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.

Several 2017 MAP Scholars at the MAP Induction and Training

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. 

Applications for MAP have now closed. Check here at the end of November 2017 for a link to the online application.

Click here for more information about MAP:  PDF icon MAP Brochure

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:      

  • Taylor Littlefield of Vinalhaven in ItalyMiddle 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.

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.

Cassidy Jeffers studied in Australia