Staff Report

BOCA RATON, Fla. – As National First-Generation Student Day approaches on Nov. 8, the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholars Program has announced its applications are now open for the Class of 2026.

Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022.

The Program offers academically talented, firstgeneration, low-income high school seniors the opportunity to graduate from FAU, debt-free.

Selected students will receive four-year financial aid packages for tuition, oncampus housing, books, a meal plan and additional resources needed to complete their college degree.

Each scholar follows “The Path,” a 17-step program which includes wraparound services which support successful collegiate careers and post-graduate lives, including career planning, mentoring, and financial literacy, among others.

Prospective Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholars must meet the following criteria:

1. First-generation student (defined as parents not having attended college)

2. 2022 high school graduate

3. Be accepted to FAU for the Fall 2022 Semester Interested students must submit a completed FAFSA application to assess eligibility for Federal Pell Grant funds, commit to enrolling in 30 credits per academic year and agree to live on campus for all four years.

“First-generation students need a strong foundation of support and encouragement,” said Aubrey Strul, cofounder of the Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholars Program.

“Every day, we work to level the playing field and address potential barriers for these talented students, so they can focus on their education and succeed.” Developed by Boca Raton philanthropists Aubrey and Sally Strul in partnership with FAU President John Kelly and first lady Carolyn Kelly, the Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholars Program aims to lessen the burden of school debt and offer guidance to students who otherwise would navigate college life alone. A former first-generation student, Strul provided the initial $1 million investment to launch the program. He and his wife remain dedicated to working with the University to ensure the scholarship’s continued success and steady growth.

Since 2017, the program now boasts eight graduates and has grown to include nearly 60 scholars.

“FAU is an institution where students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed,” said FAU President John Kelly.

“Education has been referred to as ‘the great equalizer,’ and I am proud that The Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholars program is helping to eliminate education inequality for our state’s aspiring first-generation students.”

For questions regarding application, contact Keven Allen, director of First-Generation Student Success, at For other information regarding the Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholars Program visit