Scholarships

The applications for the Thomas W Smith Academic Fellowship is now open, with a deadline of April 30th. The Barbara Price Opportunity Fund applications are  still open, with a final deadline of April 30th.


CUNY BA students apply for financial aid through their home colleges. In addition, subject to the availability of funding, the program is pleased to offer a number of funding opportunities. These awards, funded by a variety of donors, are exclusively for students enrolled in the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies. Students who meet the basic eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply for CUNY BA funding opportunities, as well as scholarships and awards available at their CUNY home colleges and through external organizations.

Students who want to apply for any of these scholarships are encouraged to submit their Area of Concentration form(s) by the scholarship application deadline. Students with 90 or more credits must have a graduation audit before the scholarship application deadline.

Prior to submitting your application, we highly recommend that you review your CUNY BA transcript in the self-service area of CUNYfirst to be sure it is up-to-date.

The Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship (Award for Academic Excellence)

Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowships are funded through a donation by Mr. Thomas W. Smith to recognize academic excellence. Subject to maintenance of good academic standing, awards are renewable until the recipient completes their minimum degree requirements.

Barbara Price Scholarship (For First-Semester CUNY BA Students)

We are pleased to offer the Barbara Price Scholarship to support first-semester CUNY BA students. This is a one-time award of $2,500.

The Anne Duncan Somsen Memorial Fund (For First-Generation CUNY BA Students)

In memory of her mother, CUNY Baccalaureate alumna Pennell Somsen (B.A., 2015) established The Anne Duncan Somsen Memorial Fund to offer financial assistance to CUNY BA students who are the first in their families to pursue a college education.

The Memorial Scholarship (For Students in Social Work, Human Services, Health or Education)

This scholarship, made possible by Mary Beth and Richard Ketchum in memory of their parents, is for CUNY BA students studying, working in, or preparing for careers in health, human services, social welfare or education.

The Barbara Sproul Scholarship (For Students in Religious Studies)

In honor of Religious Studies Professor and CUNY BA faculty mentor Barbara Sproul, this scholarship has been established for CUNY BA students who are pursuing religious studies directly or an interdisciplinary field that includes religious studies.

Barbara Price Opportunity Fund (For All CUNY BA Students)

We are pleased to offer opportunity grants that support three types of high-impact experiential learning opportunities: study abroad, undergraduate research, and unpaid internships.

B. Diane Gibson Memorial Fund

Honoring CUNY BA alumna, B. Diane Gibson, this $1,000 scholarship is for students in good standing. Students who embody Diane’s spirit would be generous, volunteer regularly, concerned for social causes (in Diane’s case, criminology/social justice and cats) and demonstrate endurance in…

Additional Information for Applicants

Writing a strong application statement: Be sure to answer each question fully and to the best of your ability, cite specific examples in your answers, and proof-read your writing several times. Enlist the help of a friend, colleague, professor, or Writing Center representative to assist you with editing and check for typos. Also, it is best to type your answers in a word processing document first and then then copy and paste them into the online application.

Online recommendation form: Your recommender should be a faculty member that knows you and your work well. Each scholarship has a unique online application in which the applicant will provide their recommender’s information including an email address. Once the application is submitted the recommender will receive an automated online recommendation form that must be completed as soon as possible but no later than 10 days after the scholarship application closing date. If you are applying for several scholarships during an application cycle (Fall or Spring semesters) your recommender only needs to fill out the online recommendation form once. If you are applying for several scholarships including the Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship you will need a formal letter of recommendation in addition to the online recommendation form.

Letter of recommendation for the Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship: If you are applying for the Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship, a formal letter of recommendation is required instead of the online recommendation form. The letter should be written by your CUNY BA faculty mentor. If you are new to the CUNY BA program and do not yet have a mentor, then your recommendation can be written by another CUNY faculty member. Please do not ask a CUNY BA staff member to write your recommendation letter. We consider this a conflict of interest.

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