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The Kessler Presidential Scholarship Program is a new visionary honors program that provides four years of academic, financial, and social support to exceptional students who are among the first in their family to attend college, helping them achieve their dreams. It is supported by Fred and Judy Wilpon—primary owners of the New York Mets—and is a unique opportunity that is available to only a select group of prestigious colleges in the nation. Become a part of the first class of intellectually curious, passionate, engaged, and committed first-generation college students who will join a thriving community of honors peers at Queens College.

Eligibility requirements

  • First-time freshman status*
  • First-generation college student**
  • High school grade-point average (GPA) of 85 (3.2) or higher
  • Eligible for financial aid through one of the following: NYS TAP, NYS Dream Act TAP; Pell; NYS Excelsior
  • Demonstrated commitment to intellectual challenges, leadership, community service


What we provide

  • Substantial scholarship aid for four years 
  • Subsidized internship or study abroad opportunities
  • One-on-one advising 
  • Peer mentoring from upper-level students
  • A welcoming community where you can find friends and supportive older students
  • Small, discussion-based cohort classes with faculty dedicated to your college success
  • Unique leadership development and service opportunities
  • Priority admission to campus housing (if applicable)
  • Early registration


A mutual commitment

The Kessler Presidential Scholarship Program is committed to supporting students who offer time and talent to help others. As a Kessler Scholar, you are expected to bring your spirit of service to our community.
Program requirements
  • Earn 30 credit hours per academic year
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA
  • In the fall semester of your first year, enroll in the Kessler Scholars first-year seminar; this course will fulfill a general education requirement
  • In the spring semester of your second year, enroll in the Kessler Scholars sophomore seminar; this course will fulfill a general education requirement
  • Attend monthly Kessler Scholars workshops on academic and professional growth
  • Participate in peer support activities
  • In junior and senior years, design and complete a personalized Kessler Commitment Project. Students choose one of several options: an honors major or minor; an accelerated master’s program; or a substantial research, leadership, or community service initiative.


Support from start to finish

As soon as you are admitted to the program, we will guide you through enrollment, orientation, and class registration. When you and your family have questions, you’ll find a real person just an email away—you can even meet with the director face-to-face via teleconference. We will help you feel at home during your transition to college.

One of the most valuable aspects of the program is the community and the experiences that Kessler Scholars share. Personal connections are formed in the Peer Mentor Program, which facilitates a smooth transition to QC. Community service opportunities reflect students’ altruistic interests, and professional development events focus on promising futures. Dedicated faculty and staff offer weekly opportunities to be in touch and talk about courses, finances, or anything at all. Honors faculty and staff members guide students in pursuing internships, competitive local and national awards, and graduate study experiences.

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*a student who has not earned college credits after high school graduation
**a student whose parents or guardians have not earned a college degree 
 
 
 

 Contact Information

 
Location: Honors Hall Room 2
Phone: 718-997-5519

Program Director and Advisor:
Barbara Simerka, Ph.D
Barbara.Simerka@qc.cuny.edu
Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature

*For more information during the period of distance learning, please email your questions or to schedule a virtual meeting. Appointments are being offered daily.
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