The CUNY Graduate Center Application

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The CUNY Graduate Center Application





The Belle Zeller Scholarship Trust Fund was established in 1979 by the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, the instructional staff union of The City University of New York. The scholarship honors the founding president of the PSC, Belle Zeller, Professor Emerita of Political Science at Brooklyn College, where she taught for over 40 years. This scholarship is intended to honor the unique qualities of Belle Zeller: the combination of social commitment and scholarship and is based on merit not financial need. The Fund is an independent not-for-profit organization.


  • The Board of Trustees of the Belle Zeller Scholarship Trust Fund (Trustees) will review all applications and select those candidates to be interviewed
  • Applicants shall be a full-time CUNY graduate student with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or better.
  • The Belle Zeller Scholarship will be awarded to graduate students for one year and will be paid $5,000 within one academic year in the amount of $2,500 each semester.
  • The recipient must continue to maintain a 3.75 or better GPA and continue to demonstrate service to their community. The Trustees shall be the sole judge of whether a recipient continues to meet these requirements.
  • If there is a break in attendance, the Trustees shall determine the renewability of the award.
  • Scholarship recipients should use the award immediately and it cannot be deferred. Any exception must be approved by the Trustees.
  • Applicants should show evidence of significant service to CUNY, the community, and/or their respective colleges by letters, and/or other documents.
  • All applicants will be notified by e-mail as to whether they have received an award.
  • Finalists will be interviewed by the Trustees. An applicant must be available for an interview if requested.
  • The Trustees will select the scholarship recipients. Their decision is final.


Four required letters of recommendations must be submitted by persons who can attest to the applicant’s scholarship, leadership, and social commitment as demonstrated by the student’s contributions to the college, the University, and/or the larger community.

  • Applicants should consider writers who are familiar with your qualities and who can comment in depth on one’s activities.
  • Two letters must be provided by classroom instructors at the college where one attends and must address the applicant’s academic performance and contributions.
  • Two additional letters must be submitted by individuals in leadership or supervisory positions who have personal knowledge of the applicant’s service activities and can evaluate one’s leadership, service, and social commitment.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the email address for submission of letters of recommendation and inform them to use your full name (last name first) as the subject. (Re: Smith, John) Letters of recommendation will only be accepted via email to Hard copies will not be accepted
  • Application will not be considered complete without the receipt of the four (4) required letters of recommendation by the Friday, February 4, 2022 deadline.


  • Applicant’s Statement: In a MAXIMUM OF 600 WORDS, write a personal statement discussing your life experiences, goals and social commitment. Make sure that evidence of your most significant volunteer social commitment is discussed in your personal statement.
  • Statements longer than 600 words will not be read.


  • All applicants are entitled to equal consideration in terms of equal opportunity/affirmative action provisions in accordance with Internal Revenue Service stipulations.
  • Belle Zeller Scholars may be required to authorize the release of their college records to show proof of continuing full-time status.
  • Belle Zeller Scholars who do not abide by the terms of the stated conditions will forfeit their remaining benefits, including future renewal.