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Ascend Educational Fund Awards Scholarship

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ascend Educational Fund awards scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to immigrant students and children of immigrants who are graduating from a New York City high school to attend public or private colleges and universities, regardless of ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be born outside the United States or have two parents born outside the United States
  • Must be a graduating senior at a high school in the five boroughs of New York City
  • Must enroll full-time at an accredited public or private college or university in 2015-2016

Application Materials

  • Completed and signed application form
  • Official high school transcript
  • Copy of SAT or ACT score report
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Two essays

Selection Criteria and Process

Scholarship recipients will be selected based on qualities traditionally valued and demonstrated by the immigrant community: hard work, resourcefulness, perseverance in the face of adversity, academic achievement, leadership, and commitment to one’s community. A committee will review applications and select a group of finalists for interviews.

December 1, 2015: Applications open online

  • December 1, 2015 – Application opens online
  • January 30, 2016 – Online scholarship application closes
  • March 28, 2016 @ 7 pm – Reader Orientation
  • March 28, 2016 – Reader system opens
  • March 28 – April 28, 2016 – Application review period
  • April 28, 2016 – Reader system closes & all scores are due by 5pm EST
  • Review finalists from May 3 – 16, 2016
  • Select finalists May 17 /18, 2016
  • Finalists notified May 19-21, 2016

Applications must be submitted by the Saturday, January 30, 2015 11:59 PM EST deadline

Scholarship Conditions

Scholarships will be disbursed directly to the recipient’s educational institution in equal installments over a two or four year period, depending on the type of institution. Failure to comply with the following conditions may result in the suspension or revocation of scholarship awards:

  • Enroll full-time at an accredited public or private college or university
  • Remain in good standing and maintain a 2.5 grade point average
  • Submit progress reports to Ascend Educational Fund every semester
  • Participate in mentoring provided by Ascend Educational Fund

Additional Information

Questions can be directed to

JP Morgan Smart Start Scholarship

Thursday, May 12, 2016

JP Morgan Smart Start Scholarship – Happy and honored to post this amazing and informative video about the JP Morgan Smart Start Scholarship – recorded live at Kweller Prep’s Money for College workshop May 9th 2016. Kweller Prep serves Forest Hills, Queens, New York City (NYC) and surrounding areas. Kweller Prep is a learning incubator designed to get you where you want to go. Email us at

Brown Scholars Learn and Teach Program

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Learn and Teach

Our Brown Scholars program is a new 3-year intensive focused on the intersection of computer science and science. It is tuition-free thanks to a generous grant from the Helen Gurley Brown Trust.

  1. 120 hours of coursework across 3 classes: Intro to Programming, Intro to Databases, Intro to Data Visualization
    • The coursework is offered in an after-school format: two afternoons a week, 4:30-6:30 pm, October – June OR in a summer format: 5 days a week, 10 am – 4 pm for 6 weeks (July – August)

    Girls who successfully complete the 120 hours of coursework are eligible for the second component:

  2. A 9-month paid internship in either computational research or applied computer programming within a division at AMNH.
    • Interns will work on a team of 2-3 Brown Scholars under the mentorship of a post-bacc Helen Fellow.
    • Internships run two afternoons a week, 4:30 – 6:30 pm, September – May and culminate with presentations in the Spring.

    Girls who successfully complete the internship are eligible for the third component:

  3. College and career colloquium: a series of field trips and workshops focused on the varied academic and professional opportunities in the world of computer science.
    • Field trips and workshops will be held twice a month on Friday afternoons, September – May.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is the Brown Scholars program for?

Girls may complete coursework during their 9th or 10th grade year OR the summer following their 9th or 10th grade year. We are unable to make exceptions to this grade requirement.

What material does the coursework cover?

You will learn to code in Python, work on real scientific data sets, and learn how data science and data visualization are important tools for scientists in all fields. You will learn about algorithms and databases while digging deep into astrophysics, biology, anthropology, and more. No coding experience necessary – we’ll start from the beginning!

