrolled or planning to enroll in a list of approved trade education programs. The deadline for submissions is March 28, 2019.

Aimed at “the next generation of aspiring workers who will work smart and hard”—“work smart and hard” being a slogan of the program—the scholarship does not say how much the award is, referring to it as “another modest pile of money … for people willing to learn a trade that’s in demand.” The foundation says that the aim of the program is to forego the focus on test scores and grades for qualification, looking instead to applicants who “understand the importance of work ethic, personal responsibility, delayed gratification and positive attitude.” Nevertheless, student applicants will have to provide high school and/or college transcripts, in addition to a written essay, references from bosses or teachers, a short video and financial information, among other items. Students can apply at mikeroweworks.org/scholarship, where all the necessaries for application are listed. 

The Mike Rowe Works Foundation advocates for trade education as opposed to university education on the premise that there is a “war against work” in the United States. Part of the scholarship requirements is signing the foundation’s “S.W.E.A.T. Pledge,” S.W.E.A.T. standing for “Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo.” The 12 affirmations enumerated therein invite the applicant to subscribe to, among other things, a worldview of strict personal responsibility, gratitude for living in the United States and the promise to never complain about working conditions. “Anyone who applies for the Work Ethic Scholarship Program must agree with and sign it,” the foundation says.