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 1,140 post-secondary scholarships totaling more than $2 million. In 2017, we granted over $55,000 to 71 island students, offering renewable financial assistance to all qualifying island residents and enabling recipients to pursue academic and life-enriching endeavors at post-secondary institutions across North America. We also accepted 16 high school juniors into our first 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. Last year, this fund awarded $50,000 to 15 students.

MAP Program

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.  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. 

Check back for a link to the application at the beginning of December. The application will go live on December 1st and is due on February 28th.  

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

Maine Island Scholarship – NEW THIS YEAR!

The NEW 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. 

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 FAFSA Student Aid Report) of $15,000 or less
  • Extenuating circumstances considered on a case-by-case basis

Please note: Students who received the Maine Island Scholarship Renewal in 2017 are ineligible for this award. Read below for how to renew your award for the 2018-2019 school year. 

Check back for a link to the application at the beginning of December. The application will go live on December 1st and is due on February 28th.  

Maine Island Scholarship Renewal

Students who received the Maine Island Renewal Scholarship in the spring of 2017: To renew your scholarship for the 2018-2019 school year, please send Caroline a copy of your most recent transcript (email and unofficial transcripts accepted) by February 28, 2018. If your contact information or college of attendance has changed, please include that information.

Otter Island Scholarship

The Otter Island Scholarship is awarded to an island student of good academic standing who is attending a specific college around the country. Students attending the following colleges are eligible to apply for the Otter Island Scholarship:

  • Colorado College
  • Connecticut College
  • Duke University
  • Texas Christian University
  • University of Utah
  • Vanderbilt

Check back for a link to the application at the beginning of December. The application will go live on December 1st and is due on February 28th.  

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 Caroline Moore.

Geiger Scholarship

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.

Eva, of Islesboro, at the US Embassy in Tokyo

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 March 31st. 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: 

Questions? Contact Caroline Moore at or (207) 594-9209 x159.