Pathway 1 Early Learning Scholarships

As of May 15, 2020, families can apply for the next awarding season.   Awarding will begin in late Summer/early Fall of 2020. 

Children who are currently awarded or on the waitlist do not need to apply again.  

Children that applied in the past, but were denied, must re-apply.

As of July 1, 2020, Pathway 1 Early Learning Scholarships can be used at programs that are 3- or 4-star Parent Aware Rated.

Mail or drop off completed applications:
Scholarship Department
Think Small
10 Yorkton Court
St. Paul MN 55117

Eligibility Requirements

County Residence

  • Think Small awards families who live in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

Child’s Age

  • To qualify, a child must be 3 or 4 years old on September 1, 2020 and not yet eligible for kindergarten.


A younger child may be considered if at least one of the following is met:

  • The child is the younger sibling of a currently awarded child
  • The child is in foster care or in need of child protective services
  • The family has experienced homelessness in the past 24 months
  • The parent is under the age of 21 and currently pursuing a high school or general education equivalency diploma (GED).


  • Families have an annual gross income of no more than 185% of Federal Poverty Guidelines.
    • (income guidelines are listed on the application)
  • OR currently participates in at least one of the following programs:  
    • MFIP, CCAP, Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program (FRLP), CACFP (by income), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, SNAP, Head Start, or Foster Care.  (Note: applications for children in foster care must be signed and submitted by the agency worker).


Hennepin and Ramsey County residents may use one of the applications below.

Please reference child age information mentioned above.






Click below to download additional forms:


Think Small administers scholarships for Hennepin and Ramsey County residents. For questions, or if you are interested in a scholarship information workshop, please contact us at 651-641-6604 or

For scholarship information available in other languages, call 651-665-0150 or 1-866-807-6021

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Magaalada gudahed wac:    651-665-0150


Tips for submitting an application

  • Complete all required areas of the scholarship application. The sections marked with an asterisk (*) are required. All other information is optional.
  • • INCLUDE the supporting income documents necessary to prove your family’s income eligibility. Incomplete applications will not be considered for a scholarship.
  • Sign and date the scholarship application in ink.
  • If you live in Hennepin or Ramsey County, mail or bring the completed application with your original ink and attached income documents to:

Think Small
10 Yorkton Court
St. Paul, MN 55117

  • We are unable to award any faxed, emailed, or photocopied applications showing a photocopied signature.


Early Learning Scholarships FAQs

Click here to read some frequently asked questions.
Funding provided by the Minnesota Department of Education using state funding to support administration of early learning scholarships, 124D.165.