Undergraduate Application - Belle Zeller Scholarship Fund

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Undergraduate Application




*** The 2022 Belle Zeller Scholarship Application Period is now closed. We are no longer accepting application submissions, supporting documents or letters of recommendation. For those who missed the opportunity this year and are still eligible, we hope you will consider applying next year. Thank you for your interest.***

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.


  • Application will be closed for submission on March 4, 2022.
  • 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 full-time CUNY undergraduate students and shall have completed at least sixteen (16) credits at a CUNY College with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or better.
  • Scholarship recipients attending community colleges will continue to receive awards if they transfer to a CUNY four-year college and continue to meet the criteria. They will be eligible to receive a total of three annual awards, which may be divided between the community colleges and the four-year CUNY colleges.
  • Awards in the amount of $2,500 will be paid twice yearly so long as the recipient is a full-time student in CUNY, and until the recipient completes 120 credits.   The recipient must continue to maintain a 3.75 or better GPA and continue community service. The Trustees shall be the sole judge of whether a recipient continues to meet these requirements.
  • If there is a break in attendance, other than summer recess, 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 at LaGuardia Community College must meet the LaGuardia definition of full-time student.
  • Applicants should show evidence of significant service to CUNY, the community, and/or their respective colleges by letters, and/or other documents.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Applicants are advised to approach potential recommender’s a minimum of six weeks in advance of the application due date
  • Two letters of recommendations must be submitted by persons who can attest to the applicant’s scholarship, leadership, and social comment in depth on one’s activities. commitment as demonstrated by the student’s contributions to the college, the University, and/or the larger community.  
  • One letter must be provided by classroom instructor at the college where one attends and must address the applicant’s academic performance and contributions.
  • One additional letter must be submitted by individuals in leadership or supervisory position who have personal knowledge of the applicant’s volunteer community 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 as a PDF attachment, on letterhead, signed and emailed to recommend@bellezeller.org. Letters in the body of the email and hard copies will not be accepted
  • Application will not be considered complete without the receipt of the two (2) required letters of recommendation by the March 4, 2022 deadline.


Applicant’s Statement: In a MAXIMUM OF 600 WORDS, write a personal statement discussing your life experiences as they relate to your goals and social commitment. Make sure that evidence of your most significant, recent 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.
  • All recommenders must include their contact information (email address and phone number) for the letters to be accepted.
  • Belle Zeller Scholars who do not abide by the terms of the stated conditions will forfeit their remaining benefits, including future renewals.