Participants and facilitators at the MAP Summer Leadership Intensive at Bowdoin College

The Island Institute supports students in academic and professional-development pursuits. We firmly believe that these students contribute to the viability and vitality of life in year-round island and working waterfront communities.

Since 1990, the Island Institute has awarded over 1,400 post-secondary scholarships totaling nearly $2 million. In 2018, we granted over $50,000 to 58 island students, enabling recipients to pursue academic and life-enriching endeavors at post-secondary institutions across North America. We also accepted 8 high school juniors into our second MAP (Mentoring, Access, and Persistence) cohort, which provides transition and scholarship support to students as they navigate steps post-high school.  Our middle, high school, and college scholarship program (the Geiger Scholarship) provides opportunities for students pursuing camp, study abroad, gap year, or semester enrichment programs to have unique experiences that both prepare them for college and life beyond. During the 2017-2018 school year, this fund awarded $50,000 to 21 students.

Jack Sullivan / Island Institute

Junior and senior MAP students at the 2018 MAP Induction and Sendoff


MAP Program

High School class of 2020, check back in November 2018 for information about applying!

High school juniors are invited to apply to our Mentoring, Access, and Persistence (MAP) Program, which provides students with leadership training, monthly webinars, college and scholarship application assistance, and a college peer mentor, in addition to a $500/year renewable scholarship for post-secondary education.  Each year, a MAP student from Casco Bay will receive the Seth Jordan Memorial Scholarship, a one-time gift of $2500, and a student from Downeast and the Penobscot Bay region will receive the Peter and Philip Scholarship for $2500.

These services are available to eligible island high school juniors, including those interested in pursuing “non-traditional paths” such as two-year, vocational, or technical programs at an accredited institution, and to students who are uncertain of their future plans.  

For more information about the MAP Program,  download a copy of the brochure here

Maine Island Scholarship

Applications are now closed.  Please check back in November 2018 for information about applying!

The Maine Island Scholarship supports high-achieving island students, including non-traditional students, who are pursuing post-secondary education and have a demonstrated financial need. Applicants should demonstrate a high level of commitment to their academics, extracurriculars, communities, and development as leaders. This is a competitive scholarship — not all applicants who apply will receive an award. Five scholarships are available: submit one application, and you will be considered for the following:

  • One (1) — Sweet Scholarship — awarded to the top scoring applicant entering their freshman year. This is a $2,500 award, renewable for up to four years.
  • Four (4) — Maine Island Scholarships — awarded to the top scoring applicants as a one-time $1,500 award. Students may apply for this award each year of their post-secondary education, up to four years. 
  • Otter Island Scholarship — awarded as a one-time award to the top scoring applicant attending one of the following schools: Connecticut College, Colorado College, Duke University, Texas Christian University, University of Utah, and Vanderbilt University.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Island residency on one of Maine’s 15 year-round, un-bridged islands
  • Currently enrolled in or have graduated from the highest grade level available at your island school
  • Pursuing an undergraduate program at an accredited post-secondary (2-year, 4-year, vocational, technical) institute
  • Fully matriculated in a full-time program
  • Expected Family Contribution (from the Student Aid Report of the FAFSA) may not exceed $15,000
  • Extenuating circumstances considered on a case-by-case basis

Please note: Eligible students may apply to this scholarship each year of their college career, up to four years. Students who were awarded the Maine Island Scholarship Renewal in 2017 are ineligible for this award, but should read below for information on how to renew your award for the 2019-2020 school year. 

Maine Island Scholarship Renewal and MAP Renewal

Students looking to renew their Maine Island Scholarship Renewal Award or their MAP Scholarship award for the 2019-2020 school year can renew their award here. You will be asked to upload your transcript with your fall 2018 grades (unofficial is fine) and update your contact information. Named scholarship award winners (Cabot, Otter, and Sweet Scholars) will also be asked to upload a short essay. This is for current college students who received the Maine Island Scholarship Renewal (awarded in the spring of 2017) or named scholarships (Sumner, Cabot, Otter, and Sweet Scholarships). 

Please check back in November 2018 for a link to the application!

Other Scholarships

In addition to the above Island Institute scholarships, we have compiled a list of other  external scholarships island students may be eligible for. You will find scholarships listed by Maine county that may be relevant to island students, including some island-specific scholarships. If you are a scholarship provider and would like to add your scholarship to this list, please contact us at scholarships@islandinstitute.org.

Geiger Scholarship

Please note, we’ve changed our spring deadline to FEBRUARY 28TH!

The Geiger Scholarship supports students from Maine’s year-round, un-bridged islands who are eager to expand their educational horizons through off-island enrichment and travel experiences. The focus is on providing this opportunity to students who will grow individually through participation in off-island enrichment experiences. This scholarship is intended to serve students who may not otherwise be able to have these experiences. Preference is given for students pursuing programs independently, rather than participating in a pre-planned class trip. 

Students are eligible for one Geiger Scholarship award during middle school, one during high school, one during college, and one as a gap year. Scholarships support the following groups of students:

  • Middle School students attending off-island enrichment or travel programs, including summer camp
  • High School students attending a semester enrichment program (such as a semester school) or attending an off-island summer camp, travel, or enrichment program  
  • College Students participating in a semester or summer study abroad program
  • Students enrolled in a gap year program between high school and post-secondary education

Scholarships will be awarded for up to $10,000 for semester programs and up to $5,000 for summer programs. Students must enroll directly in a program to be eligible for the Geiger Scholarship, as this scholarship must be paid directly towards tuition costs/program fees. This scholarship cannot be used as a program deposit or to cover travel expenses.

Due to the generosity of a donor, we are able to fully fund (tuition and program deposit) for one student to attend the Yale Young Global Scholars Program. Students wishing to attend the Yale Young Global Scholars Program will need to apply to and be accepted directly into their program. Receiving the Geiger Scholarship to attend the Yale Young Global Scholars Program will provide full funding (above the standard $5,000 cap) for you to attend this program, but does not guarantee your acceptance into the program. If more than one student is accepted to the Yale Young Global Scholars Program in any application round, the full scholarship will be given to the highest scoring application. The other applicants will automatically qualify for the traditional Geiger scholarship.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Island residency on one of Maine’s 15 year-round, un-bridged islands
  • Current enrollment in the 6th grade or above
  • Current enrollment in, or prior graduation from the highest grade available at your island school
  • Extenuating circumstances regarding island residency and education considered on a case-by-case basis

There are two application deadlines per year: November 30th and February 28th. Awards will be given for programs whose start date is up to one year after the application deadline. Awards cannot be deferred or postponed.

Scholars are required, upon completion of their experience, to write a personal statement about the experience and its impact and submit the reflection, along with several photographs, to the Island Institute within 30 days of returning.

For more information and to apply, please visit: https://app.smarterselect.com/programs/50255-Island-Institute

Questions? Contact us at scholarships@islandinstitute.org and include “Geiger” in the subject line.