Kimberly Liu 3 min read Scholarships

The Harriet Fitzgerald College Scholarship

Outside scholarships are an excellent way to receive funding for college. Privately-funded merit scholarships come in all shapes and sizes; they differ in terms of target population, mission, eligibility requirements, amount awarded, and schools supported.


There is no cap to how many scholarships you can apply to, and you can generally apply to multiple scholarships simultaneously. Keep in mind that if the institution you are planning on attending is offering you financial aid, you will have to report the amount of outside scholarships you receive, and your financial aid package will usually be adjusted accordingly. That said, it’s worthwhile to consider applying for scholarships, especially if you’re not receiving need-based financial aid.


Read on to learn more about one particular scholarship for women, the Harriet Fitzgerald College Scholarship.


The Harriet Fitzgerald College Scholarship


The Harriet Fitzgerald College Scholarship is one of the scholarships awarded by The Sunflower Initiative. The Sunflower Initiative is a nonprofit organization founded by women to support those attending women’s colleges in the United States. It was established by alumnae of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, who believed in the value of a women’s college education for its ability to empower and educate women.


Graduating seniors are encouraged to apply, as well as women who have taken one or two gap years since high school, as long as you are an incoming first-year. The scholarship committee expects applicants to have a “stellar” academic record, strong references, and display evidence of leadership qualities and their passion for social contribution.


To give you a more quantitative sense of what the committee expects, ideal applicants should have an unweighted GPA of at least 3.7, and a composite SAT score of at least 1900 (old SAT), or 1350 (new SAT). Student who elected to take the ACT instead should have a composite score of at least 27 with no single ACT score below 25.


For the academic year of 2019-2020, the scholarship will award $10,000 to the winner, with possibility of renewal for the next year.

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How to Apply


The application deadline for the Harriet Fitzgerald College Scholarship for 2019 was February 1, and we can expect a similar deadline for students applying in 2020.


A complete application includes an essay, official transcripts, a resumé, official SAT or ACT scores, and three letters of recommendation. All forms and detailed instructions can be found on the scholarship’s page online.


Tips on Applying for Scholarships

Meet or exceed the requirements 

There is no question that your application will be competing against those of other highly competent applicants, so the first box you need to check is those of the entry requirements, especially the quantitative ones! Although not meeting some of them won’t bar you from applying, it’s hard to use other aspects of your application to compensate for a lower GPA, for example.


Talk to Winners

It’s always a smart idea to talk to those who have received the scholarship in the past, to get a sense of their experience in going through the application process, their accomplishments, and to see if they have any tips for you.


Many scholarship organizations announce their winners online, so you should be able to get in touch with them quite easily. If you can’t find them on Linkedin, try emailing the organization.


The Harriet Fitzgerald College Scholarship has a page with information about all their recipients.


Stand Out / Highlight Your Strengths

There’s no doubt you’ve already heard this during your college applications process. It’s similar for scholarship applications: find your strengths, and apply them to your application. The most memorable applications have the highest chances. Some scholarships are designated for specific skills or subjects, such as fine arts scholarships or STEM scholarships, in which case an applicant’s strength is taken as a default and already being leveraged. The Harriet Fitzgerald College Scholarship is for anyone enrolling at a women’s college, so take advantage of what edge you have.


You can also take a look at some of CollegeVine’s tips on scholarship applications here.


Applying for scholarships can be stressful, especially when the results can determine whether you can afford to attend a certain institution or not. Before scholarships, though, you want to ensure that your college application is as strong as it can be. CollegeVine’s College Applications Program works with seniors through every step of the college applications process, including how to win larger scholarship awards.

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Kimberly Liu
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Kimberly graduated from Smith College with a degree in English Literature. This year, she has been based in Beijing, China, where she works in the education field and rescues dogs in her free time. She will be starting her masters at Columbia University in the fall.