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WSU Undergraduate Education Distinguished Scholarships Program

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Mitchell Scholarships

Award Information

“My father was the orphaned son of immigrants to the United States from Ireland. My father never knew his parents. His mother died – we’re not sure – either at or shortly after his birth, and he and all of his siblings were placed in orphanages in the Boston area… I really owe everything to my parents and their devotion and drive to see to it that their children had the education which led to the opportunities that they never were able to have.”

George J. Mitchell, Jr., United States Senator from Maine

Table of Contents:
EligibilityIntent to ApplyPreparationApplication Process


The Mitchell Scholarship Program is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service. Up to 12 Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Applicants are judged on scholarship, leadership, and a sustained commitment to community and public service. Scholarship recipients are provided tuition, accommodations, a living expenses stipend, and an international travel stipend.

The Mitchell Scholarship is awarded by the US-Ireland Alliance, a proactive, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to consolidating existing relations between the United States and the island of Ireland and building that relationship for the future. The scholarship is named in honor of former United States Senator George J. Mitchell, who served as Chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Senator Mitchell’s life and career have embodied a deep commitment to public service. The commitment to serve community and country, along with his characteristics of intellectual distinction, leadership, integrity, excellence, and fairness are the qualities sought in Mitchell Scholars.


For a complete list of eligibility requirements, please consult the Mitchell Scholarship webpage. In general, students should:

  • Be U.S. citizens.
  • Be a senior undergraduate or post baccalaureate between 18 and 30 years old at the time of application.

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Intent to Apply

Students planning to apply for a Mitchell Scholarship through WSU must submit the following materials on or before March 11:

  • Complete a draft of a personal essay explaining why the Mitchell is the scholarship you wish to apply for this year.
  • Supply a current resume.

All of these materials should be forwarded to Distinguished Scholarships.

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At Washington State University, students typically:

  1. Carefully determine their eligibility for this scholarship. Read thoroughly through the Mitchell Scholarship website
    1. Review the FAQs on the website to answer your specific questions.
    2. Print a copy of the application questions (available online).
  2. Meet with Distinguished Scholarships to discuss ideas (appointments at
  3. Contact four recommenders to ask for a reference. Ask for a hard copy of these references one week before the WSU deadline (March 11) to be provided to Distinguished Scholarships. (Tips for writing references)

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Application Process

  1. Complete your application and turn in to Distinguished Scholarships on or before March 11. Include:
    1. Personal essay (which should include choice of school in Ireland).
    2. 4 letters of reference mailed in a sealed envelope to Distinguished Scholarships.
  2. Order transcripts from every college/university where you have received credit. These should be sent to Distinguished Scholarships.
  3. Reviews will be held with all applicants during August. Note:
    1. WSU will nominate only students who are chosen by review committee to represent WSU.
    2. Chosen nominees will complete online applications after the review.
    3. WSU will write a letter of endorsement for each approved nominee.
  4. Turn in your recent photograph to Distinguished Scholarships.

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After the Internal WSU Review

Chosen WSU nominees:

  1. Complete your essay drafts.
  2. Complete the online application. Carefully fill in all required fields!
  3. Confirm that your referees have completed the online review process.
  4. Proofread your work thoroughly.
  5. Submit your online application at least one week before the national deadline.

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