Kessler Presidential Scholarship Program

Welcome to The Kessler Presidential Scholarship Program
A group of people sitting on grass outdoors looking at a laptop.

Office Information

Location: Honors Hall Room 1
Email: KesslerQC@qc.cuny.edu

The Kessler Presidential Scholarship Program is a new visionary program that provides 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.

*For more information, please email your questions or to schedule a meeting.

Zoom Open House on Thursday, May 12th at 4:30 – 5:30

Click Here for a Zoom Link

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

Eligibility requirements
  • Admitted to QC as a First-time freshman for Fall 2021
  • First-generation college student
  • High school grade-point average (GPA) of 87 (3.3) or higher
  • Must be eligible for New York state or pell financial aid
  • A student who has not earned college credits after high school graduation
  • A student whose parents or guardians have not earned a college degree
What we provide
  • Tuition support to supplement financial aid
  • A $500 stipend for books and other expenses every semester
  • Subsidized internship, research, or study abroad opportunities
  • One-on-one advising 
  • Peer mentoring 
  • 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 weekly Kessler Scholars workshops on academic and professional growth
  • Participate in peer support activities
Support on your academic journey

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 during weekly office hours on campus or via teleconference. We offer a summer program with virtual and on-campus activities to help students prepare themselves for academic success. This experience will help you form communities to 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 pairs new students with supportive program members. 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. They guide students as they pursue internships, competitive local and national awards, and graduate study experiences.