The Mitchell Scholarship
The Mitchell Institute unlocks the potential of Maine college students so they can contribute to the vitality of their communities. We award scholarships each year to graduating students from Maine’s public high schools as they pursue higher education.
The 2021 recipients of the Mitchell Scholarship, representing more than 130 high schools from every community in Maine, each will receive a scholarship award for $10,000 to be paid in four equal installments of $2,500. In an effort to help more Maine students attain higher education, the Mitchell Institute provides scholarships for Maine students planning to attend two- and four-year degree programs at colleges both in- and out-of-state.
Once Scholars are selected, the Mitchell Institute helps them navigate college and the world beyond through personal and professional supports. In addition to offering the financial support of the scholarship, the Mitchell Institute offers a wide array of personal, academic and professional support programs, as well as a network of more than 3,000 Mitchell Scholars, Alumni, and partners—all of which amounts to much more than a check.
Resources and programs for Mitchell Scholars include:
- Leadership and career development events
- Access to a wide array of professional networks and social events
- Customized career advising and personal support through individual meetings with Mitchell Institute staff and community members
- Fellowship Awards of up to $1,500 to support internships and personal/professional growth opportunities
- Emergency financial assistance for unexpected financial challenges.
Additional information about the offerings listed above can be found by clicking on the other icons below.
Mitchell Scholarship Application
Eligibility and Criteria for Selection
To be eligible for consideration, an applicant must be a legal resident of Maine and graduating from a public high school in Maine. Students who attend a public school in Maine but come from households with residency outside of Maine are not eligible to apply for the Mitchell Scholarship. Applicants should plan to attend a two-year or four-year degree program at an accredited college or university in the fall semester immediately following their high school graduation. Students pursuing a two-year degree are eligible for up to four years of scholarship support if they continue their education beyond the initial two years. Candidates are evaluated based on the following criteria: academic potential, community impact, and financial need.
Deadlines and Required Materials
To apply for the Mitchell Scholarship, eligible high school students must submit an online application form between January 1 and April 1 in the spring before they graduate. The online application for high school students graduating in 2022 will be available on this site beginning on January 1, 2022.
We would like to share several links below that may be helpful in the college and scholarship application process:
BigFuture™ is a trademark owned by the College Board. Used with permission.
All the Wisdom and None of the Junk: Secrets of Applying for College Admission and Scholarships from the Boettcher Foundation
Welcome to the Family
Each summer after the selection of that year’s Mitchell Scholars, the Mitchell Institute hosts a Welcome Brunch for the newly-named scholarship recipients and their guests. It is an exciting opportunity for these Scholars to meet our staff, Board members, and other Scholars. In addition to hearing Senator Mitchell speak to them all directly, each Scholar has a photograph taken with Senator Mitchell. The Brunch also provides the Scholars and their guests with a glimpse of the various programs and resources available to them through the Mitchell Institute. The celebration occurs in August, not long before the students embark on their first semester of college.
MILE I & MILE II
Experiences of a Lifetime
The Mitchell Institute offers annual signature leadership and professional development events, known as Mitchell Institute Leadership Experiences (MILE):
The MILE I weekend is an experiential learning program, including guided outdoor exploration activities and a group community service project, held at Baxter State Park in Millinocket. Throughout the weekend, Scholars develop leadership and relationship-building skills — all while rafting down a river, reaching the summit of Katahdin, or discussing professional ethics at a dinner table. These interactions build an enduring community, establish connections, and equip Scholars with resources that foster success during and after college. As many as sixty Mitchell Scholars participate each October.
MILE II is a day-long career and personal development event hosted by Unum in Portland each March. Approximately eighty Mitchell Scholars and Alumni come together with professionals from a wide range of career fields for an experience brimming with keynote speeches, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities. The planning for this engaging and informative day is led by Mitchell Institute Alumni Council members.
A signature program of the Institute, our Fellowship Awards offer support to qualified Scholars and Alumni in their pursuit of internships, service learning, and study abroad experiences that offer ongoing personal and professional development. These funds empower Scholars to pursue enriching opportunities regardless of financial factors. Annually, we award approximately 50 Fellowship Awards ranging from $500 to $1,500 to Scholars and Alumni. To see what opportunities our Scholars have pursued, see the Fellowship Awards Database. The Fellowship Award application periods are October 1 to November 1, as well as March 1 to April 1 annually.
Mitchell Scholar receptions are held at as many of the Maine campuses as possible and are hosted by the college or university presidents. All of the Mitchell Scholars on a particular campus are invited to attend, as well as Mitchell Scholar Alumni in the area. These gatherings provide an opportunity for Scholars across the years to meet each other, as well as key program and academic leaders on their respective campuses. Topics covered at these receptions range from upcoming Mitchell Institute events and study abroad opportunities, to staying connected with other Mitchell Scholars on their campuses, among others.
Bridging the Gap
From past experience and research, we know that hidden costs and even modest unexpected financial hurdles can derail a promising Scholar without a financial safety net, potentially jeopardizing college completion. To that end, the Mitchell Institute has two emergency funds available for currently enrolled Scholars:
The SOS Fund (Support Our Scholars) was established in 2012 to provide one-time emergency grants to Scholars who face unforeseen one-time financial crises. Examples include car repairs or travel for unexpected emergencies; unexpected changes in living circumstances; the repair or replacement of course-mandated technology; or unanticipated one-time health-related issues.
The SPARC Fund (Subsidy Providing Assistance with Recurring Costs) was established in 2020 to provide grants to Scholars who face a recurring financial hardship while still enrolled in college. Examples include transportation costs such as car maintenance or fuel; living expenses that are not billed by your college or university, such as food insecurity or rent; course-mandated technology, books, or equipment beyond what is included within your college or university’s estimated cost of attendance; or ongoing health-related costs.
Both the SOS Fund and the SPARC Fund are considered and granted through one-on-one consultation between Mitchell Institute staff and Scholars. Please reach out to Andrea Mitchell for additional information.