Laurel Fellowship Criteria

Mount Holyoke offers Laurel Fellowships (need-based financial aid) to support students whose own resources are not sufficient to cover the cost of a semester or year of study abroad or on one of the College's affiliated programs in the U.S. (the Semester in Environmental Science at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory and the American University Washington Semester Program).  Laurel Fellowships substitute for the need-based aid that students receive for study here on campus, and are the only form of financial aid given by Mount Holyoke for study away.

Mount Holyoke aims to fund all qualified students whose plan for study away relates to their major, minor, or overall academic program and goals, particularly students who fall into either or both of the following categories:

  • Students applying to study abroad who have little or no previous experience outside the U.S., regardless of their major
  • Students whose program of study abroad/away will significantly enhance their work in their major or minor

We evaluate each application according to the relevance of the program/location chosen to the student’s stated goals, the student’s academic preparation for study abroad/away (including language proficiency, if applicable), and the student’s overall academic record.  No priority or preference is given solely on the basis of GPA or major.

To help us meet our goal of funding as many students as possible, the following limitations apply:

  • Laurel Fellowship funding generally will be limited to one semester for any student who studies in an English-speaking developed country.  This limitation will not apply if the student’s educational program clearly warrants a full year or if she is selected for an MHC exchange that is offered for a full year only.
  • Laurel Fellowship funding will be limited to one program per student, whether for the year or one semester (that is, a student may be funded for a full year abroad in one location, but not for two semesters on different programs).
  • Students who have already lived outside the U.S. for an extended period of time will need to argue persuasively that study abroad will significantly enhance their work in their major or minor in order to be considered for Laurel funding, especially if they are applying to study in a country or region in which they have previously lived.
  • Laurel Fellowships for study abroad generally will be awarded only for Laurel Preferred Programs.  Laurel Preferred Programs are high quality programs that are competitively priced for their location.  Our priority is to fund as many students as we can, for good programs that will meet their academic needs.  By limiting Laurel Fellowships to Laurel Preferred Programs, we are able to fund many more students than we otherwise could.  Students who think they have a compelling reason to study in a country or region in which there is no Laurel Preferred Program listed should consult with Joanne Picard, Dean of International Studies, to identify a suitable program.

Please note that Mount Holyoke generally will not fund:

  • Study abroad/away in a student’s final semester
  • International students who wish to study in their home country or region