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A Unique Opportunity

As a Kessler Scholar, you join a special community that offers first-generation students the resources and support necessary to thrive at Cornell and beyond. Through peer mentoring, interactions with alumni, leadership development, and transformational experiences on and off campus, you will thrive in a close-knit and empowering community.

How are Kessler Scholars selected?

All Kessler Scholars are selected based upon their demonstrated academic accomplishments, sustained community engagement, financial need, and status as a first-generation college student.  Staff from the Dean of Students, Diversity & Inclusion team, reviews your admissions essays, recommendations, and records of achievement, specifically seeking:

  • high academic and personal accomplishments
  • sustained community engagement and leadership skills
  • the ability to overcome adversity and barriers
  • potential to contribute to and benefit from the diverse Kessler Scholars community

All students selected for the Kessler Presidential Scholarship will be notified between April – June and advised of next steps to accept the award.

Benefits and expectations of the Kessler Scholarship

The Kessler Scholarship is renewable for four years (eight semesters) and provides students with the opportunity to become actively engaged members of the Cornell community as students and future alumni. As a Kessler Scholar, you will be invited to participate in:

  • academic and professional workshops
  • opportunities for personal and professional transformative summer experiences
  • mentorship and service opportunities to help you grow and thrive
  • academic and financial support services