What's On Your Mind?

Frequently Asked Questions | The MLK Scholar Program

  • The financial scholarship sounds nice. Does that increase over time or can I request more?
    • Great question! At this time, we are only able to guarantee each individual 'Scholar $25,000.00. Depending on that person's individual needs as reported on the FAFSA and reviewed by our Student Financial Services Team, you may be eligible for additional need-based aid that would accompany the $25,000.00 MLK Scholarship in your financial aid package. Within our timeline, we try our best to deliver information that will help you in your decision process as quickly and detailed as possible. This includes being able to see your financial package with and without the MLK Scholarship. During your admittance process, you may receive a financial aid package that does not reflect the MLK Scholarship and/or merit-based aid. It is important to note that once finalists are offered an invitation to join the program, the new financial aid package that will be shared does not "stack" on top of and is not in addition to the first package. The MLK Scholar Program package is a revised copy of the first. 
    • If you have additional questions, please contact our Student Financial Services team and request an appointment to speak one-on-one.

  • What advice would you give a prospective student that is interested in the MLK Scholar Program at IC and considering applying?
    • Another great question; thanks for asking! Be yourself. You are enough and a powerful, beautiful human being. If you have clicked through our site and landed here, we imagine you have a deep interest in social justice. We validate everything you have done, are currently doing, and will do for social change. As you apply, take some moments to reflect on your "why" as it relates to your leadership and social justice commitment. Reflect that "why" in your application materials. We want to learn more about you and your personal story throughout this process. We are here to support you as you make a huge decision around your college selection process. We want the prospective students we select to ultimately choose us, too, at the end of this and stand proud as IC Bombers. Be yourself. 

  • How can I better prepare for the interview process?
    • We encourage you to explore all of the associated pages here in our MLK Scholar Program website. Reflect on your personal values and interest around social justice and service as you'll be asked to articulate those points and expand on your application materials. Also, attending the scheduled webinars and engagement sessions to learn more about the program and connect with current students can be insightful. We are loving these questions; keep them coming!

  • Can you talk more about how MLK Scholars are personally supported? Social justice work can be pretty heavy, draining, and tiring in addition to a student's academic commitments. 
    • At the peer level, we have the Bigs and Littles program. This is a 100% student-led effort from within our community in which MLK Scholars are paired according to interests, values, majors, and other factors, creating a support system. This is an optional resource. 
    • Each MLK Scholar is also paired with a faculty or staff member from our Program Support Team. 'Scholars connect with these mentors and develop a relationship as they see fit that will support their individual journey at IC and beyond. 

  • What's going down with the travel opportunities? Could you say more about that?
    • First-year MLK Scholars are required to travel on the Civil Rights Tour during IC's fall break. Over 4-5 days, you will speak with footsoldiers that were active in the movement and continue to advocate for justice in the 21st century. You will visit museums and touch history while processing course material from the 3-credit seminar to ground your knowledge in US Civil Rights. All of the trip logistics are coordinated by the program and come at no additional expense to the MLK Scholar outside of some personal spending money for a few meals and souvenirs. We travel together as a cohort so it may be wise to bring your official photo ID needed to fly, a few business and business casual outfits, and luggage.  
    • The junior and senior class MLK Scholars travel internationally, together. Focusing on global citizenship and research, these experiences happen in January over 6-10 days in a selected destination outside of the United States. When crafting the itinerary, our team is intentional to have a broad range of touchpoints and visits that match our 5 schools at Ithaca College. While we can't tailor our schedule to meet the individual needs of each 'Scholars particular case study (focus area in social justice), you can plan to engage with local communities through dialogues and formal presentations that center communications, health, law  & government, the arts, and economics.  If you don't have a passport, we invite you to consider starting that application process as early as possible. 
    • Due to the global pandemic, all program-related travel has been suspended until further notice and approval by our college leadership team. 

  • So I need a 3.3. cumulative GPA to maintain my scholarship each semester. What happens if I am not able to achieve that?
    • We are dedicated to supporting our MLK Scholars and committed to keeping our students active and engaged in the program if they desire to remain. We have a warning system in place that puts the 'Scholar in charge at each level, allowing them to work with the Program Director and their Program Support Team mentor on a specific plan/ course of action that will put them back on track for 'good standing.' Each student may have a unique situation so we handle things on a case-by-case basis to better support the individual. Please know, we are committed to your wellness and want you to be an active participant in your learning and success. We are here to work with you and never against you (you asked some dynamic questions, too! We are here for it).

  • I've seen other MLK Scholar Programs at other schools. Are they all the same or connected?
    • The MLK Scholar Program at Ithaca College is a stand-alone program. While there are programs in other places like New York City and in Louisiana, we are connected only in name and adopting the philosophies and teachings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Recently, 'Scholar Kayla Barrientos-Collins '22 suggested that we look into what opportunities exist to bring MLK Scholars across the country together after 'Scholar Maya McCullough '23 conducted some research for her campus job as an IDEAS Peer Educator. Maya's research examined what we are calling 'sibling programs;' being programs that resemble our structure and mission at IC. Kayla and Maya have laid a foundation for future opportunities that may strengthen the student experience by expanding our community. Stay tuned!

  • I have questions about life on campus and other opportunities that may help me consider if I should apply to the MLK Scholar Program.
    • Please visit our IC Connect page to discover life at IC, check out upcoming info sessions, and engagement opportunities.


Office of Admission
Ithaca College
953 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850-7000