Undergraduate Application

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Undergraduate 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 more than 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.


  1. The Board of Trustees of the Belle Zeller Scholarship Trust Fund (Trustees) will review all applications and select those candidates to be interviewed.
  2. Applicants must be full-time CUNY undergraduate students and must have completed at least thirty (30) credits at a CUNY college with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher.
  3. Awards are for one year in the amount of $5,000.  Awards will be paid in two installments of $2,500, provided the student is still full-time in CUNY, has not exceeded 120 credits, and continues to meet the academic and service requirements.
  4. Recipients must continue to maintain a GPA of 3.75 or higher and continue to provide evidence of community service during both semesters they are receiving the scholarship.
  5. The Trustees shall be the sole judge of whether a recipient continues to meet these requirements.
  6. Scholarship recipients may not defer the award. All awards must be used in the Fall of the academic year for which they are awarded.
  7. Scholarship recipients may not reapply for the scholarship in the future.
  8. Applicants at LaGuardia Community College must meet the LaGuardia definition of full-time student.
  9. Applicants must show evidence of significant voluntary service to CUNY, the community, and/or their respective colleges by a letter of recommendation.
  10. If an applicant has earned 35 or more credits within the past 5 years from another institution (including other units of CUNY), an unofficial transcript from each of those institutions must be provided.
  11. All candidates selected for interviews by a panel of the Trustees must be available for an interview when requested.
  12. All applicants will receive an auto-response confirming submission of their application.
  13. The receipt of your application does not constitute an assurance of its acceptance; rather, it serves as confirmation of our receipt of your submission. It is incumbent upon you to ensure that your application is meticulously completed, including all requisite documentation. Please note that you will not receive notifications in the event of incompleteness or missing information.
  14. All successful scholarship recipients will be notified by e-mail.
  15. Decisions of the Board of Trustees will be final.



  1. Two letters of recommendation must be submitted:
    1. One letter must be from someone in a leadership or supervisory role who can personally attest to and evaluate your volunteer social commitment to the college, the university, and/or the larger community and who has personal knowledge of your volunteer community service activities.
    2. One letter must be written by an instructor that you, the applicant, have had in a CUNY college-level course in the current or previous academic year. This letter must address the applicant’s academic performance.
  1. Applicants are advised to request letters from recommenders a minimum of six weeks in advance of the application deadline to provide enough time to submit the required letters.
  2. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the email address for submission of letters of recommendation and inform the recommenders to use your full name (last name first) as the subject. (Re: Smith, John)
  3. Letters of recommendation must be provided using an official letterhead which includes contact information. Letters must be signed and emailed as pdf attachments to recommend@bellezeller.org.
  4. Letters that are provided in the body of an email, or in Microsoft Word, or JPEG, or submitted as scanned and hard copies will not be accepted.
  5. All letters must include the recommender’s daytime contact information – phone number and email address.
  6. Letters will not be accepted if submitted by the applicant.


Applicant’s Statement: In a MAXIMUM OF 600 WORDS, you must write a personal statement discussing your life experiences as they relate to your goals and social commitment. Please be sure to include evidence of your most significant, recent volunteer community service (within the past two years) and comment on your recent academic work.

Personal statements must have the first and last name of the applicant on the top of each page.

Personal statements must be submitted using a PDF format and may not exceed 600 words. Word documents will not be accepted.


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