The Ann “Tunky” Riley scholarship commemorates the work of the late Ann “Tunky” Riley, a dedicated teacher, passionate advocate for quality public education, and wife of former Secretary of the US Department of Education Richard W. Riley, who is a leading advocate in advancing education as a national priority.

The scholarship, which honors four newly enrolled educators who are making a difference in the lives of others, reflects the college’s dedication to lifelong learning and supports the many educators who stand out because of their superior contributions to their students, colleagues, schools, and communities.

Up to four $25,000 scholarships* are awarded to new students who are interested in enrolling in one of the following Walden programs:

PhD in Education 

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Post-Master's Degree Programs 

Accelerated MS in Education

MS in Education 

Teacher Preparation Program with a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) 

*Only one tuition-reduction benefit may be applied to tuition.

Scholarship Eligibility

Recipients of the Ann “Tunky” Riley Excellence in K–12 Education Scholarship must:
  • Not be currently enrolled in a Walden University program.
  • Have not received another merit-based Walden scholarship.
  • Not be employed by Laureate Education, Inc., or any of its subsidiaries.
  • Meet all admission requirements with the university in receipt of all of the applicant’s official documentation and be fully admitted into one of the Riley College of Education and Leadership’s aforementioned programs.

Scholarship Criteria and Application Process

Applicants must:

  • Call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336 to receive an official scholarship application form.
  • Submit an essay of no more than 1,000 words describing their contributions in one or more of the following areas:
    • Influencing the lives of students
    • Mentoring a colleague
    • Making an impact on an economically disadvantaged school or community
  • Submit a formal letter of recommendation from a school official (on school letterhead) describing how their passion for teaching makes an impact on their students, school, or community.
  • Submit a current copy of their resume or CV.
  • Email the completed nomination form, essay, resume, and letter of recommendation all together to

All required information must be provided in order for a nomination to be considered. Applicants may be contacted by phone to confirm the authenticity of information submitted.

Deadline and Start Dates

This scholarship will have an application deadline of July 15, 2014.

  • Scholarship winners must enroll and start classes within two start dates of being awarded the scholarship or scholarship will be forfeited.

Scholarship Selection Process

A scholarship committee comprising members of the Riley College of Education and Leadership will review the nominations and select the semifinalists. The semifinalist nominations will be presented to Secretary Riley, who will choose the final award recipient.

Scholarship Announcements and Publicity

Individuals who receive a scholarship must affirm that they are willing and able to participate in all publicity efforts promoting the program. Such publicity may include news releases and media advisories, local and national media coverage, media interviews and photos, and other similar public relations activities.

Individuals who participate must sign a release that allows Walden University to use the individual’s participation in the program for publicity purposes without limitation and states that all such materials remain the sole and exclusive property of Walden University.

Scholarship Funding

Scholarship funds will be disbursed beginning in the student’s first term after being awarded the scholarship and remaining funds will be applied toward the following term(s) until all funds have been used. For funds to be disbursed, the student’s records with the Office of Admissions must be complete, including the student’s official transcript. At any given time, if a scholarship disbursement exceeds the cost of tuition, funds will be disbursed in the amount of the tuition cost. Students will not receive cash if the award amount exceeds their cost of tuition.

Students who withdraw from the program or university or change to another degree program not eligible for this scholarship will forfeit the scholarship. Should the scholarship be forfeited, students need not reimburse Walden for funds already disbursed to them. In order for scholarship funding to continue throughout the length of the program, recipients must meet the satisfactory academic progress criteria set forth by Walden University’s current catalog for the duration of their program. If a student is in a new semester and forfeited in the previous semester (due to internal lag time), the student will receive a revised bill for the prior semester, in which the scholarship was received.

The cost of books and course materials is included in the tuition for some of Walden’s programs and specializations. However, scholarship recipients enrolling in Walden’s PhD in Education program are responsible for the cost of books and materials. Scholarship recipients enrolling in either the PhD in Education program or the Doctor of Education (EdD) program are also responsible for all associated residency costs. All recipients who enroll in a Walden program are responsible for the technology fee each term as well. Recipients are responsible for all other non-tuition costs including but not limited to residency travel and other university or program fees as applicable.

Students may not combine this offer with any grant, scholarship, partner tuition discount, or tuition reduction that is associated with a specific start date. 

This scholarship is not managed by Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Please call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336 for more information.