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TO:                 Superintendents & Principals of Schools


FROM:           J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner


DATE:            February 14, 2001


RE:                 Mitchell Scholarships


            In mid-January, the guidance counselors in your local high schools received a packet from the Mitchell Institute which contained the application for this year’s Mitchell Scholarships.  I would like to bring this application to your attention as well, for the Mitchell Scholarships offer tremendous opportunities for Maine’s youth.


            Each spring, 160 Mitchell Scholars are named – including one graduating senior from every public high school in the state.  A number of awards are also available for students graduating from private or parochial school, home-schooled students, and non-traditional students.  Mitchell Scholars receive a $4,000 scholarship ($1,000 in each of their four years of college) and must plan to enroll in a Maine college or university.


            What makes the Mitchell Scholarship unique – beyond the significant amount of financial assistance it offers – is that Mitchell Scholars also gain access to a wide array of support programs.  These programs range from assistance with finding summer employment, to leadership training, to mentoring.  In addition, all Mitchell Scholars participate in ongoing research conducted by the Mitchell Institute to track their college and career experiences and to learn about outcomes for scholarship recipients.  This research will make a significant contribution to our understanding of factors that influence students’ success. The Mitchell Institute also has recently been working with the Mitchell Scholars to encourage them to visit their high schools in order to speak with underclassmen about their own college experience and to distribute a handout describing resources on college planning.  If you are interested in learning more about the work of the Mitchell Institute, please visit their web site at


I also would like to highlight that the scholarship selection process is geared to finding students for whom the scholarship will make a real difference.  Fully one-third of


the Mitchell Scholars are first-generation college students and more than half are from families where neither parent holds a four-year degree.  The scholarship criteria are:  academic performance/academic potential, community service, and financial need.  No one of these criteria is most important.  This year’s Mitchell Scholarship Application deadline is April 6th.


            Please join me in encouraging all high school seniors in your districts who plan to enroll in a Maine college or university next fall to apply for the Mitchell Scholarship. This is not a program that is set aside for the most elite students in your schools – it is open to all, and looks to identify young men and women of great potential for whom the financial assistance and access to support programming would make the most difference.