How do I Apply?

The application process includes: an online application including short essay questions, one letter of recommendation from a teacher or adult, a copy of your most recent transcript/report card.

Selected applicants will be invited in for an in-person interview. Final admission decisions will be made following the interviews.

This program is incredibly competitive, and we are unable to accept all qualified applicants.

I don’t live in New York City. Can I still apply?

The Brown Scholars program is only available for students in the greater NYC area. You do not need to attend an NYC public school to apply, but you must be able to attend classes in person. Priority is given to students who are interested and able to complete all 3 components of the program.

I’m interested in the Brown Scholars Program and SRMP at AMNH. Can I apply to both?

Students who are accepted to the Brown Scholars Program are NOT eligible to apply for After School Program Research Courses (which are prerequisites for the Science Research Mentoring Program). Students are, however, eligible to apply for ASP Exploratory courses.

Still have Questions?


FlexMed Requirements

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Requirements and FAQs

Students will have to complete two semesters of college biology, two semesters of college chemistry, OR two semesters of college physics

  • The two semester requirement can cover any discipline of biology, chemistry, or physics including Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Cell Biology, Physiology, Microbiology, Immunobiology, etc.
  • AP or IB credit cannot substitute this requirement.  If you have received college credit from AP or IB coursework, higher level science courses must be taken to fulfill this requirement.
  • Coursework must be completed by the January 15th application deadline.

Prior to Matriculation:

Prior to matriculation, students will be required to complete the following courses:

  • Two semesters of Biology (not AP or IB but college course work)
  • Two semesters of Chemistry (not AP or IB but college course work)
  • Two semesters of English
  • One semester of Physics (AP or IB Physics in HS with a score of 4 or higher)
  • Two semesters of lab in any science
  • One semester of Health Policy, Public Health, or Global Health
  • One semester of Ethics
  • One semester of Statistics
  • A Senior Thesis or its equivalent in an area of academic concentration
  • An in-depth experience in which the student gains exposure to human illness

Students will be strongly encouraged to gain proficiency in either Spanish or Mandarin.

In the five weeks prior to matriculation, FlexMed students who have not had advanced science courses (specifically organic chemistry and biochemistry) will be required to participate in our Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) that will provide them with basic competency in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and organic chemistry.

Admitted students will be required to achieve a ‘B’ in all required courses, will be expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5, and will not be permitted to take the MCAT.

Q: Can I apply to FlexMed from any major?

A: Yes. FlexMed allows college sophomores in any major to apply for early assurance of acceptance to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Please refer to Program Requirements for mandatory courses.

Q: I received a 5 on my AP Biology Exam. Do I still have to take a year of biology in college?

A: Yes. You do not need to repeat introductory biology, but you must take a year of college biology. Choose courses which will best prepare you for medical school, for example, cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, physiology, immunology, etc.

Q: Do I have to take the labs associated with the biology or chemistry courses?

A: Prior to matriculation, you are required to take two semesters of lab in any science. This flexibility allows you to pursue a lab experience that most interests you.

Q: I took a year of college biology or chemistry during the summer at another institution. Is that acceptable?

A: We do not require that you complete the college biology or chemistry courses at your undergraduate institution. However, you should take these courses at an institution that is an accredited four-year college of similar quality to your undergraduate institution. If you plan to take required course work at another institution, you must receive approval from the FlexMed program. Furthermore, it is important that you consider courses that will provide you with the requisite background for medical school courses such as biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, pharmacology, cell biology, physiology, microbiology, immunobiology, etc.

Q: Do I have to complete the required course work before applying?

A: You do not need to complete all the required courses before applying to the FlexMed Program. You need to have completed two semesters of college biology, chemistry, or physics by January 15 of the academic year you apply. If accepted into the program, you must complete the remaining courses before you graduate from your undergraduate institution.

