The Esther H. Hawks Trust welcomes applications from residents of Lynn, Massachusetts. First-time applications from Lynn residents in their senior high school year, for full-time study at American colleges, have usually been given preference. Applications for up to three renewals of grants are invited, but renewals are not automatic. Applicants with earned income may be favored. Awards are need-based, but achievement is also considered.

No Trustee (nor family member of any Trustee) of the Esther H. Hawks Trust is eligible. The Trust, in making grants, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, or national or ethnic origin.

The number and amount of first-time awards varies from year to year and from grantee to grantee. In recent years, out of 30-50 total grants, there were 10-20 first-time grants, with an average grant of about $3000 each. Awards are usually announced by mid-June and paid directly to the college thereafter. Awards are need-based but consider achievement, vary between awardees, do not exceed tuition and fees, or a level set annually by the Trustees.