CEW+ Scholarships

The CEW+ Scholarship Program, which today serves women and underserved students, was established in 1970 to honor the academic performance and potential of women whose education has been interrupted and to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the admission of women to the University of Michigan.

Thanks to the generosity of individuals, organizations, clubs, and foundations, CEW+ has awarded over 1,800 scholarships since 1970. CEW+ Scholarships are invaluable and unique in that they are tailored to complement a student’s existing aid package. With support from our generous donors, CEW+ was able to expand the program in 2008 to include additional scholarships for students of all genders.

Questions? Contact Erin Lane at cew-scholarships@umich.edu or (734) 764-6360.

Application process closed for 2019-20.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to qualify for a CEW+ Scholarship, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

1) CEW+ Scholarship applicants must be enrolled at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Flint, or Dearborn campuses) during the year for which the scholarship is awarded, and

2) Applicants must meet at least one (1) of the criteria listed below:


  • A minimum two-year (24 month) consecutive interruption in education anytime since high school OR
  • Primary Caregiver* OR
  • Actively engaged in SWE, WISE or WISE-RP and working towards a STEM degree. **In order to qualify under this criterion, one of your letters of recommendation must be written by an executive board, staff, or faculty leader from SWE, WISE or WISE-RP.

Graduate Students

  • A minimum five-year (60 month) consecutive interruption in education anytime since high school OR
  • Primary Caregiver* OR
  • Actively engaged in SWE, WISE or WISE-RP and working towards a STEM degree. **In order to qualify under this criterion, one of your letters of recommendation must be written by an executive board, staff, or faculty leader from SWE, WISE or WISE-RP.

*Primary Caregiver definition:

  • Lives in the same residence at least 50% of the time and consistently assumes major responsibility for housing, health, and safety of a minor, older adult, or disabled adult; anticipates this responsibility will continue during the upcoming academic year.
  • Lives in a separate residence and provides care for a minor, older adult, or disabled adult for a minimum of 20 hours per week without monetary compensation for at least the past 6 months; anticipates this responsibility will continue during the upcoming academic year.

**Working towards a STEM degree:

In addition to these criteria, preference will be given to undergraduate students who currently qualify for a federal PELL grant, and undergraduate and graduate students who are first-generation students (no parent has completed a bachelor’s degree).  To be considered for more than the minimum award ($1,000), both graduate and undergraduate applicants must submit a complete Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) to the Office of Financial Aid by March 31, 2019.  

Note: Students can only be identified as a CEW+ Scholarship recipient one time. If you have received a CEW+ Scholarship in a previous year, you may be eligible to apply for a fellowship (note: fellowships have their own specific eligibility requirements, listed here). You cannot receive a CEW+ Scholarship and Mary Malcomson Raphael Fellowship in the same academic year.

Questions? Contact Erin Lane at cew-scholarships@umich.edu or (734) 764-6360.

2019-2020 Application

The CEW+ Application will be available online at the end of December and will remain open until mid-March. The full application materials are listed below so that you can start working on your application at your own pace.

Summary of required information needed to complete a CEW+ Scholarship application:

  • Demographic information, including a copy of your current U-M transcript (up to Fall 2018 if enrolled)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation:
    It is best to secure recommenders early and let them know the general timeline required for their letter. You will be asked to provide recommenders’ names, contact information, and complete an electronic recommendation request form that will prompt an automated email to your recommenders. They will receive an email inviting them to follow a link to upload their letter of recommendation. Recommenders that are familiar with your academic record and career aspirations are in the best position to write on your behalf. Letters of recommendation can come from a variety of sources; the CEW+ Scholarship team strongly encourages including at least one letter from an academic recommender.  Strong references letters typically include:

    • The length and capacity in which the recommender has known you, the applicant.
    • Comments about the applicant’s strengths; academic and professional accomplishments; the ability to persevere and succeed in coursework, research and other endeavors at the university; and, potential for impact in the applicant’s chosen field. (A forthright and specific appraisal of the applicant is most helpful.)
    • Insights that the selection committee may not otherwise learn.  Note that biographical information and academic transcripts are already requested in other sections of the application – letters of recommendation should focus on what the committee might not already know.
  • Essay Prompts:
    The following prompts correspond exactly to the long-answer questions on the scholarship application.  By preparing early, you can copy and paste these essays into the application once it opens in late December.  Personal Statements are the most lengthy part of the application and provide the best opportunity to address CEW+ Scholarship selection criteria.  

    • Explanation of Primary Caregiving and/or Educational Interruption
      In 100-250 words, tell us the nature of the relationship with the individual(s) you provide care for and briefly list your caregiving responsibilities, and/or tell us what lead to the interruption in your education, how many consecutive months you were not enrolled or earning academic credit, and what you did during that time. Note: if you are applying based on the interruption in your education criterion you will need to specify the months and years your education was interrupted and provide copies of transcripts that verify the interruption (e.g. 01/2013-09/2018).
    • Personal Statement – Determination
      How have your life circumstances, experiences, and/or challenges shaped your education and career path? Describe how you have exemplified persistence in pursuing your goals. (200-400 words)
    • Personal Statement – Potential Impact
      What is your vision for success and plan for achieving your goals? How will you make an impact with the degree that you are pursuing at the personal, community, and/or global levels? (200-400 words)

Selection Criteria

CEW+ Scholarships are awarded in two phases:

Phase 1

Scholarship applications are reviewed by selection committees and scholar and alternate candidates are identified on the basis of merit.  Committee members consider the following criteria in phase one of the review process:

  1. Academic capacity and demonstrated scholarship
  2. Impact – clarity of goals and relation to career/life experiences; potential impact of achieving them on a personal/community/global scale
  3. Strength of motivation – evidence of sustained commitment, persistence

Phase 2

The specific award amount for a CEW+ Scholar is determined based on financial need and coordinated with other aid packages. Financial information will be requested from scholars and alternates in June 2019 once their status is determined by the selection committee.  To ensure that you are considered for the most possible aid from CEW+, you must complete and submit the FAFSA to your office of financial aid by March 31, 2019.  Failure to complete the FAFSA by this deadline means that you will only be considered for the minimum award ($1,000) in the second phase of the review process


Approximately 55 scholarships are awarded annually ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, with some larger scholarship awards given.  The average award amount for the 2018-19 academic year was $6,000.

Scholarships Offered
Gail Allen Scholarship
AAUW Scholarship
AAUW: Mary Elizabeth Bittman Memorial Scholarship
Christine Kahan Black Scholarship
Jane and Bill Bloom Scholarship
Margaret Dusseau Brevoort Scholarship
Ruth Jeanette Buttrey Scholarship
Jean W. Campbell Scholarship
CEW+ Graduate Scholarship
Collegiate Sorosis Foundation Scholarship
Lucile B. Conger Alumnae Group Scholarship
Molly H. Dobson Scholarships
Robert Bruce Dunlap Memorial Scholarship
Elizabeth Dusseau Scholarship
Margaret E. Gnegy Scholarship
Beth Halloran Scholarship
Joan Ireland Scholarship
Beatrice Kahn Scholarship
Elsie Choy Lee Scholarship
Mary Malcomson Raphael Scholarship
Sarah Winans Newman Scholarship

Aline Underhill Orten Foundation Scholarship
Mary Lucille Randolph and Lea King Dean Memorial Scholarship
Retirement Income Solutions, Inc. Scholarship
Linda J. Rider Scholarship
Helen Huff Shell Scholarship
Margaret Dow Towsley Scholarships
Irma M. Wyman Scholarships
Petar and Zdravka Zdravkovski Scholarship