Q: My combined Critical Reading (old Verbal) + Math SAT score is 1250. Am I still eligible to apply?

A: Although most accepted applicants have a combined SAT score above 1350, we consider your entire application during the review process.

Q: Are all applicants interviewed?

A:No. Only selected applicants will be invited for interviews at the Icahn School of Medicine. These interviews will be scheduled from March until May. A tour of the medical center will also be scheduled at that time for you, if you have been invited.

Q: When will I be notified of acceptance/rejection?

A: Letters of acceptance/rejection will be sent out by July 1 of the academic year that you apply.

Q: If I am accepted to the FlexMed program, is the acceptance binding?

A: Once you accept our offer of admission to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), you are required to sign a formal written agreement demonstrating your commitment to making ISMMS your future home for medical education. Should you eventually choose not to attend, you may do so without any penalty. If you choose to apply to another medical school and/or take the MCAT, your acceptance into the FlexMed Program will be revoked.

Q: What is the tuition for FlexMed?

A: Once you are accepted into FlexMed, you are accepted into medical school but there are no tuition fees until you matriculate. Tuition is based on the individual years in which you enroll, and may differ from year to year. You may view current tuition rates in our Tuition and Financial Aid section.

Q: If I am accepted to FlexMed, will I be considered for scholarships and financial aid?

A: There are several merit scholarships currently available for FlexMed students. If you are seeking need-based financial aid, you must apply by filling out the FAFSA application the Need Access form and following the instructions that can be found on our Financial Aid website. This process takes place in the winter prior to matriculation.

Q: Can I defer my matriculation to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for two years?

A: You are encouraged to defer matriculation to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for one or two years. The permission to defer will be granted upon request to the program director and requires you to articulate a strong, well thought out educational plan for the deferred time period.

Q: Do I have to fill out an American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application?

A: Your application to the FlexMed Program does not require an AMCAS application; however, matriculation toour institution does. If you are accepted into the FlexMed Program, you will be asked to fill out an AMCAS application during the year preceding your matriculation. At that time, you will also be required to complete the our supplemental application, with the exception of the essay questions. You will not be required to pay the supplemental application fee. Completing these applications is a clerical necessity and does not imply that you are reapplying to medical school. Once you are accepted into FlexMed, you are accepted into medical school.

Q: If I am accepted into the FlexMed Program, am I automatically accepted into medical school at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai?

A: Yes, provided that:

  • You maintain the high standards of your present credentials, including a cumulative grade point average of 3.5, and receive your bachelor’s degree
  • You are not disciplined for any unprofessional/unethical behavior
  • You promptly respond to all deadlines from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • You are physically and emotionally capable of meeting the rigorous demands of medical school

Q: If I apply under the FlexMed program, can I still be considered for the MD/PhD program?

A: At the time of application, you are only considered for admission into the MD program. However, once you have been accepted you may apply to the MD/PhD program in the winter immediately prior to matriculation. The deadline is November 1st. If you are interested in pursuing this route, discuss it with the director of the MD/PhD program prior to completing your application.

Q: What if I am in my second year but my school considers me a junior because of AP credits (or other earned credits) that I received in high school? Can I still apply as a FlexMed applicant?

A: Yes. We expect students to apply during the fall semester of the second year of full-time study at their college or university, irrespective of how many college-level credits they received in high school.

Q: Can I apply if I am not a sophomore?

A: No. This program is specifically designed for students entering their second year of college as a full-time student, working toward their first bachelor’s degree. If you are in a five-year undergraduate program, you can apply either in your second or third year of college. You are not eligible to apply if you already hold a bachelor’s degree.

Q: From whom should I get letters of recommendation?

A: We require three letters of recommendation. Typically students get them from:

  • High school teacher/guidance counselor
  • College professor/faculty advisor
  • Other person who knows you well academically or professionally. This person could be another teacher/professor, employer, etc.