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Joyce Ivy Foundation Scholars-A Summer Opportunity for Women from the Midwest

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If you’ve ever received emails or correspondence from various organizations that claim you can be a part of an elite group of individuals, you are probably not alone. Many times, the opportunities offered sound too good to be true, and when you delve a little deeper, you learn that you can be this scholar or that scholar for an exorbitant fee.


If you receive an email from the Joyce Ivy Foundation making similar claims, don’t toss out the mail or delete the email. The Joyce Ivy Foundation is an organization that offers young women from across the Midwest the opportunity to become a Joyce Ivy Foundation Scholar, a position which includes myriad benefits, but without any hidden fees!


If you are a woman from the Midwest and have aspirations of attending a highly selective university, read on to learn about how the Joyce Ivy Foundation can help you achieve your dreams.

About the Joyce Ivy Foundation

The Joyce Ivy Foundation was started in 2006 after a group of Midwest natives who had attended colleges such as Princeton, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Brown, came together with the goal of providing other young women from the Midwest the same educational opportunities they had.


The founders realized that students from the Midwest were under-represented on the campuses of these highly selective universities due to lack of awareness about the opportunities and scholarships that were available to them. They also recognized that many students in the Midwest were unable to recognize their own talent or felt that they couldn’t compete with students from other parts of the country, and the foundation wanted to encourage young women to pursue various opportunities outside of their comfort zone.


The Joyce Ivy Foundation created the Summer Scholars Program, which gives young women from the Midwest the opportunity to venture away from home during the summer to attend some of the most highly selective universities in the country. The foundation provides critical information about admissions, the financial aid process, the interview process, and connects scholars with peers and mentors to boost their confidence.


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How you can become a Joyce Ivy Foundation Scholar

Each year, the Joyce Ivy Foundation (JIF), names young women from Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Missouri, South Dakota, and North Dakota Joyce Ivy Foundation Scholars. In 2016, 78 Scholars were named from 70 different schools.


What does it mean to be a Joyce Ivy Scholar?

Once selected as a JIF Scholar, students are offered the opportunity to attend summer programs at schools such as Yale, Harvard, MIT, Johns Hopkins, and more. The programs at these institutions vary in length, but most range from two to seven weeks. In some cases, students may be eligible to receive college credit for the coursework.


Once on the campus of your selected university, you will be immersed in college classes, studying alongside university students. You will be taught by university professors, live in the college dorms, and experience life in a city. This experience allows you to have a college experience during your summer vacation that may prove to be life-changing.


What are my chances of being selected a JIF Scholar?

There are many highly qualified individuals that apply, and the selection process is very competitive. Selection criteria are based on academic record, intellectual qualities, involvement in extracurricular activities, and leadership in school and your community.


You are more likely to be named a Joyce Ivy Scholar as a rising junior or senior, although there have been instances when an exceptional rising sophomore is selected. If you choose to apply as a rising sophomore, please understand that you will be competing against some of the top students in your state.


When is the JIF Scholars application available?

The application is available in December for female students in their sophomore or junior year of high school.  On occasion, exceptional students may be chosen as rising sophomores.


What does the application entail?

The application is very similar to the Common Application.  You will be required to fill out similar forms and write essays from past and present Common Application prompts, which allows you to get a better understanding of the college application process.


If you are applying for need-based financial aid, you will need to submit your parent’s tax documents to verify financial need.

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Does the Joyce Ivy Foundation help fund the summer program if I am selected a JIF Scholar?

The Joyce Ivy Foundation has three levels of funding available for summer study. Funding levels are $6,000, $3,000 and $1,000. The funding is based on demonstrated financial need and is calculated estimating the full cost of attendance which includes tuition, room, board, travel, and spending money. The $1,000 award is merit-based, and although the application is the same, you will not be required to submit tax documents for this level of funding.


Students will typically receive a partner scholarship from the university, and scholarship amounts will be determined by the cost of the specific summer program the student chooses to attend.


In order to receive funding from the University and the Joyce Ivy Foundation, you must complete separate applications for the summer program as well as the Scholar program, and you must identify yourself as a Joyce Ivy applicant.  The Foundation encourages students to complete both applications early as funding is limited.


Being named a JIF Scholar is not a prerequisite to attend a summer program. All programs that partner with JIF are open to any student, but being named a JIF Scholar confers additional financial and networking advantages.


What happens if I’m named a JIF Scholar and I am unable to attend a summer program?

Once you are named a JIF Scholar, you will attain access to peer mentoring and support from the foundation regardless of whether or not you can attend a summer program.


However, the funding you may receive can only be used for a summer program prior to graduating from high school and cannot be used for undergraduate study.


The foundation has created geo-circles where students from across the Midwest are connected to each other and mentors from the organization to share information, concerns, questions, victories and defeats. The Scholars often find themselves connected for years to come and many form life-long friendships.


Don’t Just take our word for it!

“Receiving the opportunity to attend a summer program at Brown University stretched my comfort zone, and it provided me a first-hand experience of connecting with peers in a college environment. It opened my perspective and perception of others as I ventured outside of North Dakota, which I learned to thrive independently in a vibrant metropolitan city. Engaging in a high level academic environment allowed me to see how passionate other students were in their fields of study. The Joyce Ivy foundation served as my foundation to pursue my passion for education, as it fulfilled my desire for knowledge and learning to allow me to get into my dream school.” – Lynna, North Dakota JIF Scholar 2016


“My summer program at WashU was a life-changing experience. I came back home feeling more independent and confident than ever. Before that, I didn’t know if I had what it took to make it in to a prestigious university, but now I know that I can do anything I set my mind to. Without the generosity of the Joyce Ivy Foundation, I never would have had the amazing opportunity to travel, study, and meet people from all over the world!” – Megan, Michigan JIF Scholar 2016


Fun Facts about the 2016 JIF Scholars:


  1. 100% of the Scholars had the academic, intellectual, and the leadership potential to thrive in a diverse, academic environment.
  2. 45% were lower-income.
  3. 45% were middle-income.
  4. 10% received partial, merit-only based awards.
  5. Approximately 33% will be the first in their family to go to college.
  6. 67% have a 4.0 GPA.
  7. 40% were students of color.


What else does the Joyce Ivy Foundation do?

The Joyce Ivy Foundation serves as a resource for young women throughout the Midwest. They believe in the transformative power of educational experiences that challenge students and raise aspirations.


Each year, JIF also hosts a College Admission Symposium, where young women and their families are given the opportunity to connect with admission counselors from selective universities to learn more about the application process, financial aid and interviewing techniques. The symposium is held in May and pre-registration is required. The symposium is open to young women and their families regardless of if they are named a JIF Scholar.


Each year, the foundation also hosts a gala for Joyce Ivy Scholars where they are recognized for their accomplishments. Scholars have the opportunity to visit with their peers throughout the evening, which provides an opportunity to make life-long connections with other young women that have similar dreams and aspirations.


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Tammy Goerger
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Tammy Goerger is a long-time educator and geo-circle lead for the Joyce Ivy Foundation. She is the mother of three children who attended Yale, Stanford, and Princeton, and she has a passion for helping students achieve their dreams and aspirations. She has been a resource for students and parents about the application process, financial aid, and scholarships. She enjoys sharing her love for music with others and volunteers as an EMT on her local ambulance squad. She strives to teach her students about the importance of community service, as well as the importance of living with an attitude of gratitude.