What are your chances of acceptance?

Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Duke University
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

The Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity

The average family now pays more than $100,000 out of pocket for a degree from a four-year private college. This means that, even with financial aid, college expenses can be extraordinary. Scholarships can help offset this financial burden, and most families are surprised to hear just how many lucrative scholarships are out there. In this series, we spotlight some big money scholarships and dig into how you can optimize your chances of earning one. Read on  learn more about the $20,000 Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity. 

About the Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity

The Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity is administered by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven in Connecticut. This scholarship stands out from other college scholarships because of its unique objective: it doesn’t recognize academic achievement, but instead rewards outstanding innovation and creative thought. Winners are typically creative problem-solvers. In the past, they have included: an eclectic street artist who inspired his community; an aspiring engineer who improved his school cafeteria’s sustainability by building a solar-powered aquaponic geodesic dome; and a peacekeeping student who created “Middle East Skype Sessions” to encourage cross cultural empathy and communication.


To apply, students fill out an online application. This application focuses on a specific project that offers an creative solution to a problem in the applicant’s community. The application encourage students to include supporting materials, including artwork, press clippings, photographs, video or audio material, or anything else the student believes is relevant. Applicants are encouraged to upload supporting materials directly to the application as a digital file.


The application also requests two letters of support from individuals familiar with the applicant’s project, a high school transcript, a scanned copy of any letters of acceptance to college for high school seniors, and a Copy of IRS 1040 or the FAFSA.


Completed applications must be submitted online by May 1st of each year, and any supporting hard copy documents must be postmarked no later than May 1st. Winners are notified by the end of August.

Requirements for the Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity

Applicants must meet one of the following criteria:


  • Currently a high school junior or senior, or
  • Anyone planning to enroll in an undergraduate program the following fall or spring, or
  • A student in the first year of an undergraduate degree program


To be eligible for this award, you must be either:


  • A Connecticut or New York City metropolitan area resident who plans to attend or is attending an institution of higher education anywhere in the United States,  or
  • A resident of any part of the U.S. who plans to attend or is attending an institution of higher education in CT or NYC


The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven grants 3-6 awards each year of up to $20,000 each. Financial need will not play a role in the selection of recipients, but the amount of any award, from $1,000 to $5,000 per year, renewable for four years, will be determined by the financial need of the recipient.

Tips on Applying for the Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity

Use the provided resources. The scholarship webpage includes an extensive collection of answers to Frequently Asked Questions for each stage of scholarship application and judging process. Read this page carefully before applying; it gives a clear picture of what kinds of projects are a good fit for this award and how to present your project in the best light on your application.


Choose your recommenders mindfully. Unlike many college scholarship applications, your recommendations for this award do not have to come from teachers. The scholarship specifies that one recommendation should be from someone from your school who is familiar with you and your project, but this does not have to be a teacher. It could be a mentor, coach, principal, or adviser. Your other letter can come from anyone familiar with your project. Choose recommenders who can provide new insight into your project. In particular, avoid choosing a teacher who knows you very well academically, but might have little to say about your specific project or activity. The recommendation form specifics that “only letters that address directly the project or activities the applicant described in his/her application will be helpful to the applicant.”


Keep track of your accomplishments. The bulk of the judging criteria for this specific award are directly related to your described project or activity, but other factors do come into play. The scholarship website confirms that “academic and extracurricular information play an important secondary role in helping the Committee get a fuller picture of the applicant.” For this reason, you should include any honors or accomplishments that may help you to stand out or support your application.


Submit an amazing essay. Don’t write your essay directly into the online application form and then click “submit.” Instead, write it in advance, outside of the application; then, go that extra mile and put your essay through multiple rounds of editing and proofreading. While the final essay needs to be your work and your work alone, it’s acceptable–and smart!–to have a trusted mentor, teacher, or friend provide a second set eyes as you polish your work.


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.