News icon The Mitchell Institute Awards $1.66 Million to 166 New Mitchell Scholars Statewide

Each Mitchell Scholar will receive a scholarship award of $10,000, along with ongoing personal, academic and professional support throughout their college careers

Contact: Marc Glass / 207-358-7742

PORTLAND, Maine — The Mitchell Institute, a Maine-based nonprofit scholarship and research organization founded by Senator George J. Mitchell to improve college outcomes for students from every community in Maine, recently announced its 2023 cohort of Mitchell Scholars. The 166 recipients of the Mitchell Scholarship, representing every public high school in Maine, will each receive a scholarship award of $10,000 to be paid out in four equal installments of $2,500, as well as ongoing personal, academic and professional support.

The 2023 class of Mitchell Scholars recently graduated from high schools across the state and will pursue their academic goals and career aspirations at colleges and universities in Maine and across the nation. They will do so with the support of the broader Mitchell Institute community, which includes more than 3,000 alumni who mentor Mitchell Scholars and hundreds of donors whose philanthropic investments continue to sustain the Institute’s ability to fund Scholars. Throughout college and the years following, the new Mitchell Scholars will have opportunities to engage with Mitchell Institute programs and resources focusing on financial assistance, leadership training, and academic and career support. The new class of 166 Mitchell Scholars will join 437 currently enrolled Scholars, who collectively will receive more than $5 million in awards from the Mitchell Institute during their college careers.

From Kittery to Madawaska, all of the college-bound students in the Class of 2023 Mitchell Scholars have distinguished themselves through academic excellence and community involvement. The 2023 Scholar cohort has also overcome several barriers to college access; 58% of the newest cohort of Mitchell Scholars will be the first in their families to attend a four-year college, and 84% are from families with incomes below Maine’s median. With financial and programmatic support from the Mitchell Institute, 89% of Scholars complete college and achieve a degree, compared with 62% nationally, and more than 90% earn all A’s and B’s in their college courses.

In 2023, the Mitchell Institute is awarding $10,000 scholarships to 20 additional Mitchell Scholars. The expansion is part of a plan to increase the number of scholarships the Mitchell Institute awards statewide over the next several years, said Jared Cash, president and CEO of the Mitchell Institute.

“Because of the strength of the outcomes we measure that are a direct result of the Scholarship and all of the wraparound supports we offer and to help meet the acute challenges facing our society and workforce, we recognized that now is the time to make this significantly increased investment in Maine’s young people,” Cash said. “Each Scholar represents the best of our great state and reflects Senator Mitchell’s vision of investing in young people so they, in turn, can strengthen their communities.”

Kim Gustafson, scholarship director at the Mitchell Institute, oversaw the scholarship selection committee’s holistic review of 1,467 Mitchell Scholarship applications in 2023 that considered high school students’ academic potential, community impact, and degree of financial need.

“It is an honor for the selection committee to explore the many facets of each application through multiple rounds of our evaluation process,” said Gustafson. “Every candidate presents a unique story, and the committee considers potential just as much as achievement. The final selection round always proves to be immensely challenging since there is an abundance of deserving young leaders from every corner of our state.”

About the Mitchell Institute

The Mitchell Institute unlocks the potential of Maine college students so that they can find success in college and contribute to the vitality of their communities. The organization awards $1.66 million in college scholarship funds every year to students from public high schools in every community in Maine. What separates the Mitchell Institute from traditional scholarship organizations is the broader array of support programs that it provides to students. This combination of personal, professional and financial support makes college degrees more attainable for Mitchell Scholars, who graduate at a rate 27% higher than the national average. Mitchell Scholars are also more likely than their peers to stay in Maine or return to the state after college. Founded by Senator George J. Mitchell, the Mitchell Institute’s core mission is to improve the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue, and achieve a college education. The Mitchell Institute strengthens Maine communities by providing a path to success in college and beyond.