Frances Perkins Scholars

If you’re ready to finish your first bachelor’s degree after taking time away to become a parent, serve our country or explore other paths, we can help make your educational dreams a reality. Here we value perspectives across backgrounds and experiences. It’s a place where you’ll be challenged academically, where you’ll be celebrated for who you are and where you’ll discover your full potential. We welcome 25 Frances Perkins scholars each year, who receive generous financial support to make their education possible. As a women’s college that is gender diverse, we accept applications from students who identify as female, transgender and nonbinary.

Frances Perkins, class of 1902, was the first female Cabinet member in United States history. The namesake for our nationally recognized program, she continues to serve as a reminder of the impact Mount Holyoke students can make.

Am I eligible to apply as a Frances Perkins Scholar?

If the following criteria apply to you, the answer is yes:

  • You are at least 25 years of age or a veteran, active military member or under the age of 25 but with dependents.
  • You do not hold a bachelor’s degree but have earned between 40 and 64 college credits.
  • You are eager to take on the intellectual — and personal — challenge of fulfilling the same requirements as all other Mount Holyoke students, whether through a full or part-time (two course) schedule.

How we read applications

We value proven academic excellence and pay close attention to your performance in college-level coursework. (Read more about transferring credits.) But who you are as a person matters in our review too. We’re excited by Frances Perkins applicants who value some of the same things we do, including wide-ranging curiosity, a commitment to open-mindedness and a desire to make a positive impact — whether on a personal, community or global level. 

A few things to know as you prepare to apply:

  • You can apply for either spring or fall transfer consideration.
  • You should submit your application and supporting materials by posted deadlines.
  • You’ll need to submit official transcripts from all secondary and post-secondary institutions attended — we cannot accept unofficial transcripts.
  • Interviews are required for Frances Perkins candidates, so be sure to schedule your interview in advance of the application deadline.
  • You may indicate your preference for housing in your application — note that our on-campus housing is limited and does not accommodate families.

Application materials

To apply, candidates should submit the following:

  • Apply using the Common Application for transfer students. Please select “The Frances Perkins Program”.
  • Official transcript(s) for all college-level coursework completed.
  • Official high school transcript.
  • Recommendations:
    • If currently enrolled in coursework, two academic recommendations are required.
    • If not currently enrolled, two professional or personal recommendations are required, though academic evaluations are also welcome.
  • Mid-year report for those currently enrolled in college.
  • Resume.
  • Interview.

If you have difficulty submitting a web-based application, please contact the Frances Perkins Program by phone (413-538-2077) or by email.