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Thorne Family Awards:  Summer Funded Experiential Learning Opportunities for First-Generation College Students (FGCS)

Thanks to generous support from the Thorne-Gross Family, Skidmore has funding to help support first-generation college students take advantage of summer opportunities to enhance their academic and post-college paths. These awards are similar in nature to the SEE-Beyond Awards in both the scope of the award (the types of experiences that the award can be used to support) as well as the funding amount ($4,000). Please direct questions to Marla Melito.


Award Competition: The Thorne Family Awards invite first-generation college students to explore new techniques, technologies, or modes of inquiry or expression; to apply their academic-year learning to real-world challenges; and to clarify the interrelationship between their educational and post-baccalaureate goals.  Awards may be used to support: 

  • field or laboratory research in an area of the student’s choice, with the permission of the host institution and research sponsor;
  • internships with clearly defined learning goals that complement the student’s academic plan;
  • artistic residencies, workshops, apprenticeships, or productions.

This list is not exhaustive nor is it meant to be prescriptive; anyexperience that puts your classroom learning into practice or that deepens your knowledge or understanding of the discipline may be supported.  We ask that you think meaningfully and creatively about the type of experience that you pursue.

Awardees will receive a $4,000 stipend for a significant summer experience of 7 –10 weeks. Experiences of shorter duration may be considered with proper justification but please note that this is a competitive award and proposals are evaluated with regard to the substance and rigor of the proposed experience. Funds may be used at the student’s discretion to cover participation fees or tuition, travel expenses, and summer room and board.  Thorne Family Awards may be used to access opportunities anywhere in the world, except in countries with State Department travel warnings or advisories.  Thorne Family Awards may not be used to fund job shadowing opportunities, work experience of little academic value, or summer student-faculty research at Skidmore.  Students receiving a Thorne Family Award agree to reflect on learning outcomes by way of a mid-program report and a final written report, and agree to serve as a peer mentor for other first-generation students in the future.

Eligibility:  Open to first-generation college students, which we define as a student for whom neither parent received a four-year college degree. Students must be enrolled full-time and be in good academic, social, and financial standing with the College. International students should check with Student Academic Services before applying to identify any requirements they need to meet to qualify for this award. These awards cannot be combined with other funded experiential learning opportunities at Skidmore.

Application Process:  Complete applications must be submitted through the Summer Experience Fund portal. 

Selection Criteria:

1. Quality of the Application Essay
2. Substance and rigor of the experience
3. Consistency of the experience with the student’s academic goals and degree of preparation