The Charles J. Hoff Scholarship was established in 1998 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus to provide financial assistance to motivated students who are serious about their education and are in need of financial aid.


Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen who is a permanent resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.4, been enrolled in Commonwealth Honors College for at least two semesters, and enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits.
  • Have sophomore, junior, or senior status as of September 2017.
  • Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA) by March 1 to meet the priority deadline.  Go to  for filing details and deadline, and for on-line application.
  • Have unmet need of more than $4,000 (this may show up as loans in your current financial aid package).
  • Submit a 250- to 300-word essay describing your personal and family life, academic and career interests; your impressions of and experiences at UMass; and why you are applying for a Charles J. Hoff Scholarship. This statement is a very important element of the selection process.
  • Be prepared to discuss the value of public higher education in helping to meet the challenges facing disadvantaged students.
  • Submit a signed copy of the Academic and Financial Aid Waiver Form.


Benefits of the Scholarship

The Hoff Scholarship awards $2,000 to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are enrolled in Commonwealth Honors College. Once chosen, Hoff recipients will receive the scholarship for a maximum of six semesters as long as they maintain enrollment in Commonwealth Honors College, continue to demonstrate financial need, and remain a resident of Massachusetts. In addition, the university provides a $2000 Hoff University Scholarship. The number of scholarships awarded will vary from year to year.


Application and Selection Process

Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors may apply for a scholarship for their upcoming sophomore, junior, and senior years.

First week in February: Hoff Scholarship Application forms are available online at

March 1: All applicants for the Charles J. Hoff Scholarship must submit a copy of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Go to the UMass Financial Aid website for filing details and deadline.

February 27, 2017: Hoff Scholarship Applications must be completed and returned for review by the Commonwealth Honors College Hoff Scholarship Committee. Contact Commonwealth Honors College for application deadline.

Mid May: Students are selected and notified as to the interview schedule.

June 5, 2017: Selected students meet with Hoff Foundation representatives at the University of Massachusetts Worcester Campus.

Late June: Finalists are selected and notified by the end of June.


About Charles J. Hoff

Charles J. Hoff, a 1966 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, College of Management, is a highly successful entrepreneur who credits the education he received at Lowell with helping him attain success in business. He received his bachelor’s degree in industrial management, with minors in accounting and management, and later earned a master’s degree in engineering management from Northeastern University.

Mr. Hoff has been a senior vice president of operations for Bausch & Lomb and held senior management positions with Wang Laboratories, Polaroid, and Gillette. From 1983-86, Mr. Hoff was the president, CEO, and owner of ARL Analytical Instruments Company, which had over 100 million dollars in worldwide sales. He then became the owner, chairman, and CEO of Universal/Univis, Inc., a group of designer eye wear companies. Presently, he manages a private foundation and oversees the Hoff Family Partnership, which has over 50 members. He has been an entrepreneurial venture capitalist responsible for transforming several businesses on the verge of financial ruin into successful, profitable enterprises providing livelihoods for thousands of employees.

In 1992, Mr. Hoff received the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Distinguished Alumni Award, given annually to honor graduates for significant contributions to a field of knowledge or exemplary public service. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts from 1993 to 2002 and also served on the University of Massachusetts Foundation Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees of UMass Memorial Health Care, Inc. At the Unversity of Massachusetts Lowell Commencement Ceremony in June of 2004, Mr. Hoff received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. In 2007, Mr. Hoff solidified his support for highly motivated students with financial need by making a $3 million commitment, along with this wife, to expand and endow the Hoff Scholarship program, which benefits students on all five UMass campuses. The University's highest honor, the President's Medal, was presented to Mr. Hoff by President Jack Wilson in May of 2008.