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Rising Sophomores

Congratulations to these newly named members of the Monroe Scholar class of 2016!

Each year rising sophomores who have done exceptionally well academically are invited to apply for seats in the Monroe Scholars Program. Once spring grades have been posted, the Charles Center staff sends emails to the W&M email addresses of eligible students. In 2014 we issued invitations to students with GPAs of 3.89 and above.

The number of new Monroes admitted depend on the number of Monroes already in the class who were admitted to the program as freshmen.  Emails were sent out to the students invited to apply for 25 seats in the class of 2017 in mid-June, 2014.  Applications from invited students are due by 12 p.m. on Wednesday November 5, 2014.

Students named Monroe Scholars as sophomores enjoy all of the upperclass benefits of the program, such as participation in the Monroe Speaker series with faculty and visiting speakers, the opportunity to tutor at Matthew Whaley, and $3,000 in summer funding for a summer research project.

Application to the program consists of

  • a faculty-advised research proposal
  • an activities list
  • a short essay
  • an unofficial transcript 
  • a letter of support of your proposed project from your project advisor
  • a letter of recommendation from a faculty member

Please note: If your project advisor and recommender are the same faculty member, then only one letter is needed.

Samples of Successful Program Applications

Government / Philosophy major
History / Government major
Biology / Chemistry major

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have questions after reading the FAQs below, please email Lisa Grimes.

Program Application: General Questions

Is there a minimum GPA that must be maintained once you are admitted to the program?

-          Monroes must remain William and Mary students in good standing.

How long does the Monroe program last?

-          The program lasts from acceptance to graduation.

What are the benefits of being a Monroe Scholar?

-          Pending approval by an academic project advisor and the Charles Center, Monroe Scholars have a $3,000 scholarship to conduct a seven-week summer research project of their own design after the sophomore or junior year. Projects may be conducted on the William and Mary campus or might involve travel to specialized domestic or foreign library collections, laboratories, field stations, or other research facilities.

Monroe Scholars are invited to a speaker series of lectures/discussions held throughout the academic year. These informal sessions allow Monroe Scholars to meet and interact with many William and Mary faculty and outside speakers from all fields. Lunch or snacks are provided.

In addition to the Monroe Scholarships, the College provides a variety of other summer scholarship opportunities that are open to Monroe Scholars. Lisa Grimes advises students applying for summer as well as national scholarships and fellowships.

The Monroe Scholars Program has adopted Matthew Whaley Elementary School, located approximately three blocks from campus. Monroes are invited to participate in tutoring, after school clubs, and other activities. Approximately 200 Monroe Scholars participate in the program each year.

Each fall, upperclass Monroes are invited to mentor new freshmen Monroes and are matched by academic and/or personal interests.  The Monroe Buddy program further encourages inter-class networking among students in the program.

May Monroe Scholars get priority course registration?

-          No. Priority registration is only for Freshman Monroe Scholars' first semester.

How difficult is it to get the scholarship in the sophomore year? 

-          That depends on the strength of the project and the number of applications we receive.

I am currently taking a course that will be curved at the end of the semester, but it may bring down my GPA significantly until then. To what extent will that weaken my application?

-          The transcript that you submit with your application will include only grades for completed courses.  We don’t look at interim grades.

Is every single subject equally sponsored, or there are some fields that can get more sponsorship?

-          The scholarship is for $3000 regardless of the field. 

Does early submission affect your application?

-          No.

Research Proposal FAQs