Grants for Irish Students

by Rebecca Nelles
Students of Irish background might qualify for specific grants and scholarships.

Many grants and scholarships exist for students from various ethnic backgrounds. One such background for which financial assistance is available to students seeking a degree is that of Irish ethnicity or descent. Grants and scholarships are available to help Irish students achieve their educational goals, either of studying in the United States or in Ireland.

Irish American Scholars Program

The Business Education Initiative (BEI), part of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, offers undergraduate students from Northern Ireland the opportunity to study abroad in the United States. As part of the Irish American Scholars Program, set up "as a means of thanking our US Colleges and Universities for hosting BEI students," a select number of Irish-American students are given the opportunity to study in Northern Ireland. Eligible students must attend one of the church-affiliated colleges or universities in America that participate in the BEI program, must have a grade point average of at least 3.2 and must be nominated by a faculty member at the college or university at which they are studying. After their nomination, interested students are to submit an application, an essay detailing his educational goals during the time spent in Ireland, one letter of reference from an academic adviser and one from a faculty member, and an official transcript. Students wishing to study art should include a CD-ROM featuring their work. Under the scholarship, tuition and fees are waived, but students are still responsible for their books, their room and board and the cost of travel. Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities One Dupont Circle, Suite 650 Washington D.C. 20036 202-457-0650 accunet.org

George L. Mitchell Scholarship Program

The US-Ireland Alliance, founded to strengthen relations between the two countries, sponsors the George L. Mitchell Scholarship Program, named for a former U.S. senator who worked for peace in Northern Ireland. Twelve individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 who have already earned a bachelor's degree are chosen each year to complete one year of postgraduate study at one of the participating universities in Northern Ireland. Applicants must have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and a dedication to service and must be citizens of the United States. The scholarship award includes tuition, housing and stipends for living expenses and international travel. US-Ireland Alliance 2800 Clarendon Blvd. #502 West Arlington, VA 22201 mitchellscholars.org

John T. and Elizabeth Downs Cartan Scholarship

The John T. and Elizabeth Downs Cartan Scholarship is available to students studying at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. As stated on the Saint Xavier University website, the scholarship will be awarded "to a student from Ireland, to a student from the Republic of Ireland, preferably from a Mercy secondary school in Trim, County Meath or Scoil Mhuire." If no student from Ireland applies for the scholarship, it will be awarded to an American student who is both of Irish descent and from Cook County, Illinois. Saint Xavier University 3700 West 103rd St. Chicago, IL 60655 773-298-3000 sxu.edu

About the Author

Rebecca Nelles holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Eastern Illinois University. Additionally, she has earned minors in both creative writing and women's studies. She has been published on eHow.com and also in Eastern Illinois University's literary journal, "The Vehicle."

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