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.
Recipients of the Mitchell Scholarship represent public high schools from every community in Maine, and each Mitchell Scholar receives a scholarship award for $10,000 that is 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 3,600 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 orange icons.
Click on the “Apply” icon to learn more about applying for the Mitchell Scholarship.
Mitchell Scholarship Application
Eligibility and Criteria for Selection
We appreciate your interest in the Mitchell Scholarship! To be eligible for consideration, an applicant must be a full-time resident of Maine and be on track to graduate 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: academics, community impact, and financial need.
Deadlines and Required Materials
The 2023 Mitchell Scholarship recipients have been selected! Please visit our Scholarship Recipients page to see the announcement and list of newly-named Mitchell Scholars from every community in Maine. This year we were pleased to announce an expanded commitment to increasing college access for Maine students. In addition to our longstanding commitment of awarding at least one $10,000 scholarship annually to a graduating student from each of the 135 public high schools in Maine, we have awarded 20 more scholarships across the state, bringing our annual total to $1.66M in support for the class of 2023 Mitchell Scholars.
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 2024 will be available on this site beginning on January 1, 2024.
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 Celebration 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. The Welcome Celebration also provides new Mitchell Scholars and their guests with an overview of the various programs and resources available to them through the Mitchell Institute. The event 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 Mitchell Institute, Fellowship Awards offer financial support to qualified Scholars and Alumni in their pursuit of internships, service learning, and study abroad experiences that offer ongoing personal and professional development.
Mitchell Institute Fellowships are financial awards of up to $1,500 — over and above the Scholarship — that are available to both current Scholars and Alumni. You’re eligible to apply if you have not received a Fellowship Award in the last 12 months. The purpose of the program is to ensure that Scholars and Alumni don’t have to forgo personal and professional development opportunities due to a shortage of money.
Mitchell Fellowships are awarded to applicants for a broad range of activities such as:
- Unpaid or underpaid internships
- Travel or accommodation costs associated with professional or personal development opportunities such as internships, conferences, career-related service projects, study-abroad opportunities, etc.
- Professional license fees and examination fees for tests like the LSAT/MCAT/GRE and Praxis
These are just some examples.
There are two application rounds each year:
- The Fall Round of Applications is open from October 1 to November 1. This application round is for activities that take place between December and May.
- The Spring Round of Applications is open from March 1 to April 1. This application round is for activities that take place between June and November.
In each round, the Mitchell Institute awards approximately 50 Fellowships, ranging from $500 to $1,500, to Scholars and Alumni. Fellowship recipients are asked to complete a community service project within one year of receiving their award. To see what opportunities our Scholars have pursued, see the Fellowship Awards Database.
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 supplemental funds available for currently enrolled Scholars:
The SOS Fund (Support Our Scholars) was established in 2012 to provide one-time supplemental 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.